Thursday, January 18, 2018

No need to focus on ‘mashing up’

Tell me I’m wrong but doesn’t it seem that almost every other soca song asks us to “mash up something” or “mash up de place?”

Is our Carnival culture just bent on promoting bad behaviour? Why do our soca artistes encourage people to “get on bad” and “misbehave?” What effect do these lyrics have on our national psyche?

No wonder we live in a “mash up” country with our perpetually “holey” roads and “mash up” infrastructure. We live and breathe a “mash up” culture. Soca scholars, however, may argue: “They are not singing about literally mashing up the place but are advocating liberation of the mind, body and soul and the breaking down of social barriers.”

Really Destra? Really Fay-Ann? Is that what you all are really singing about? Somehow, I don’t think that’s the case since many of our popular soca songwriters write plain lyrics with the usual “beat out” figurative language i.e. sexual innuendo/double entendre.

But there is a flipside to the term “mash up/mashup.” It can also mean taking two or more elements/pieces/genres of music and “mashing” or combining them to create an innovative new sound. Think Bunji Garlin’s “Differentology.” Why aren’t there more creative sounds like “Differentology” on the market? Because we the masses like it so.

We will wine and jam to anything, poor/questionable lyrics aside, “once it have a good beat”. Case in point: Machel/Timaya’s “Shake up your bum bum.” And don’t get me started on Ravi B’s “Bread.” Seriously? Come on, soca artistes and songwriters, step up your game!

Suzanne Bhagan