Soca queen Alison Hinds graced Farley Hill with her presence last Sunday, taking Soca on the Hill patrons on a nostalgic journey with past hits such as Faluma and Roll It Gal and throwing in, along the way, her 2016 release Carnival Way.
Bajans and the Caribbean massive welcomed the local entertainment star with open arms, singing her songs word-for-word and pelting waistline during her entire set. Her performance, based on crowd reaction, was considered too short, as fans reluctantly watched Hinds depart the stage.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes backstage, Hinds shared that although she has fully invested in the Crop Over spirit, she has been on tour for most of the season, performing in China, Toronto and Jamaica during the past couple weeks and flying the Barbadian flag high.
“Actually, last night I was in St Bart, did a show there, flew in, landed here about five past eleven, went home, took a shower and came up here.”
Even though she has been travelling the globe whilst recovering from an ankle injury, Hinds has made certain to follow the music this Crop Over.
“I’m liking the fact that there has to be change,” she said, referring to the shift of soca music within the last couple years. “You cannot stay stagnant. Music has to change, it has to evolve, some people may like it, some people might not”.
The former Square One lead singer expressed support for the various soca genres which have been emerging. “I personally don’t have a problem with fusion, as long as you don’t lose the soca. You could fuse it with whatever you want, just make sure that the core of it is still recognisably soca”.
“Bashment is dancehall and soca but it is still recognisably soca. You know it is soca, it is not dancehall, it’s different from dancehall. As long as the core of it is still recognizable, I have no problem with fusing because we are making music for the world,” Hinds went on.
“We are just not making music for Barbados or for St. Lucia or for the region. We’re making music that we want to be able to export and that people outside of our own experience will be able to identify with and understand.”
Fusion is nothing new to the Caribbean, Hinds explained, crediting Trinidadian soca star Machel Montano for fusing soca with reggae through collaboration with reggae artists such as Shaggy and Beenie Man.
“Soca music is too happy for us to not want to bring in people,” she stressed.
Commenting on this year’s Sweet Soca competition which comes off this Sunday at Bushy Park, Hinds said it is difficult to predict the outcome at this stage.
“It is going to depend on what happens that day. How people perform, how they present themselves. That is what is going to make a difference,” she said.