Trinidad and Tobago

Orlando Octave: Deeper Than Soca

Orlando Octave: Deeper Than Soca

A Thought Provoking  Soca Song Makes It All The Way To The International Soca Monarch Finals

When Orlando Octave’s father entered him into a local television competition in Trinidad, his life changed forever.  After, a few local hits, he wrote a breakthrough song “Single,” that catapulted him to a spot in the International Soca Monarch Finals. We spoke to him a few days before  the competition to learn the message behind this smash hit. Interview After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Andre Xcellence “Ram It Up” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: Andre Xcellence "Ram It Up" PREMIERE

The Turn Up Was The Old Wave—Now It’s Time to Ram It Up!

Andre Xcellence is a reckless Trini youth based in Los Angeles whose daily agenda includes “Shuttin’ down the club, even bringin’ Ballys back.” To be honest we just heard about him yesterday but he had us from the moment he flipped Super Cat’s “Don Dada” hook over a frenetic Supakuma-produced track that sounds something like Diwali on steroids. With a lyrical flow that’s more rap than reggae, Xcellence shouts out Charlie Sheen and displays a zero-phuxx-given sense of humor: “I don’t want you to limbo low / I want you to bounce like a Backpage bimbo” etc… Definitely not suited for the conscious Rasta crowd, “Ram It Up” gets a Boomshots premieres simply because the energy is undeniable. If you’re in the mood to “celebrate like we just won a gold cup” you need this tune in your life.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

“LAVAAA!!!” The Irie Flame of I-Wayne

"LAVAAA!!!" The Irie Flame of I-Wayne

Lava Splash! Fire Dash! Everything Burn To Ash

Sunday September 4th marked Irie Jam’s 23rd Anniversary concert spotlighting Sizzla Kalonji’s return-to-New-York performance after eight long years of absence. The supporting superstar line-up to the sizzling stage show included an artist who personifies lines from Kalonji’s “King in the Jungle.”  Seated up so high, yet so humble, I-Wayne brought his celestial presence and the hard/soft balance of his cool and deadly style to the Irie Jam Radio massive in the leafy green confines of Roy Wilkins Park. Mainstream airwaves aren’t the lane for I-Wayne. As the Prophet Capleton once put it, he is on a mission, not in a competition. To see him truly manifest is to catch him live in the flesh. After a seething set that made knowledge born that his musical ministry is service to the people—not about bulleting Billboard or gaining Grammys—we linked up with the Loyal Soliders Promotion crew backstage. I-Wayne broke it down with Boomshots as to what the Irie Jam performance meant to him, burning a righteous fire, and shedding light on the livity of a lava lyricist. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Phife Dawg’s Dopest Reggae & Dancehall Quotables

Phife Dawg's Dopest Reggae & Dancehall Quotables

Man Like Mutty Ranks Inna The Area

I woke up this morning in a pretty good mood until I heard the news that Phife Dawg had passed away. Although we all knew the 45-year-old “funky diabetic” had been battling health issues for years—he even addressed the fact in his touching music video “Dear Dilla”—the news still came as a shock. When I had the privilege of kickin’ it with A Tribe Called Quest last November, Q-Tip was mad late but Phife’s sense of humor shone through. While Tip was Tribe’s undisputed front man, sonic visionary, and certified genius, Phife was always my favorite. The group got better and more cohesive as he came into his own as a microphone controller. There was something about his hardboiled wit, the bluntness of his boasts, and his take-no-prisoners approach to competition—”steady eating booty MCs like cheese grits”—that never failed to bring a smile to my face. Plus the fact that he was always spitting some type of random patois. I knew that ATCQ were reggae fans, not just because of their “Chase Vampire” remix of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” but also because Jarobi used to hang out during my reggae sets on the rooftop of a five-story NYC club called Mars back in the day, but nobody repped Caribbean culture like Malik Isaac Taylor aka Phife Dawg aka Mutty Ranks, the Trini yute from Queens. Much will be written about this vastly under-rated and endlessly entertaining MC, but I’d like to focus on some of my favorite instances of the Five Foot Assassin coming with that Roughneck Business. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Machel Montano Rules Carnival With
“Waiting on the Stage”—Is He Leading Soca Down The Road To EDM?

Machel Montano Rules Carnival With "Waiting on the Stage"—Is He Leading Soca Down The Road To EDM?

Trinidad & Tobago’s “Minister of Road” Takes Third Consecutive Road March Title

Trinidadian soca superstar Machel Montano has won his third consecutive road march title. Since 1932, the Trinidad Carnival Committtee has awarded the prize to the  musical composition played most often at the “judging points” along the parade route throughout Port of Spain during the big carnival celebration. This is the eighth win of Montano’s career. Not since Tambu hit the trifecta in 1988, 89, and 1990 has one artist dominated the competition three years in a row. The winning tune, “Waiting on the Stage,” was produced by Trini production squad Badjohn Republic. But with its strong EDM influence, it almost sounds like it could be a Major Lazer record.  Check out the tune and judge for yourself. Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: R. City ft. Adam Levine, Agent Sasco, Popcaan, Kardinal Offishall & Bunji Garlin “Locked Away” Dancehall Remix

HEAR THIS: R. City ft. Adam Levine, Agent Sasco, Popcaan, Kardinal Offishall & Bunji Garlin "Locked Away" Dancehall Remix

