For the Love of Country. Soca Artist and Radio Personality Speaks Out.
Written by Uncle G on January 3, 2020
Published 30th December 2019
Hundreds of new soca tracks have been released ahead of Carnival 2020 and once again, there is the sad rumbling that merely a handful of these songs are being played on the nation’s airwaves in Trinidad and Tobago. A short carnival season brings with it a heightened desire to pull what the DJs consider to be the hits, for the benefit, they say, of the feting public.
In early December, soca artist, Bunji Garlin raised the issue, jokingly posting:
“9,867,643 Soca songs released between Uber Soca cruise and now….. and people know 5. What a dogfight coming up ahead and somewhere there is someone trying to justify that.”
As the world prepares to usher in a brand new decade, many artistes in Trinidad and Tobago are hoping for a change in the system, a system, they argue, has kept soca music stifled and benefits only a few. On-air radio personality and soca artiste, Adrian Hackshaw, best known as Bass or TriloG, told Ebuzztt that he wants to own his very own radio station in the decade ahead. “My hope for us as a country is that we begin thinking more about the country than self. I also pray that the government and powers that be will actually create viable tourism and creative industry,” he said, lamenting that so much more could be done, to place Trinidad and Tobago at the center of the Caribbean’s cultural and economic activity pool.
Bass, an entertainer who has released several songs already, ahead of the upcoming Carnival season in T&T, has always been outspoken about the lack of air play granted to new artistes and those deemed ‘unpopular’. “I would like to own my own radio station so that all artistes can get fair airplay and the people will have a fair opportunity to say what they enjoy hearing,” he told us. It’s an ambitious goal but certainly not unattainable, after all, Iwer George did it!
On Monday, two days before the New Year, Bass told us that a caller had called into the frequency at which he mans the 9am-12 noon weekday shift. “The man called this morning talking about the violent music that’s played on the airwaves,” he attested, adding that at that very time, police had been called to the scene of a shooting in the vicinity of Park and Charlotte streets in Port-of-Spain, a stone’s throw away from the station’s location. Bass has maintained that he will not endorse any music with violent undertones, during his on-air shifts. Sadly, he is but one personality at one of several urban stations that promote music that glorifies gangsterism and gun violence in Trinidad and Tobago.