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Soca Artists we Love: Nailah Blackman

The granddaughter of the founder of Soca, Garfield Blackman aka Ras Shorty, Nailah Blackman burst onto the soca scene in 2017 by force. 

She debuted with Kees Dieffenthaller on the song 'Work Out' then blazed a trail of her own with songs such as 'Bailah Mami', 'Badish' with Shenseea and the ode to her grandfather 'Sokah'.

Billed as the artist most likely to go make it internationally, the 20-year-old is on an upward trajectory and shows no sign of slowing down. 

Here are five things you should know about the artist.

1) Her mother is Abbi Blackman, first of 24 children in the Blackman clan

2) She sews and plans to do a fashion line called Sokah

3) She launched her first EP on her birthday in December

4) Though she sang calypso in school, she made a name on the underground music scene singing neo-pop 

5) She plays the guitar.

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NAILAH BLACKMAN, fresh from appearing at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas recently released Dangerous Boy and is preparing to release a seven-track EP with a bonus track.

Blackman’s fans can look forward to the EP’s release in about two weeks, Anson Soverall, her manager, told Newsday. Dangerous Boy was unofficially released on March 14 and the video on March 22 via the VEVO video hosting service. Blackman’s VEVO channel was also launched with this video’s release.


Nailah Blackman performs at South by Southwest (SXSW). She performed on March 17 on the Sounds from Africa and the Caribbean stage.

She left for the US on March 22 and will then head to Canada, Jamaica, then to Europe for the rest of her Nailah Blackman Sokah tour. The tour began on February 17 in Guyana.

Soverall said, “That song (Dangerous Boy) is on her long-awaited EP, Sokah. The reason for putting a reggae song on is to show the connection reggae has with calypso.”


Nailah Blackman and Nigerian singer, Adekunle Gold at South by SouthWest (SXSW). Blackman performed at the Sounds from Africa and the Caribbean stage on March 17. Her manager Anson Soverall says through Balckman perfroming at SXSW it has opened up markets on the African continent.

Blackman recently returned after performing at SXSW’s Sounds from Africa and the Caribbean stage on March 17.

“She has one other song to drop on the EP, a song called Make It Stop, and that would be the last song on this first EP. That will also be released with a music video for Dame Lorraine.”

The song is expected to be released within the next two to three weeks along with the EP.

Make it stop, Soverall added, “won’t be pushed as a radio song. It is a song to showcase Nailah where she started, with what she likes to call Caribbean Folk, or more alternative style/pop. That is where she started and we thought it would be cool for her original fan base to have something that brings it back to her roots.”

As for her appearance at SXSW, Soverall said, “It was an amazing experience. It was a bit of a culture shock. It was not your typical Caribbean Diaspora crowd. They were in the minority. It was mainly Africans who came out in their numbers.”

Blackman was the only Caribbean artist on the stage, along with some of Africa’s top performers, including Patoranking.

“She represented the Caribbean really well, not just the Caribbean islands that have soca music. She sang Dangerous Boy out there and represented for the reggae lovers,” Soverall added.

He said Blackman’s performance at SXSW had opened some big markets on the African continent and she was approached by many African-based artists.

“So many projects are going to come out of that trip, and it is going to be opening up the floodgates for the region and TT,” he added.

Blackman is also being scouted by overseas record labels.

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