“The intention of the energy of Soca Music is to really uplift people; really make them smile; keep them happy; make them celebrate even in the toughest times,” says Machel Montano, Soca’s biggest star.

Soca Music is the engine of Carnival and generally Soca emphasizes dance and ‘feel good’ undertones.

Soca Music stands for “soul of Calypso”.  It is a modern iteration of Calypso music made by combining West African and East Indian rhythmic traditions that originated in Trinidad & Tobago in the 1970s.

Trinidadian musician Lord Shorty known as ‘The Father of Soca’ coined the term around 1973 with the release of the hit song Indrani.  This song was a bit different than the others due to the increased pace of the beat and the addition of East Indian rhythms.

Over time, the soca genre has spawned many subgenres, including:  Chutney Soca, RagaSoca, AfroSoca, Groovy Soca, Power Soca, Steelband Soca, Parang Soca, Bouyon Soca, Bashment Soca.

Soca’s international reach has been linked to a broader effort by the government and business interests of Trinidad & Tobago to market the Carnival concept globally and thereby generate work for Trinidadian singers, costume designers, and musicians at major Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. 

Take a listen to some of the Classic Soca Hits over the years.