Editorial
June 19, 2018
Play The People Music

It has been reported that this year, over 100 artistes submitted songs to the Carnival Development Corporation to be judged for a place in the semi-finals of the 2018 Ragga Soca and Soca Monarch competitions.

Twenty-five compositions were chosen for the Ragga Soca semis and the same number for the Soca Monarch semi-finals, events which will both take place on Saturday, June 23 at the tarmac of the decommissioned E T Joshua airport. Of the 25 Ragga Soca semi-finalists, 12 will go on to the finals at the Victoria Park, as will 13 of the Soca artistes.

Over 75 Soca compositions will therefore be discarded on the way to Victoria Park. Add to that number, the dozens of calypsoes that never make it beyond the Tent shows.

The fact is, every year, Vincentian musicians, producers, writers and singers put together dozens of songs, some better than others, that get very little air play and ultimately end up in the graveyard of Vincy music, never to be heard again.

What a waste!

Truth be told, many of the compositions that are dumped deserve to be — but there are others which are actually quite good. Months after Carnival, if per chance one of these songs is played on a radio station, we wonder why we did not hear it before and why it did not achieve greater success.

Our calypsonians and soca artistes have complained for years about disc jockeys and radio stations being partial to particular artistes and refusing to play the music of other artistes for one reason or the other.

Today, although artistes have many more media outlets through which to promote their music, it seems that the fragmentation that results from our many radio stations and social media outlets results in fewer people over all, hearing our musicians’ offerings than in the days when all we had was a single radio station.

Or, it could be that the number of songs that are produced each year greatly exceeds our capacity to absorb them during the Carnival season, which at most lasts for three months.

Could not something be done to salvage those songs which never make it to prominence during the Carnival season? It is such a shame that such an abundance of talent goes to waste every year!
But even before we get to the stage where good music is relegated to the graveyard of Vincy music, in the interest of ensuring that the best Vincentian music emerges, disc jockeys and radio stations must play fair. To quote Luta in his 2018 hit, “Play the People Music!”