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17 soca songs to listen out for at Notting Hill Carnival

PLAYING MAS: Some of the costumes worn at Barbados' Crop over festival this year

NOTTING HILL Carnival is almost here! In fact it’s so close that we can practically smell the jerk (that’s chicken, pork and fish – not rice!) and hear the sweet sounds of soca. In fact, you might be indulging in both if you’re at any of the pre-carnival events taking place today.

If you’re not up to speed with the tunes heating up the streets of carnival’s across the Caribbean, don’t worry, we’ve got you. I played mas in Barbados during this year’s Crop Over festival, one of the most anticipated events in the carnival calendar, and I still have the melodies of the music playing in my ears.

Here are some of the hottest Bajan soca songs that had people wukking up and wining across the island.

Lil Rick - Mudda Sally

This soca veteran can tune his vocals to any style. It’s no wonder he cleaned up on the awards circuit this year. This song was among his award-winning contributions to this season’s music. It’s high-tempo and makes reference to a Bajan cultural character also known as Mother Sally. Be sure to check out Breakfast in Bed, bashment soca offering Hover It, Ben It, True Story and Hold On.

Joaquin x Krosfyah - Tiny Winey
This is for anyone who likes a slow wine and sweet melodies. Young Jaoquin teams up with Bajan soca veterans – and legends – Krosfyah.

Shanta Prince – Throw wine
Keeping with the slower tempo, this tune from Shanta is one for the ladies.

Nikita – Journey
Nikita’s Journey is made for the road. The flame haired songstress’ vocals shine on this and it’s bound to give you the motivation you need to jump to the last mile. She even gives Notting Hill a special shout out!

Jus D - Hole
If Jus D wasn’t played at a fete in Barbados this year, did it really happen? The answer is no. The soca singer put out a selection of songs this year and they’ve proved extremely popular. I’ve put Hole in this list but it could have very easily been Manager, another favourite, or...the list goes on.

Holla Bak – Too Sweet
This song is bursting with tropical vibes. Like the title, it really is too sweet.

Peter Ram – Push Back
Although people from the Caribbean who love to fete never need any direction on how to dance to soca, releases with instructions tend to go down well. It was no different with Peter Ram’s track on the Mad Alien Riddim.

King Bubba - Juice
King Bubba also jumped on the Mad Alien Riddim for this hype song about drinking rum and always moving with a designated driver – it can’t be faulted.

Mikey - Feting Family
Family is always celebrated at this time of year – blood or otherwise. A feel good, upbeat track, Feting Family is a great soundtrack to the good vibes of carnival. And it has a shouty chorus that you can't resist singing along to.

Alison Hinds - Famalay
On Famalay, Soca queen Alison Hinds vocalises one of the central themes of the season – unity. She takes a different approach to Mikey on the theme, opting for a more mellow sound.

Marzville - Break it
These are in no particular order of greatness, but I’ll end the list with this hyper tune from Marzville.

Hits from other islands
Carnival season is a celebration of Caribbean culture, so I couldn’t do this piece without including some of my favourites from across the islands this year. Here are some of the songs by artists outside Barbados that were rinsed on the road...

Kes the Band – Hello

Shal Marshall – Splinters

Fimba – Funky Business

Machel Montano x Superblue – Soca Kingdom

Erphaan Alves – Overdue

Lyrikal x Patrice Roberts x Millbeatz - Criminal Wine

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