Carnival may be a staple of Caribbean culture, but each country alters it's pulse to their respective rhythm. Over the last few years, the sound of Trinidad's Carnival—known to many as the biggest bacchanal in the West Indies—has had a great exporter in the vocalist Bunji Garlin, a soca singer whose gravelly voice dances against horns and steel pans in a vibrant echo of the slurry, sunny party. Garlin's also seemingly always had his eye on bringing that sound to the world.
In 2013, Garlin's single "Differentology" received a facelift from Major Lazer, translating soca's buoyancy to EDM's big stages. And now, he's crafted a similar gesture. Last year, he released a single called "Big Bad Soca," a three-minute distillation of his chosen genre's joys, but today he's back with another international remix, this time enlisting the help of Jamaica's Shenseea for a version that breathes new life into the track.
“With the success of ‘Big Bad Soca’ last year during carnival season, we thought it would be nice to add Shenseea’s vocals to give it a new vibe for 2018,” Garlin told Noisey via email. Shenseea, a fixture in dancehall, fits smoothly on the track, despite the friendly rivalry between dancehall and soca music. "I was excited when I heard I was going to do the remix on one of the biggest soca artist’s song. Trinidad is like my second home and I love the people there and their culture so I will be doing a lot more where soca is concerned," she told us.
Directed by Tom Swindell, “Big Bad Soca Remix” is an intimate look at Trinidad’s Carnival. Shot on location this past February, the archival footage makes it almost impossible to watch without moving your waistline. “Soca is more than a genre, it’s a lifestyle and I wanted to make an anthem for all to enjoy,” said Garlin.
Kristin Corry is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.