*Nah Going Home is actually 11 years old but born after the school year…;)
Edwin Yearwood emerged to real popularity in the mid 1990s with his band Krosfyah. Since then, he has produced some of the biggest popular music hits in Barbados. He simply rocks, here is his Top 10.
10. Sak Pase
Done with co-lead singer Khiomal of Krosfyah, this duet uses “hello Haitian style” as its hook. It actually uses a blues form as well which is rather different (along with copious cowbell which is not very different). The Sak Pase dance was also huge and when this song is played in Barbados it is mandatory.
Edwin Yearwood won the Pic-O-De-Crop competition which is primarily a calypso competition using this up-tempo soca number. It was also on his seminal album with Krosfyah, Ultimate Party/Pump Me Up, which was a massive seller for the genre. Due to its significance it gets a place here.
Krosfyah Massive is from the same period as Obadele and for me it marked the first time I heard the group doing their own material. This turned out to be Edwin’s first hit of many.
Nah Missing Me
Edwin Yearwood is one of the major innovators of the sub-genre Ragga/Groovy/Sweet soca. This song was released years after the genre came into popular existence and typifies Edwin’s style with call and response and short motifs.
This song was one which came after Pump Me Up in the early days of Ragga/Groovy/Sweet soca. It is still popular throughout the region despite being nearly 20 years old.
5. Down the Road
Edwin Yearwood won the Barbadian Party Monarch competition with this song. This one is the other spectrum of his material and is a typical Brancker fast soca of the late 1990’s. Once again it typifies his strong call and repsonse style chorus and verse.
4. In the Middle of the Road
The Road March song is the most popular song played by bands at the climax of Carnival. Edwin won several in the mid-noughties all speaking about roads. This song shows a departure from his late 1990s work as he basically sings over a rhythm track.
This is another Ragga/Groovy/Sweet soca. Call and response is heavily used again with the trademark Brancker style.
Yardie was released for the 1990s Congaline festival. This song is one of the biggest nostalgia party songs for the over 30s and it still rocks a fete to this day. It also spawned a Yardie Graduate 10 years later which though cool, could not make this list.
1. Pump Me Up
This song is possibly Edwin’s biggest. It spawned a new vocal approach to singing soca and ushered in the Ragga/Groovy/Sweet soca genre.
A massive song!
EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is huge in Soca for Trinidad Carnival 2015!
This is not a surprise as Soca has ALWAYS followed the trends in American Pop music! The influence this time around is reflected in the texture of the works (synth sounds, drum sounds, dropouts, build ups etc.).
My song for the season which follows this EDM trend is the Kes track, “General Don,” which tries to squeeze in house, and a little dubstep as well. This song is also considerably faster than the other Carnival songs which use the EDM fusion. Check it out below.
Although not a big hit, this piece sums up where we are now in Soca and it just cranks action!
So if you are in Trinidad and the other Carnival spaces, enjoy!
If not, remember…
“Carnival is very critical.”
Check out a great review of the Trinidad and Tobago scene from musical brother and fellow blogger Nigel Campbell.
The best thing about being an educator is seeing your former students grow.
One of them, Randy ‘Joe’ Moore, has gone into media and is currently producing a web series on Barbadian and Caribbean artists.
I asked Randy to answer a few questions on what the series is about. His extract is below along with a clip featuring the Bajan duo Porgie and Murdah a.k.a. Lead Pipe and Saddis from the show. Enjoy!
Being Featured started in January 2014 by Randy Moore (Host) after many years of constantly watching and being blown away by many of the talk shows on the international scene. After
completing a course in mass communication at the Barbados community College, an interest also grew in videography/photography and Randy decided to put the knowledge and resources
together and start an interview series called “Being Featured”. This series is here to further highlight talented individuals in their respected field (fashion,
music , film ,sports etc) and also an alternative medium to get talent out to the world. The program seeks to ascertain from the guest, information pertaining to how they got into their
field and any information fitting to influence a young person who would be interested in that area. The show has featured many well known persons which includes; Rhaj Paul ( fashion) ,
Biggie Irie ( reggae and soca artiste) , Sherwin Gardener( Gospel singer). In the future, viewers can expect to see and hear from those people who influence each and
every one of us and hopefully it will be an inspiration for some person to start to work at living their dream.
One of the pages on this blog features words from the masters. These masters are Caribbean music practitioners who whave all contributed significantly to their respective genres. Just click on the link above. It will have constant updates.
The wide genre known as calypso has been a major part of the Crop Over festival in Barbados since its inception.
Here is part I of a video that traces its aural history in Trinidad. Unlike most Calypso history documents that I have come across, this one actually has music. Enjoy and educate yourself, in fact, enjoducate yourself!
Here it is below.
Subscribe to my channel if you like what you see so you won’t miss part II.
*Oh yeah and here is the slide presentation from it in case you want to teach this or have really great parties.