This is a very controversial topic among DJs in the Caribbean/West Indian circuit. So much so that in my weeks of writing this the controversial Top 50 Soca DJ list added more to the fire. Based on discussions, most DJs feel they shouldn’t be limited to one genre. In the true art of DJ’ing, a DJ should be well versed in all genre’s.
Lewwe examine this further nah!
DJs are like musical doctors
Not to take away from a highly respected profession, but DJs are some of the most creative musical geniuses in the world. We possess the ability to heal others through music. Much like doctors, DJs have specializations and there are different types. Same way you have a doctor that specializes in cardiology (heart) or neurology (nervous system), there can be a DJ who is an expert and/or specialize in a particular musical genre.
Doctors in training obviously have a foundation in human anatomy, DJs should also know the basics in music including how to mix and blend. That being said, I think there should be a a champion or expert in certain music genres to build on the growth and success. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with a DJ who wants to be the best at a particular genre.
We need DJs to defend soca music
It’s no secret that soca music is still not a recognized genre globally. We still have a lot of work to do to spread the music and create ample opportunities for it. We have only scratched the surface for what the genre can do.
A lot of people consider DJs the gatekeepers of the music. The thing is, we have the power to make soca songs popular and most importantly, we control what is in the standard rotation. Considering that for every Caribbean carnival, there is over 300-400 songs released we should be doing more to give new and young artists the push that they need.
Some DJs don’t really like soca music
Caribbean carnivals across the world are becoming more commercial. Some DJs are coming in and are taking advantage of the popularity. As it stands now, the carnival market is experiencing a significant level of growth and there are a lot of DJs who are coming in for the purpose of making money $$$. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with anyone trying to make a honest dollar or hustling. However we have a responsibility to the culture to preserve and elevate it when possible.
Through my conversations with DJs, there are a select few that really and truly don’t like soca music. With that comes a responsibility on event planners and promoters to really think about the talent that they are hiring and how this affects the growth of our culture moving forward.
So what is the role of a “Soca DJ”
As it stands, all eyes are on soca music right now. The genre is sampled and fused into other genres of music including Hip-Hop, Pop and now Afrobeats. According to the feedback from patrons, artists and producers alike feel that a lot of the NEW soca music gets lost. There is a vicious cycle where the top 10-15 soca songs get played and is often repeated in various fetes. There’s very few DJs and entertainers who will take risks to introduce new soca music to the masses.
In an ideal world, Soca DJs should be the champion of the music, take risks and introduce soca music. At best, they should research soca music from all the islands that they travel to any play local and well as regional soca in parties.