DJ Franco brings soca to Jamaica



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In Jamaica, soca might seem mostly reserved for certain sections of society, but selector DJ Franco wants to help the masses to understand and appreciate the genre even more.

Franco, who recently completed his studies in St Augustine, Trinidad, says his love for soca developed as a child.

"It came from my household. My father was a huge calypso fan. I have been hearing that since I could understand music. Then I went to school in St Augustine for four years, so I absorbed the culture and the love for soca developed even further. A lot of Jamaicans think it is an uptown thing, but it actually came from slaves mocking their slave masters," said DJ Franco, real name Francis Asiedu.

Now, Franco, who plays for Bloodline Sound System, wants to introduce the Jamaican public to more soca through his new mixtape, Soca Advantage Vol 4.

marketed for Jamaica

"It encapsulates the soca hits and the upcoming hits for the soca year. It is marketed for Jamaica mainly," he told The Gleaner, noting that the Soca Advantage series started in 2010.

He added that this is the first time that the mixtape is being hosted by a soca artiste. As the host for the CD, he said soca artiste, Kes, does the intro and skits between songs.

Franco says the CD has three segments; 'groovy', 'power' and another segment that is reserved for the more traditional-sounding soca songs. He said two of the hottest 'groovy' soca songs on the CD are Machel Montano's Ministry of Road and Mr Killer's Rolly Polly.

Meanwhile, two of the most popular 'power' songs are Kes' Bad Habit and Kerwin Du Bois' Too Real.

DJ Franco, who has eight years of selecting experience under his belt, says his soca CD is already surpassing expectations.

"It is kinda exceeding my expectations. Within the first four days, it got over 900 listens and downloads," he said, noting that it already has 2400 downloads and listens in less than two weeks.

But he says the CD is for everyone.

"If you are a soca lover, you need to listen to the CD because it is not just a compilation of the hottest songs, it is the closest thing you can get to an album with a creative fusion of music. It is kinda made for everybody. It's for the soca junkie and the soca newbie and someone who just loves good music," Franco said.

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