Soca Music

Soca is a form of Anglo Caribbean music, originating from Trinidad and Tobago, derived from Calypso and Chutney.


Soca's earliest beginnings can be traced in 1973, with Lord's Shorty's(Lord Ras or Garfield Blackman) hit Chutney tinge "Indrani" and Shadow's 1974 "Bassman" and "De Hardis."  Lord Shorty added Indian rhythm instruments to Calypso(the dholak, tabla, and dhantal) . Guitar, bass, synthesizers, and drums became prominent in the music. Soca became less about social political commentary like Calypso but more about dancing,  a more uptempo beat. By the 1980s, Soca became Trinidad and Tobago's most popular genre, pushing aside Calypso. Other famous early Soca practitioners were Eddy Grant and Arrow.


Numerous hybrids have prop up like Chutney Soca, Ragga Soca, Dance-hall Soca, Rapso(ca). Chutney Soca hints its chutney influences and the East Indian contribution. Ragga Soca and Dance-Hall Soca pulls on Reggae influences. Rap(so) touches on Hip-Hop influences. Current style tend to replace horns with synthesizers, drums with drum machines. Bass and guitar occupy an even more central role.

Works Cited

Thompson, Dave(2002). Reggae and Caribbean Music. Hal Leonard Corporation, pp. 272(3), ISBN    0879306556, 9780879306557
Nidel, Richard(2005). World Music: The Basics. Psychology Press, p. 288. ISBN

Caribbean Music 101, Soca.

External Links:

YouTube Video