Triniboi Joocie, a Joocie success story

Triniboi Joocie, a Joocie success story

By Natasha Ofosu

United Kingdom | Wednesday 23 March 2016: 15:15 GMT

Rodell Sorzano was born in Trinidad. He has been singing since childhood, and is also an accomplished steelpan player. He migrated to the UK in 1998, and began his professional soca career in 2010. Joocie’s sobriquet reflects his patriotism, as well as his intention to make music that is ‘juicy’ - as in, irresistible. In his debut year he placed second in the UK Soca Monarch competition, and won the Power Soca Monarch category two years later. He followed that success in 2013 by winning the double, when he clinched both the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch titles. Joocie continued his dominance of the British soca scene by winning consecutive Road March titles at Notting Hill Carnival in 2014 and 2015.

The singer, who writes much of his own material, has said that his music reflects a variety of influences found around him in the UK. “My music is an eclectic sound. It’s a blend of different genres,” he explained. “I get a lot of inspiration from Grime, which is UK hip-hop/underground music, house [music], as well as soca.”

Those influences may be heard on tracks such as Go Down, a Grime-tinged, house music -infused song from 2012, and the relentlessly energetic tune The Beast in Me, which he produced in collaboration with Kernal Roberts, the composer responsible for most of Machel Montano’s Road March hits.

Joocie seems to have a penchant for up-tempo tunes, and has produced memorable dance numbers including Must Be In That (on the Wreck It riddim), Iz We (which was picked up by Trinidad radio stations), Party For Dem, and his 2015 Road March winner, Mawd.

Whilst his status in the UK is beyond doubt, Joocie has had to work hard to build his profile in his birth island of Trinidad. He made some progress in 2014, when he was a semi-finalist in the International Soca Monarch (ISM) competition, and in 2015 returned with a strong media campaign. However, he failed to capitalise on these efforts for Carnival 2016 despite his song Las Wuk, released in January 2016, having the potential to be a huge hit. The song, on which Joocie’s vocals are showcased beautifully, has a laid-back vibe and a timeless quality. It is also in sync with the music being produced by his Trinidad-based contemporaries such as Flipo and ISM 2016 winner Voice, which adds to its appeal.

As crucial as Trinidad is to his career, Joocie has understood the importance of spreading his music beyond familiar audiences. He performed with British jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine at the Love Supreme soul music festival in 2014, revealing soca to many of the 40,000-strong crowd for the first time. In the same year he won the regional final and made it to the national final of Open Mic UK, the UK’s biggest competition for unsigned acts.

Having a university degree in Performing Arts has helped. Joocie said, “I am able to apply myself correctly in terms of the business aspect [of the music] as well as production-wise, so I can look closely at what I’m putting out and see how I can appeal to a broader audience, and appeal to international audiences, not only to the Caribbean diaspora.”

You can catch Triniboi Joocie performing at Cocoyea’s Easter Monday fete’ | Click for tickets and more information

117

Soca News
February 2017

CLICK TO READ
Cocoyea Band Launch