Chairman of the Dominica Carnival Committee Alwyn Bully has urged the Dominica Calypso Association to adopt Dominican soca and bouyon music in order to ensure that these art forms are well established here and abroad.
Bully, who spoke at a Dominica Festivals Committee press conference this morning, said that this aspect will be looked at in the near future.
“The soca competition is still in its early stages. Yes we may need a soca association, but I really don’t see the need for creating or recreating the wheel. My appeal really is to the calypso association to adopt soca as one of the aspects of calypso music. As you know, the two things are very much tied up. So I would think that the road to go after carnival would be first to open discussions with the calypso association and see if they are willing to have the man power, the human resources to take on the soca movement within the calypso association,” he said.
“If that is not possible then I’d certainly recommend that…. An association for soca music in itself or maybe soca/bouyon…association should be established to ensure that both of these musics establish themselves well and that they are recognized as Dominican music wherever it goes to. We have a responsibility to do that. So we will certainly be looking at these areas in the near future,” he said.
Bully spoke of the importance of bouyon and soca music to Dominica’s carnival and culture.
“We have to recognize that bouyon music in Dominica is what soca music is in Trinidad. Both of them have calypso music and then there’s up-tempo, more dance, if you want to call it road music which is bouyon and soca in each case,” he said.
“So the connection is very, very close and what we have been observing is happening in many of the carnivals and in Trinidad as well is that bouyon music is passing now as soca music in those countries. The bouyon beat out of Dominica is being copied, adopted by several bands in Trinidad …and not acknowledging it as bouyon music and not acknowledging it as music coming from Dominica. So the connection is very very close,” he said.
Local soca artist Clint Henderson also shared the same opinion. He believes that a special committee or group should be formed for soca music as it is done for calypso music.
“Not just soca, I think we really need our AMP, our music association to be on a stringer force. We really need to see that developed…. Maybe the genre of soca in Dominica is not that big, but we can be under the umbrella of a music association … coming together just for the interest of a different music -soca genre,” he said.
He said that soca artists have the potential to help market Dominica.
“When you really watch it, the prospect of a soca artist coming out of any island is great. So we have to start in Dominica and look at it as a soca artist can market the country. A soca artist with a big song regionally can promote Dominica,” he said.
Soca Monarch, a five-year-old event, returns to the 2011 carnival celebrations .The show was not held last year.
More details on that event in a subsequent news report.