A luxury destination for world travelers - particularly sailors - the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda hum with steel, whistles and shouts of delight. The soca tradition marries soul and calypso, and today's Antiguan artists infuse mainstream pop and reggae into the mix. We've featured five below that will perk up your ears and your being.
This electric septuagenarian has crowned himself the Cassius Clay of Calypso, and for good measure. Since 1964, he’s been pumping out lively tunes about questioning authority— but still having a ball while doing so. He even sang about the actual ballgame of cricket in the vivacious “Vivian Richards,” his Antiguan pride brimming over fevered percussion. KSS goes by the name Brother Emmanuel these days, producing gospel music that he says comes straight from his heart.
It’s always a bacchanal when Laurena Davis and TKO are around. Their new jam, “Dats What We Love,” gallops with traditional drumming and a jubilant synth. We can imagine Gwen Stefani digging this one, as it recalls “Hollaback Girl” with an almost punk-rock flair. Davis’ warm presence will make you want to join the festivities until your bones ache and your head is swimming in soca serenity.
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