By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Since soca is so effective at getting the booty to shake, collaborating with hip-hop would appear to be a natural progression like it is for dancehall, that other high-energy sound of the Caribbean. But since dancehall and rap have a slower, bass-heavy sound, soca may be too hyperactive for its own good. "Soca music would play at 152, 162 beats per minute [BPMs], while reggae music and even dancehall music would play at maybe 93 BPMs," says Coldero. "It's much slower. Our music is very hyped."
It's a conundrum. The genre's American appeal is still too modest for a label like VP Records, which launches dancehall artists into the mainstream on a regular basis, to spend the big promotional bucks necessary for achieving critical mass with its soca roster, including Edwin Yearwood and Tony Prescott. Meanwhile other, smaller labels such as JW Records don't have the cachet or the budget to compete in the U.S. market.
But as soca's crowd-pleasing and upbeat party vibe grows in influential countries such as Jamaica and Brazil, and songs such as Kevin Little's "Turn Me On" slowly gain crossover traction, the music may gradually seep into the mainstream like dancehall was able to do over its twenty-plus years of existence. Meanwhile, as long as Coldero keeps his hips swiveling and his wining ways rousing audiences wherever he appears, the best for soca is yet to come.