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Jamaican artistes encouraged to try soca

As soca continues to grow in Jamaica, more artistes are being encouraged to dabble in the genre. Several industry insiders believe that artistes should not limit themselves to one genre, but should try their hands at as many as they can.

Popular publicist Keona Williams told THE WEEKEND STAR that having seen the rate at which carnival is growing in Jamaica, recording artistes should think about releasing more soca-influenced songs.

"I think it's best for an artiste to be versatile and possess a catalogue of songs that can please fans from different regions," she said. "The increase to four carnival bands in Jamaica is a clear indication that support for the genre is on the rise, so artistes should do what makes them marketable everywhere."

ZJ Rush agreed. The selector-turned-recording artiste has always been vocal on issues concerning the divide between the support for dancehall versus support for carnival. But differences aside, ZJ Rush believes it would be good for entertainers to build their catalogues with songs from all genres of music.

"Artistes should dabble in whatever music moves them soul," he said. "Like Shabba Ranks say, 'DJ ears hot up when him hear bad riddim', so if a artiste hear a soca riddim and it give him a vibes and him feel fi deejay supm pan it or sing supm pan it, make him do it."

Soca-influenced songs

In recent times, several dancehall artistes, including Konshens, Charly Black and Spice have put out soca songs or soca-influenced songs.

Following the soca remix to her song, Indicator, with soca star Bunji Garlin, Spice revealed that she has a love for soca music and said that fans should expect her to be toying with the genre a lot more. "I have always been a fan of soca music, and I know I have a lot of fans from all over the Caribbean who also love soca music," she said in the interview in February.

Fellow female entertainer Macka Diamond told THE WEEKEND STAR that if entertainers go about trying their hands at soca the right way through collaborating with major soca stars, they can create a market for themselves in the soca industry. She revealed that she has had many of her soca-infused songs become hits in Trinidad and Tobago, the home of soca.

She also explained that those hits set a standard for her in the country, one that allows any song she puts out with a soca influence to become a hit in the island.

"I did songs with Denise Belfon, Fay-Ann Lyons, and Patrice Roberts as well as a single for myself that went number one in Trinidad. I also toured with Machel's band for two weeks," she said. "Look at Admiral Bailey, Beenie Man, Konshens, and Charly Black, they all have successful soca songs. I think soca is a good market to mix our dancehall with, so more artistes should definitely try soca."

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