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Rikki Jai’s Homesick. Artiste’s Love for Soca Runs Deep.



Approx. 3 min read
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No matter where they roam, and for what purpose foreign lands become their home, Trinbagonians always yearn for their island in the sun, even if it’s just for a short while. “Looking out at the scenery from a bus – scenery that is bleak and the place is just cold… at some point the average Trini gets homesick,” admits Soca and Chutney Soca artiste, Rikki Jai. He’s in Trinidad now, unleashing new soca music, and happily taking in the island breeze. One of his singles, ‘Home Sick’ gets real about the reality of migration to foreign lands.  

For Rikki and others like him, who’ve set up businesses overseas and are even raising families outside of their homeland, the desire to be in the islands increases when festivals like Carnival come around. “You don’t feel the same breeze, hear the same sounds, and the food just isn’t the same outside of T&T,” says the Jai’master. He has created a brand in the music industry in the Caribbean and even in Caribbean communities overseas, that is sturdy, respected and valued. Even so, he feels compelled to consistently deliver music, remind fans of his love affair with Soca music, and build on that with younger artistes, for a legacy worthy of praise. 

Even after years in the business, Rikki Jai says each season feels brand new to him. He’s excited and his desire to make people smile, dance and enjoy themselves through music, is unwavering. “When I started my career, I did not start with Bollywood of Chutney music. Soca music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he says, noting that while many may brand him as a Chutney Soca artiste, he entered the music business as a Soca artiste. “I’ve had songs like Pumpin, Sumintra, Bolo and Wine on A Bumcee, but because I spent many years winning the International Chutney Soca Monarch, people have probably forgotten that I am a Soca artiste.”

Now, having teamed up with songwriter extraordinaire, Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop, Jai shares ‘Home Sick.’ The song was produced by De Red Boyz out of Barbados. It’s a top tier combination and offers a sweetness that’s reminiscent of island life, all by itself. He didn’t stop there. A second track, ‘Total Freedom,’ done collaboratively with All Starz band frontline artiste, College Boy Jesse, showcases Jai’s desire to share his style, knowledge and energy with the youths who are next in line to carry on the cultural vibe. 

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