Party music is not dead. It just needs to get airplay.
That was the view of many of the finalists in this year’s Party Monarch competition at Soca Royale last Sunday, in response to complaints over the last few weeks that party music is dying and the competition should be scrapped.
They insisted that the genre is far from dead and people just need to be able to hear it often in order to appreciate it.
Mikey, a former Party Monarch who placed fourth in this year’s competition with his song Feting and Brass, said he believes if up-tempo music was pushed as much as the other genres, it would be kept alive.
“They push the Bashment real hard, the Sweet Soca real hard and just throw in one or two up-tempos. People cannot feel passionate about a song that they don’t know. That’s how you get a big song – when people hear it over and over,” he said.
“They were times when a season [would] start off and people would say this song is crap, but then by the end of the season it won Road March because it grew on them. Up-tempos are no exception. But everything takes time.”
Mistah Dale, who placed third in this year’s competition with Soca Famalies, echoed Mikey’s sentiments, saying that in order to “prop up this festival, all the songs needed to be played”.
“If you were here tonight and you still think up-tempo dead, then something is wrong. All it really calls for is a buy-in from the people involved in the industry, like the deejays and so on. You have to play this music,” he insisted.
“Yes, I love groovy soca but I am also a soca junkie. I love the fast, the slow, the commentary. In order to keep this thing going, we cannot just discard one and say that it isn’t happening. Party is still very much alive and kicking. Play the music. I notice that only within the last two weeks the stations started to play the up-tempo songs,” Mistah Dale added.
Former party monarch Mr Blood also believes that the more up-tempo songs are very much alive.
“Party music is alive; you can see it. But it needs to be played. If you promote the music with the same kind of importance as the other music, it will work out. As long as they put the focus on party music again, it’s going to work and it’s going to be great again,” he said.
Reigning Party Monarch Lil Rick laughed at the idea that party music could ever be considered dying or dead. In fact, he believes that putting the competition first at Soca Royale was a bad move.
“They need to put back the Sweet Soca first. At the end of the day, party is party. No one comes in a fete and starts to wuk up right away. The NCF needs to stop listening to each and every body and stop making decisions because of what this body and that body say. I think putting the party first was a mistake. You see how slow it went after,” he argued.
Rameses also agreed that the music was still alive.
“I think after tonight and seeing the reaction of the crowd to certain songs, it’s more than alive. I actually think people really enjoyed it as well. This is part of we culture, so we have to let it live on and keep pushing it,” he said.