What is Soca vs Dancehall?
The Soca vs Dancehall (SvD) fete is the brainchild of DJ Spiceman, who runs and promotes the event. SvD was actually launched in June 2009, to promote Soca music in The Netherlands. The inclusion of Dancehall was simply because both musicalities are from the Caribbean, coupled with a growing demand for dancehall in The Netherlands; it is a recipe for the ultimate vibes. That combination, in fact, has turned out to work very well, with early events that were held in Arnhem that turned out to become a huge success. Masses of party people continue to travel in from all parts of the Netherlands, including, Amsterdam, Almere, The Hague, Rotterdam and with the continued and consistent support from the Dutch Soca Lovers, French soca lovers, French Kiss And Wine, Swiss Soca crew and so many more. DJ’s and artists are invited from all of the Caribbean islands to perform and all of this has ardently contributed to the success and strength of the Soca vs Dancehall brand.
Why is the combination of Soca and Dancehall so popular?
DJ’s have been bringing their reggae influences over to European continent since the 70’s and has garnered a huge following and interest in Europe, over the years. The fact that we have the internet to spread a variety of music to the masses, means that it makes the distribution of music, very easy. Reggae and dancehall are amongst the most popular music forms in many parts of the world and even more popularised through the growing trend of Reggaeton. Additionally, the fusion of Dancehall and Soca is youth-driven with it’s infectious, energetic, type of music. The fact that it also supports and collaborates with Dutch and French Caribbean soca only contributes to its success as a highly anticipated fete.
The Soca vs Dancehall fete
The SvD annual J’ouvert morning edition event was held on Friday, March 2nd 2018, but the “Beast from the East” had descended upon us that week, bringing freezing cold weather and snow, that was just as apparent in Rotterdam as it was in London. However, it did not stop the hundreds of revelers descend upon Maassilo, for a night that saw a great artist line-up spread over 2 arenas, the Bacchanal Area and the Dushi Bida Arena. SvD is no ordinary fete, not only is it held in a huge venue; you also are treated to a selection of some of the best local DJs and MCs. With guest appearances from top Soca Artists! I actually had first heard about this fete through DJ Tate, who was on the DJ lineup and to also interview the founding members of the Dutch Soca Lovers, when I attended in November last year (see article DSL: The Rise of the soca “Super Crew”) . I had such an incredible time, so much so that I knew I was coming back to properly review this event.
The Nightclub | Maassilo, Rotterdam
It was easy to get in and the bouncers on the door and inside the club were actually really friendly and nice. No harsh, stone faces but smiles and conversations, some were rocking while on duty… yes the music was that good. You could quite easily get lost in this event. It is huge and cavernous. There were two main stages and areas which sold food, plus there were smoking areas inside. There was no cloakroom, instead, the club had installed hundreds of lockers available for you to store your belongings. Such a revelation and so much easier than waiting in a long queue to put in or collect your coat. However, this is luxury that large venues such as Maassilo can afford. It is a cashless venue and you have to buy tokens from a special place in the venue to be able to purchase drinks at the bar. Drinks are reasonable and akin to London prices averaging around £5.50 for a glass of wine or a shot with a chaser.
Ticket prices to get in, ranged from €15 – €25 depending on how quickly you purchased your ticket and if you decided to stay in Amsterdam, you could pay €18 for a return coach ticket to the venue.
Bacchanal Area | Hosted by RichyStylez
Live on stage: Lavaman (Grenada) | Tolly Boys (Saint Martin)
DJ’s: | King Kembe (St. Maarten) | DJ Maestro (St. Martin) | QT 2 Hype (London) | Fiber (GFS) | Jizza
In the main arena, we were treated to host MC RichyStylez, who worked tirelessly alongside the DJ’s to keep that excellent vibe.
Lavaman lit up the venue, tore it down and vibes it to the point of no comedown. Water and powder and were the themes and the crowds encouraged to throw their water or powder and get on mad. A selection of a majority of his hits including ‘Cukus Bag’, ‘Head and Tail’, ‘Take Jab’, ‘We Nah Change’ and my favorites’ Man Horn’ and ‘Gutter’ and many more.Lavaman is currently doing a tour of the UK and you will find him performing across the UK this year.
However, check out the video below of Lavaman live on stage at Soca vs Dancehall
The Tolly Boys Saint Martin
Preceding Lavaman the Tolly Boys were a welcomed treat. A real lively set that had you jumping with them, tune after tune. The DJ threw out some St Martin soca that made me want to book a ticket as soon as I got home.
‘Ok good’ with DJ King Kembe one seriously pumping soca tune. Let us not forget about these islands to be able to contend with the major soca artists. For Saint Maarten will be next on my list to visit, but for now, I am going to immerse myself in some Dutch Soca.
DJ Kembe & Tolly Boys Youtube video Mixes
Dushi Bida Arena | Hosted by Nixon Joseph
Live on stage: Ataniro (Aruba) | Rasta (Aruba) | Jair “Buddy” Vesprey
DJ’s: DJ Double R |DJ Fab | Isaac de Cuba | Ayrton | The Spiceman
The ‘Dushi Bida’ room meaning
The name of the room actually intrigued me and had to find out the meaning behind the name, which is in Papiamento, the language for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. ‘Dushi’ is a common word in Papiamento and has a lot of meanings…but literally the phrase means “Sweet Life”. So to translate I am sure it means the sweet vibes room. Unfortunately, I did not feature in this room much but it had the vibes of the main arena but just smaller. Here on this stage, Nixon Joseph hosted the room and we were treated to a stage billing of a series of artists and the DJ’s rocked the arena.
Reasons to go to SvD...
What I love about these fetes is that you exposed to a wealth of soca and dancehall and not just the main, popular tunes from Trinidad, Barbados or usual Caribbean islands. We were given the might of the French and Dutch islands soca, with DJ’s that also knew their dancehall riddims. I truly felt the Dutch and the French Caribbean vibe that night, with tune after tune that I honestly didn’t know, but I still felt that vibe.
It was a night and whilst it was not a competition, Soca won it hands down for me. As seriously, anyone who has not listened to soca cannot truly understand it’s power, that pull, that vibe. It’s like the soca pied piper just playing soca tunes, that has us following and wuking to wherever the soca vibe may be. That’s the power. That was Soca vs Dancehall.
Soca vs Dancehall contact information