Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Who is the Queen of Soca?

In last months edition of WE, I asked where you feel the responsibility lies for the promotion of 'small island' music. The vast majority of you agree that the artists and producers have the responsibility to get their music into the hands of the DJ's who then must continue the forward momentum of a song by giving it airplay.

This month, we ponder a question whose answer is not so obvious and will cause much debate. By the time you read this column, ALISON HINDS will have released her new album entitled "SOCA QUEEN" (available on iTunes on Oct 9; album in stores Oct 26). I am wondering with whom this title of Queen should truly lie and based on what qualifications? As we all know, many promoters have used the title of "QUEEN OF SOCA" to describe not only Ms. Hinds from Barbados, but Trinidad's DESTRA as well. Are these titles well-earned? Self-declared? Or has it simply been thrust upon them?

What, in your mind, constitutes a Queen for Soca music? Many female artists have won titles and awards in our industry, but does that make them a queen? In music in general, where the phrase one-hit-wonder is often used, longevity obviously plays a part in bestowing the title of Queen to a singer. Does sex appeal even count as a factor? Should that even matter?

In my opinion (and since it’s my column we'll go with that lol), beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So that cannot have a bearing on your choice as the "SOCA QUEEN". For example, to some people NADIA BATSON is the #1 Caribbean Girl; while for others TIZZY from Antigua can "Expo-o-o-o-ose" herself anytime!

On a serious note, what if the lives of T&T's ONIKA BOSTIC and JANY from St. Lucia weren't cut short by tragedy? Would one of them be your choice?

Let's look back at Road March winners from different islands and see who can truly claim to be the "QUEEN OF SOCA".

In 2005, NICOLE DAVID had St. Lucia on fire with "Bounce". That same year, the duo of NATAHLEE and SHONTELLE took the honours in Barbados with "Colours". Even though no woman has won the Road March in Antigua, CLAUDETTE PETERS has been a dominant force by winning the Party Monarch competition in 2005, 2006 & 2007! Yup, she got the hat-trick. But what makes her win even more remarkable, is that she took home the very first Groovy Soca Monarch this year as well.

Back in the land of the flying fish, ALISON HINDS had the most popular song during Cropover in 1996 when she sang "Raggamuffin" with the band Square One. Then the following year, she released a solo single, "In De Meantime" which tied for the Pic O De Crop with Edwin Yearwood's "Highway Robbery".

In Trinidad, more women have made an impact in the Road March historybooks than in any other island. In 1999, SANELL DEMPSTER won with "River"; FAY ANN LYONS in 2003 with "Display"; plus PATRICE ROBERTS alongside Machel in 2006 for "Band Of The Year". Of course, if you know your history then you would look even further back to the years of 1977 and 1978 when CALYPSO ROSE was on top of the game, with her 2 consecutive Road March tracks titled "Tempo" and "Soca Jam".

It's unfortunate, but in a society where female entertainers are often pitted against each other in the media and where friendship and healthy competition can be the exception to the norm, what makes a woman stand out in your eyes as a true ambassador for our music? Who deserves to be the "SOCA QUEEN"?

Now that is THE QUESTION.Dr Jay de Soca Prince looks forward to getting your answer to this question at

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