USVI x JA x TNT x TDot Link Up On This Mega Refix

Over New Year’s weekend, Shaggy & Friends annual fundraiser went down in Kingston, Jamaica with the usual star-studded guest list—hailing from yard and abroad—all to raise funds for Jamaica’s Bustamante Hospital for Children. (That “one ticket = one life” slogan is no joke.) Amongst the headliners was R. City (formerly Rock City), the songwriting duo responsible for smash hits by the likes of Rihanna, Usher, and Chris Brown who now have some pretty big tunes of their own since dropping their debut album What Dreams Are Made Of last August. Although they’ve always been known as stars in their U.S. Virgin Islands homeland, Timothy and Theron Thomas only recently stepped in the international spotlight as performers and recording artists. Their Adam Levine–featuring single “Locked Away” had the pop charts on lock last year, and just in case you didn’t notice the tune’s dancehall drum pattern, they’ve dropped a remix featuring Assassin, Popcaan, Kardi and Bunji. The Thomas brothers stay repping the Caribbean all day long. Legal shot! Salute! Audio & Download Link After The Jump… Read more »

Dancehall Nice Again: Aidonia, Busy Signal and Konshens Turn Up The Vibes In Trinidad

Dancehall Nice Again: Aidonia, Busy Signal and Konshens Turn Up The Vibes In Trinidad

Jamaican artists shine bright  on 96.1 WEFM and at Together As One Concert in Trinidad

Last night’s, July 4th, Together As One Concert (T.A.O) in Trinidad,  featured the top headliners in dancehall and soca. The line up included chart toppers from Barbados, Leadpipe & Saddis; Trinidadian popular artists Roy Cape All Stars, Squeeky Ranking, Blaxx, Darnella Simmons, Orlando Octave and Ricardo Drue; and Jamaican dancehall artists Charly Black, Aidonia, Busy Signal and Konshens. Just like the Olympics, the flag for Jamaica waved high.  Aidonia, Busy Signal and Konshens, delivered  high caliber performances before and during this music festival. More After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Busy Signal “WhatsApp”

HEAR THIS: Busy Signal "WhatsApp"

Turf Prez Inna Soca Style

Back in 1984 when Byron Lee and the Dragonaires created their classic hit, “Tiny Winey,” they could not have predicted that this song about a provocative dancer could inspire another soca tune, thirty-one years later. Busy Signal explains that he particularly enjoyed the tune’s exuberant narrative—as well as its infectious riddim—and wanted to create a song,  similar in  style. This gave rise to his recent release, “WhatsApp” which is getting heavy rotation throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics don’t stray far from the topic of “wining, ” as in “Tiney Winey,”  but they also address the impact of social media on today’s society. The man stays busy—so it’s no surprise to hear another crossover hit from this artist.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Benjai Comes Out To Play

Benjai Comes Out To Play

Who can forget the most provocative performance of 2014? Rodney Le Blanc aka Benjai at the  2014 International Soca Monarch Semi Finals on Sunday, February 9, 2014.  Benjai came out in his Joe Boxers and gave an electrifying and memorable performance. The performance went viral and  made women around the world smile with full joy. More After The Jump…

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Soca Shakespeare: Skinny Banton

Soca Shakespeare: Skinny Banton

A prominent feature of Caribbean culture is carnival, a seasonal time of celebration and soca competitions. This Carnival season, rising star, Shirlan George aka “Skinny Banton,” and his  incendiary hit “Soak It Good,” produced by MPS Studios, shines a spotlight of international interest on the Tri-State of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.  More After The Jump…

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Reasoning with Machel Montano “You’ve Got To Be Yourself”

Reasoning with Machel Montano "You've Got To Be Yourself"

After (Almost) 33 Years in The Game, The King of Soca Tells Reshma B How He Stays Fly

If you don’t know Machel Montano, you don’t know soca. He was nine years old the first time he represented Trinidad & Tobago at Madison Square Garden, and since that time he’s dominated the soca scene from year to year. (In 2014 Machel will celebrate both his 40th birthday and his 33rd year in showbiz—more on that magic numnber later.) When the King of Soca passed through NYC the other day, of course he took time out to link with the Boomshots posse. And just as soon as Machel Motano sat down with Reshma B, they came up with a brand new tune with a dance craze to match called “Mop Di Floor”—it was a rainy night, and RGAT had towels on her feet; long story. That’s what you call inspiration meets creative genius pon di spot. As the conversation continued, they spoke in depth about the development of the soca industry, Machel’s deep roots in NYC, and his forthcoming collaboration with Trinidad James. Machel spoke candidly about his his efforts to gain wider popularity by blending soca and reggae, but also cautioned that it’s important not to get caught up copying other people’s style. He recalled the days when Kes the Band was considered a rock act and Bunji Garlin was calling himself a dancehall artist. In the final analysis, Machel said the secret to soca’s growth was simply to keep making quality music for the whole world, but never forgetting that “you’ve got to be yourself.” Videos After The Jump… Read more »

Dancehall & Soca Stars For “Woman Is Boss” Stage Show

Dancehall & Soca Stars For "Woman Is Boss" Stage Show

In preparing for an event, most women go through a ritual grooming process. This usually involves first making sure hair, nails and eyebrows are groomed and then selecting the outfit, accessories, make-up and fragrance fit for the occasion. However, after all is said and done, confidence is the accessory that stands out the most. This is perhaps why confident women who slightly deviate from the world standard of how a woman should look and act, are appealing to most audiences. “Woman is Boss,” is a concert promoted by Hi-Tech Promotions showcasing four fearsome boss ladies in reggae and soca.  Featured Artists After The Jump…

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