Soca Format 101

8 Jul

As we’re in the height of carnival season in most of the Caribbean islands I thought I’d share some tad bits for those in the soca arena;

*beware of autotone and melodyne
*use breathing and vocal exercises… They’ll come in handy when you’re performing
*although I love karaoke am sure no one likes to hear screeching voices nor off key notes
*enunciate: it’s a turn off not being able to hear what a singer is saying
*take care of your voice and your voice will take care of you… Hydrate and do regular vocal exercises!


*enough of the long talk… It takes away from your presentation
*bring your song to life
*can you dance?
*can you move the crowd?
* study what the veterans and those who have and are making it and how you can learn from their mistakes and successes


*nobody likes a copycat; strive to bring your original authentic uniqueness to the fore
*what sets you apart from your counterparts better yet how can you distinguish yourself to your advantage?


*READ!!! Reading maketh a full man… The more you read the better your command of the English language and wider your scope for writing material
*learn about music theory/ melody, chord, treble clef through pan or piano
*can you structure a song?
*songwriting can save you money and time as a singer and can eventually earn/ save you extra cash


*know your rights as an artiste
*learn about copyright laws and royalties
*find out how to brand yourself and market your work
*stop treating this like a hobby and start thinking of it more of a business


*think beyond the road, stage or carnival
*who are you singing for; local, regional or international audience?
*will you be singing groovy or ragga soca or both?


*who knows you?
*get to know promoters, DJs, dancers/choreographers, musicians, producers, media personnels and fellow artistes
*if you’re not likable people won’t forward your music so remember it’s nice to be important but it’s way more important to be nice
*acquaint yourself with persons with an ear for music who can give you honest constructive criticism to better hone your craft.

Happy writing, singing and listening to the heartbeat of our culture – SOCA!

For more information on how you can protect your work, be sure to check out the Eastern Caribbean Copyright Licensing Association.


Written by Kenrife “VincyVoice” Matthias

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