By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
“You have a Coca Cola shape, but you taste like Sprite,” were a few of the many resounding words which viciously reverberated and pulsated through the city centre during the recent Carnival celebrations here in Saint Lucia this past July. It wouldn’t have been surprising if listeners and onlookers of the parade had wondered if a carbonated drink endorsement was somehow at play here, but truth be told it was all just a Caribbean celebration of stimulating Kuduro music, all in the name of sweet festive fun. It just so happens that this is but one of a series of kuduro productions, with young producer Motto having set the trend and pave the way for other promising producers who would follow.
KUDURO, an almost unheard genre until recent years has enveloped not only Saint Lucia and the Caribbean, but the wider world, gaining raving reviews and local chart-topping ratings from disk jockeys and fans alike of these modern, uptempo beats. Music lovers from across the globe have embraced this culturally rich music, a movement, far beyond a mere musical trend, as it swept across continents, introducing both the art form and beautiful Saint Lucia to an international audience from a whole new perspective.
No longer is our global footprint attributed to our uncontested topography and ravishing beauty, but the island has been reveling in a musical explosion, having earned rights to be placed on the international map for the country’s impeccable talent, particularly within the music and entertainment industries. By no means is Kuduro the only genre which has positioned the island within the global music market, it is notably one of many genres. Let’s not forget that Teddyson John, Arthur Allain, Ricky T among others had long exposed St. Lucia to the world through their Soca genre following after greats like Lurther Francois, Boo Hinkson, Rob Zii Taylor among others with their Jazzy and Alternative genres. These we will delve into further, but for now it’s all about KUDURO, where the up-tempo rhythmic, ‘bumper twerking’ rave all began!
So what is this hip-gyrating, heart-pumping, adrenaline-boosting and indescribably euphoric music?
Kuduro (or kuduru) is a type of uptempo and energetic musical melody and dance birthed in the late 1980s. It’s origin is Luanda, Angola, where producers experimented with traditional carnival music such as zouk and soca from the Caribbean and also semba from Angola, composing and building the rhythm around a fast 4/4 beat. The genre is similar to Kizomba, often gracefully fused with Portugese lyrics.
Portugese though isn’t the only ‘linguo’ which rides the heavy, beckoning waves of the kuduro beat; wait for it… we will soon dissect the ‘Lucian Kuduro‘ art form, one which has since transformed the social scene and revamped the local nightlight. So much for the history of Kuduro, time travel ahead into late 2016 through to 2017, when the debut of a brand new style of this intriguing musical composition emerged. The small local rural community of Dennery unexpectedly unleashed the art form which the world was not ready to receive or were they? One thing’s for certain, no one saw it coming.
Young, crafty, discerning musical ears after having sat for unending hours in studio secretly crafting, finally decided to share their creations with the rest of the world to enjoy… and I think it’s safe to say that fans are surely glad they did!
Stay tuned for feature continuation as we highlight the positives which have been birthed alongside this ethnic music. Controversial to some to say the least, truth be told, Kuduro has certainly set Saint Lucia prominently and rhythmically on the global musical map.