Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2014 Contents Throughout the year, Bunji Garlin's Differ-
entology has been dominating entertainment
news. It started with the Major Lazer remix
that played across Europe and the US, fol-
lowed by its listing as one of the Essential
Summer Anthems by the Guardian UK. From
there it snowballed into a series of high pro-
file appearances from the opening song for
Grey's Anatomy to slaying raps from high
profile hip hop stars to win Hot 97's Battle of
the Beats competition.
Since Carnival, the song has shown no signs
of slowing down, outlasting the usual shelf life
of Carnival hits as it seeps slowly into the
mainstream market in the US.
Everyone can cite artistes who have tasted
mainstream success before then faded away.
Remember Kevin Lyttle, Rupee and Baha Men?
And it is easy to dismiss the little things but
the disparate achievements all add to a major
step for soca in its continuous journey to be
gain recognition worldwide.
For years, soca artistes have been vying to
see who would be the first to burst the tape of
mainstream success abroad.
Machel Montano was clearly the leader, de-
claring it his divine purpose to spread soca to
the four corners of the earth as he engaged in
collaborations with big name producers and
singers as part of his strategy.
Kes the Band too has been on the hunt, em-
ploying its Island Pop music as the vehicle to
make the crossover.
In an interview earlier this year, Montano told
Metro the ground was shifting for soca. Inter-
est was piquing in the genre and doors were
opening, he said, as producers and DJs
searched for the next big sound.
Of course, it was expected that Montano
would be the likely prophet to take soca
through as he has been slowly prying open the
doors over his 30 year career and even this year
he continued to score some points, landing a
French record deal thanks to Mr Fete and again
scoring first round Grammy acknowledgement.
But with one song, Bunji has pushed the
doors wide open and found acceptance with
DJs across the world and an unlikely home in
the heart of the Hip Hop community.
Differentology, with its pared down melodic
structure, is now on rotation on Hip Hop sta-
tions across the US. Winning Hot 97's Battle of
the Beats may seem as nothing but it landed
the song in rotation on a station that is ar-
guably the most influential Hip Hop music sta-
tion in the US. In a string of appearances a few
weeks ago in the New York, Bunji was inter-
viewed by the station's Angie Martinez, herself
a former rapper, sitting in a chair that Mandela
star Idris Elba occupied just a week before!!
He did interviews with Fader Magazine and
Source, two popular Hip Hop publications, and
performed at a Christmas event backed by the
premier Hip Hop band The Roots.
Winning the Soul Train Award, beating out
Montano and Scottish sensation Emeli Sande
along the way to take the International Per-
formance Award was just the icing on the cake.
Could all of these achievements mean that
soca is on the radar, that finally, mainstream
music audiences outside the traditional mar-
kets are tuning into and embracing a new
sound as the latest viral video showing a flash
mob dancing to Differentology in a Long Island
airport shows? Time will tell but the journey
has no doubt just begun for Bunji, who with
two record deals signed this year, already has a
bumper 2014 lined up, outside of his usual Car-
nival obligations. His first album since 2007,
Differentology, is due to launch under VP
records in the new year and with it, the accom-
panying marketing push that could see the
artiste breaking more barriers.
And if we think that Bunji has only one song
that is turning heads, let's remind our readers
that his 2012 song Tun Up has also been mak-
ing waves albeit quietly.
Uk-based duo Jus Now (consisting of Bristol
based DJ-producer, Interface, and Trinidadian
percussionist-producer, LAZAbeam), remixed
the song, landing mention in Vibe Premiere for
its genre-defying sound.
April: Major Lazer
releases a remix
makes the UK
Guardian's list of
Anthems for 2013
August: Bunji signs with
French label PlayOn and
with VP Records under
which his 2014 album
Differentology will be
November: Hip hop star
Lupe Fiasco tweeted that
Differentology is the
theme song for his Testuo
and Youth Preview 32-city
PHOTOS COURTESY: JONATHAN MANNION & VP RECORDS
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