Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Soca Season Now Starts

Good news -- I am now listening to my first soca music of the season - Machel Montano's Higher than High, and I am jumping a'reddy!

But as I go through the list of songs one by one I am once again annoyed that no one seems to have invented a way to download single songs in mp3 format. This means that the millions of people around the world who are soca music fans are once again forced to rely on a CD here or there sent by a friend from Trinidad.

This is a classic case of a problem dying for a solution, but the solution requires cooperation from many people to make it work. The ideal solution would be something like iTunes -- after all, Carnival music is largely single driven, and people should be able to download a single at a time.

But the artists are probably scared about people just sending mp3's around the world for free -- but the truth is, I would pay around US$1.00 per single for the convenience of being able to get the music onto my mp3 player right now.

Maybe there will be a solution before February this year -- my fingers are crossed.


At 1/02/2007 3:40 AM, Anonymous Georgia/Caribbean Free Radio said...

I hear you, Francis. A full-fledged soca music download site did appear on the scene two or three years ago, but fizzled out after one season. They never managed, in any event, to get some of the key artists to sign on to the project, and the payment and delivery mechanisms on the site were a bit clunky. But things have come such a long way since then that these should no longer be obstacles.

The real hurdle, I think, is bringing artists (and their handlers) up to speed on the kinds of contractual arrangements they should be making with labels, producers etc which would still allow them to take advantage of the opportunity provided by legal download sites. And while I would love to see an indigenous (ie Caribbean) service at the forefront of the exercise, savvy artists could well be using existing services like (the iTunes store being both difficult to get into bogged down with DRM issues) to distribute their material.

Though the really smart move would be for the sites which already offer streaming versions of soca tunes (eg, to convert themselves into legal and reputable download sites. . .

At 1/04/2007 7:04 PM, Anonymous gela said...

A great 2007 to you FWade!

My friend from Trini emailed today asking if I'm coming for Carnival. Don't really feel the vibes right now.

At 1/08/2007 12:02 PM, Blogger Rhythmwize said...

I know one of the guys and I know another guy in Kingston who have been trying to get a Caribbean music download business started for the last couple years. Not so successful from what Ive seen. I can only wonder what the problems must be, but I would guess it involves getting the artists to sign on, with all its legal complications.

At 1/21/2007 3:13 AM, Blogger Martin said...

We at are currently licencing Soca music and release it at all major mp3 stores (e.g. itunes, emusic, finetunes..).
Actually it is not easy to deal with all the law issues (COTT is not in the world copyright organisation etc etc) plus many musicians are very conservative and paranoid (everybody tiefin me..).

I know that other labels are doing the same thing, so it might be a matter of time to get new music from itunes... perhaps not this season but maybe 2008 and the 2007 summer carnivals


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