I’m asking you to do a favour – On Spotify or YouTube or Apple Music or whatever the kids are using today type in “soca” and have a listen.
I’ve already mentioned Calypso music during my Black History Month coverage. Soca music is Calypso music made modern. It is some of the most vibrant, happy, up-tempo, soulful music you have ever heard. It carries a dance in the beat.
And the man who is credited with its genesis is Garfield Blackman. His sobriquet was first Lord Shorty and then Ras Shorty I. We call him the “Father of Soca”.
He was a prolific songwriter and musician with an amazing gift for blending and creating sound. He was able to blend things together in a unique way to create something completely new.
He later added Indian musical instruments to his sound, a precursor to what we call “chutney soca” in Trinidad bringing the sounds of Trinidad’s Indian community into the mainstream even though he was of African descent.
He said his mission was to promote the “Indianisation of Calypso” and he effectively created a movement, a boom, an embracing of the sound and the uniting of cultures.
And this is why I’m featuring him today. It’s the perfect way to bring Black History Month 2020 to a close. With an amazing story of allyship.
I hope you have learned things by reading my Black History Month 2020 posts, including that we are more alike than different. What will you be doing to be a better ally to the Black community going forward?
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