It's been a while since I've taken you back with music. Today we're going back to a place that you may never have been.
Calypso music originated in Trinidad and Tobago. There are two types of calypso: Kaiso (social commentary) which tends to be slower and have hard-hitting lyrics about issues, and Soca, which tends to be faster.
Here's RAGGA RAGGA by RPB from Barbados, 1990's. This song was played at the 1996 NBA finals in Chicago. I'm always trying to convince people that Barbados is not that small, and we don't all know one another. But I do know him and he lives 5 minutes from my house. lol.
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? by Anslem Douglas, Trinidad and Tobago, 1998. You may know the Baha Men cover of this song.
SWING ENGINE by Burning Flames, Antigua, 1990's. Another song of theirs ISLAND GIRL is featured in the movie WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S 2, but in the Caribbean, this one is way more popular. I should mention that another feature of soca is 'double entendre'. Songs often have a double meaning and there are often sexual references. This guy was "swinging engine all night, in [her] gearbox, in [her] gearbox all night."
TEMPTED TO TOUCH by Rupee, 2003, appeared on the soundtrack of AFTER THE SUNSET starring Pierce Brosnan. It went to number on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Chart. We went to the same school, but he left the same year I entered, so I only saw him when he came back to do concerts.
TURN ME ON by Kevin Lyttle, St. Vincent, 2004. The female voice is the "Queen of Soca," Allison Hinds from Barbados.
DOLLAR WINE, Byron Lee, Jamaica, 1980's.
In 2007, the West Indies (some day I'll explain the difference between the West Indies and the Caribbean ) hosted the Cricket World Cup. Shaggy (Jamaican descent), Rupee (Barbados) and Faye Ann Lyons (Trinidad and Tobago) sang the Official World Cup song, GAME OF LOVE AND UNITY. By the way, Jamaica, Trinindad and Tobago and Barbados are 'the big 3' of the Caribbean. Will try and remember to explain that some day as well.
There's a good chance you've heard the number one selling soca hit of all time. It's (FEELIN') HOT HOT HOT by Arrow, from Montserrat. This song has been featured in THE LITTLE MERMAID 2, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, UGLY BETTY, and several others. It was also the theme of the 1986 FIFA WORLD CUP. The Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) play it after the 4th goal.
I hope you like this little taste of the Caribbean. And if you're in the cold, like I am, I hope it made you feel a little warmer.
PS, My thoughts and prayers are with New Zealand tonight. I'm not sure if any of you guys are from there, but I hope you're all safe wherever you are in the world.