Big year for bashment
by CAROL MARTINDALE
SOME ARTISTES behind the bashment soca believe the music is getting a bad rap.
Dubbing this year as the biggest yet for this type of music, the entertainers also believe they now have a place in the soca arena.
Richard Scrilla Straker, the artiste behind two of this year’s hits Gyal Drop and Dirty Bend, said bashment soca had been floating between sweet soca and power soca.
In fact, he credited this year’s inaugural Bashment Soca Competition for helping to cement the music in the festival this year.
“It is the biggest year yet for bashment soca. It gave us a place in soca. Trinidad will now look at it seriously too. It now has a home. The competition gave it its place,” he said, during an interview this week on the heavy play of the music in this year’s festival.
The 33-year-old, who has been singing from 2010, said last year, when he was singing sweet soca, he lost a number of his Bajan fans. He said in 2015, three of his songs were bashment soca and two were sweet soca.
This year, however, he switched and focused on bashment soca.
“When I see the power of people like Stiffy and Jaguar, I saw the avenues that could be created and how a lot of the promoters were looking for more hype,” he said.
As a result, he said he gave early notice on social media that he would be “coming hard this year”.
“My tactic was to drop the bashment soca music early. My plan was to carry people back to the old days,” he said, noting that he dropped his two songs in early May.
Scrilla did not underestimate the power of the artistes, nor did he underscore their ability to control the crowd, considering the following their music has.
“I don’t believe bashment soca is sending a bad aura,” Scrilla added.
Omar Marzville McQuilken said he believed this would be the first year bashment soca would stretch further than Barbados.
He is still stoked by the fact that Machel Montano called him for a repeat when he performed earlier this month.
Marzville, the man behind the song Bang Bim, which copped third place in the Tune Of The Crop this year, is no stranger to bashment soca, having teamed up before with Verseewild.
“This year was bigger for bashment soca and the competition helped to push it,” said the artiste, who released his song at the end of the March.
The 30-year-old said bashment soca was getting a lot of “fight” because some people did not understand it.
“But Bajans love it. It is a mix of some old dub,” he added.
DJ Jon Doe, the man behind Morning Mayhem on Starcom Network, said while he believed there were more bashment soca songs last year, he said more attention was paid to it this year.
The competition, he said, put it in the national spotlight.
“You can’t deny it now, as opposed to it being seen as ‘rebel’ music.”
He said bashment soca had been featuring more over the last two to three years, noting it was a fusion of soca and dance hall.
He said given the beats per minute of this music, there was greater appeal among young people. The beats for bashment music, he said, usually ranged between 120 to 130 beats per minute.
Jon Doe personally dismissed talk that DJs were responsible for the bashment soca push.
“I play everything. As a DJ you play a range of music. It is part of being a DJ, you can’t cater to only one section of the audience and [see] the party as a success,” he said. (CM)