Saturday, January 10, 2015

Soca

I missed this sub genre of reggae. SOCA means soul of calypso. It's not quite as cool and groovy as Ska by Desmond Dekker or The Ethiopians but it's pretty cool. I was watching VH1 on Guatevision and saw a video called "All About That Bass." I had honestly never heard the song because it was released during my most recent gypsy voyage and I had no access to contemporary culture. The song was written and performed by Meghan Trainor and I approved of it immediately because they actually used pastel colors in the production design to correspond to pastel decorated cupcakes. Although I admit I was initially annoyed by Meghan's affected voice because I thought she was copying the affectation Britney Spears used to imply attitude, so I hunted down some information on it and after watching her interviews I realized we're from the same Neck of the Woods. If I'd lived in Somerville, Mass (Summahvil, ya fahk) a few years longer I'd sound like Mark Wahlberg, while Meghan was raised on Nantucket off of Cape Cod where the nasal kind of street slang has less international influence, and borrows from cod fishermen from NY, Rhode Island, and Maine. So she isn't intentionally sounding like a reject from East Stinkwater, Mass, some industrial hell hole where eating steak and cheese subs on a brick stairway is considered fine dining. No, she merely never trained her accent out of her voice since she assumed she'd be lucky to write songs and not perform them. And it's one of those modern phenomenons that has an unrefined voice become popular. She's just talented enough to fit a niche market with some derivative pop beats and ensemble presentation. Amy Winehouse might not be an influence but I can hear that same attitude Winehouse had minus the self destructive real life suicide complex. The presentation isn't very original, but the details are at least an attempt at sincerity. But Trainor cites Soca music as an influence and that got me investigating Soca. I can hear that in the proto-rap style, the rapid fire lyrics, the social implications of her music. I wasn't familiar with Soca but it makes me want to drive my van across the water to Trinidad. Someone should edit a Soca mix of All About That Base.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.