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For the Love of Country. Soca Artist and Radio Personality Speaks Out.

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Hundreds of new soca tracks have been released ahead of Carnival 2020 and once again, there is the sad rumbling that merely a handful of these songs are being played on the nation’s airwaves in Trinidad and Tobago. A short carnival season brings with it a heightened desire to pull what the DJs consider to be the hits, for the benefit, they say, of the feting public.

In early December, soca artist, Bunji Garlin raised the issue, jokingly posting:

“9,867,643 Soca songs released between Uber Soca cruise and now….. and people know 5. What a dogfight coming up ahead and somewhere there is someone trying to justify that.”


Bunji Garlin

As the world prepares to usher in a brand new decade, many artistes in Trinidad and Tobago are hoping for change in the system, a system, they argue, has kept soca music stifled and benefits only a few. On air radio personality and soca artiste, Adrian Hackshaw, best known as Bass or TriloG, told Ebuzztt that he wants to own his very own radio station in the decade ahead. “My hope for us as a country is that we begin thinking more about country than self. I also pray that the government and powers that be will actually create a viable tourism and creative industry,” he said, lamenting that so much more could be done, to place Trinidad and Tobago at the centre of the Caribbean’s cultural and economic activity pool.

Bass AKA TrilOG

Bass, an entertainer who has released several songs already, ahead of the upcoming Carnival season in T&T, has always been outspoken about the lack of air play granted to new artistes and those deemed ‘unpopular’. “I would like to own my own radio station so that all artistes can get fair airplay and the people will have a fair opportunity to say what they enjoy hearing,” he told us. It’s an ambitious goal but certainly not unattainable, after all, Iwer George did it!

On Monday, two days before the New Year, Bass told us that a caller had called in to the frequency at which he mans the 9am-12 noon weekday shift. “The man called this morning talking about the violent music that’s played on the airwaves,” he attested, adding that at that very time, police had been called to the scene of a shooting in the vicinity of Park and Charlotte streets in Port-of-Spain, a stone’s throw away from the station’s location. Bass has maintained that he will not endorse any music with violent undertones, during his on air shifts. Sadly, he is but one personality at one of several urban stations that promote music that glorifies gangsterism and gun violence in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ebuzztt.com spoke with popular entertainer, Trinidad Killa in November. Back then, the artist who has risen to fame with his single, ‘Gunman in She Hole,’ had told us that he knows music has strong influence. He however said, in the same breath, that most of the lyrics are based on the hype and are a reflection of the ‘realness’ of the society.

Take a look at our interview with him.

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‘I Am Legend’ Concert Postponed as COVID-19 Fears Increase.

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The COVID-19 virus, a matter of immeasurable concern, globally, at this time, ‘I Am Legend’ concert franchise owner Glenroy Watson has postponed this year’s highly anticipated reggae showcase in Trinidad and Tobago, to a date to be announced. “The world as we know it has the potential to change in light of this pandemic and this isn’t something to be taken lightly. We’ve been closely monitoring developments on this issue since February and now it’s time to act,” said the businessman.   

‘I Am Legend’ has hosted reggae sensation, Buju Banton over the years. The event reconnected fans in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana with the Jamaican entertainer in 2019, 10 years after his last appearance in T&T when he appeared at ‘I Am Legend’, and just four months after his release from US prison. Reviews following both events last year, were very good. “We cannot afford to simply ignore this issue. People are losing their lives and our event is one that caters to a broad demographic of people, many of whom would be between the ages of 40 and 65. That’s the power of good, reggae music. It has the ability to bring out both the young and the young and heart,” said Watson. He says because of this reality, the risk factors surrounding hosting ‘I Am Legend’ on its usual Easter weekend calendar date, are high and certainly a risk he isn’t willing to take. 

The I Am Legend promotional franchise has maintained its appreciation for positive reggae music, Watson consistently advocating for the promotion of sound musical influences for the benefit of both the youth and the mature entertainment seekers. “Rest assured that when the I Am Legend’ concert date is announced and our lineup of artistes are revealed when all cause for concern is settled, the show will be nothing short of spectacular. For now, the safety and health of everyone out there, is our primary concern,” said Watson.   

For updates on the I Am Legend concert, patrons are reminded that they should follow High Frequency Entertainment on Instagram and Facebook. 

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No Playing. One Voice Keeps Pushing Post Carnival 2020 in T&T.

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Less than a week after Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival had ended, one US based artiste began thinking and working on the prospects for 2021. One Voice, an entertainer with a heart of gold, says no matter the challenges faced in the business, his love for Soca music keeps him focused on the prize and he knows he will conquer what many may see as far-fetched.

One Voice remains committed to Soca.

It’s never been easy to break through in the Soca arena. For years, the prominent names attached to the genre have remained relatively intact, unchanging, despite the introduction of a few new contributors to the spirit of the sound. Many argue that this is the reason the new ‘Zesser’ movement has enthralled the youths in downtrodden communities in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s been said that many of the artistes who make up that movement were once knocking on the doors of the Soca industry, to no avail. Now, they’ve created an emulated dancehall sound that is breaking barriers, even in Jamaica.

One Voice says despite many years of knocking and little major penetration on the mainstream circuit, he remains committed to the Caribbean Soca vibe. “There’s nothing like Soca music and there’s nothing else I’d want to be a part of. I believe Soca music is growing every year, and reaching people in parts around the globe, more than it ever has. That’s something to celebrate,” he said, adding that he has no issue with the fusion of Soca with other genres, saying blending the sounds could only make it better. “There’s something to be said about sharing our gifts with the world. Soca music is our gift to be shared. I see what I contribute as a part of me that I’d like people from everywhere to enjoy. I don’t do any of this to compete with anyone. I basically see my efforts as a contributing factor towards the growth of the genre,” he said.

This past Carnival, One Voice who is based in Brooklyn New York, delivered two Soca tracks- ‘True Feter’ and ‘Trust’. He traveled to the country in early January, promoting his music across the urban airwaves and via other traditional media, and while his efforts may not have effectively positioned him at the top of the pack this season, he remains focused and patient. “When it’s my time to shine, I know I will. I’m dedicated to my craft and I will continue to push hard the only way I know how- by delivering good music consistently,” he said.

For more on OneVoice, and what he brings to the table, check out his Instagram profile @onevizzy.

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