Soca music fans and music lovers worldwide who want to experience the very best in Caribbean music will revel in the latest album release from the genre’s most celebrated artiste, Machel Montano, titled ALBUM 34. The prodigiously gifted Trinidadian, whose debut vinyl album Too Young To Soca arrived in record shops in 1985, has once again created a magical brew of sweet soca rhythms on this, his 34th career release. ALBUM 34 is now available throughout Trinidad & Tobago, with worldwide distribution scheduled for later this month.
Fans have come to expect from Montano a rich array of hit songs every year, jam-packed with explosive, driving rhythms that he produces for Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival celebrations. Surely this new batch of 15 tracks comprising ALBUM 34 will not disappoint his vast legion of followers – in T&T and throughout the Caribbean Diaspora – and its many gems are bound to attract many new listeners as well.
One of the new songs presently heating up the airwaves and blasting at every Carnival fete in Trinidad is “No Behavior,” a fast-paced, volatile soca track with Montano’s trademark style that every soca fan instantly recognises. The artiste urges everyone to “get behind the big truck…start jumpin’ up, start waving up!” Next up is a groovy soca number, a song infused with a romantic vibe and a gentle rhythm called “Slow Wine.”
Also on tap are Montano’s newest hit singles “Bumper to Fender,” “Thiefin’ ” and “Awrite” (Ramajay). Each of these tunes have found great favour with partygoers of every race and age at Carnival 2010. The Trinidadian has once again captured that quintessential Caribbean vibe – a scintillating mix of rhythms full of warmth, love, and good humour.
Machel Montano has been a driving force behind Caribbean musical integration for more than a decade, with a multitude of important collaborations to his credit, including features with Pitbull, Lil Jon, Shaggy, Wyclef Jean, Beanie Man, Busy Signal, Vybz Kartel, Alison Hinds, Ricky T, Tallpree, just to name a few. Montano’s vision of Caribbean unity forged though music and culture is beautifully underscored in the delivery of ALBUM 34, as this exciting mix of new music includes collaborations with leading singers, musicians, and producers from Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, St. Vincent, Jamaica, B.V.I., Cuba, and USA.
On ALBUM 34, Montano has joined forces with Pitbull for an electrifying remix of “Awrite” (Ramjay). The remix not only celebrates the fusion of reggaton and soca rhythms but also the resilience of the Haitan people following the catastrophic earthquake that affected Haiti on January 12.
Jamaican dancehall superstar Busy Signal is also in the mix on 34, making a mesmerising spin with Machel on “Wooeeii Gyal Wooeeii,” an African-influenced riddim that’s punctuated by magnificent drumbeats. Both productions are fascinating examples of Montano’s experimental approach to music-making in the studio, which no doubt is why his work is the most original and most eagerly-anticipated music in this genre.
Other savory collaborations on ALBUM 34 include “Hot Like” featuring dancehall star Serani, “Fetting On” with Skinny Fabulous, and “Really Hot” with Wildfire, an upcoming Trinidadian-American artiste. Also, get a good listen to Machel on “Not Going Home,” an uplifting, inspirational song about the power of Carnival to bring people together and to celebrate joyously their common humanity.
In addition to the various artistes mentioned above, Montano has ensured the success of his newest endeavour by collaborating with many of the Caribbean’s leading producers, including his close friend and award-winning songwriter, Kernal Roberts, Dwain “Dwaingerous” Antrobus, Shawn “Roots” Mitchell, Jason “Nutron” Carter, Kasey Phillips, among many others. On the album liner notes, the artiste also sends out thanks to the HD Family, a close-knit cadre of performers and musicians who have been by his side over the past four years at carnivals and concert stages around the world.
Montano fans will also marvel at the CD cover art for ALBUM 34, which consists of cover images of all the artiste’s previous 33 albums. This truly prodigious recorded output, a wonderful achievement in itself, clearly makes Montano the most productive and enduring artiste in the history of soca music.Young fans of soca and other music lovers will be well-advised to delve into Montano’s extensive catalogue, not only to discover a great deal of exciting music but will to also get an appreciation of the evolution of the genre over the past three decades.
CARNIVAL 2010 AND BEYOND
After the ALBUM 34 release, there is already that next mountain to climb for Montano. He has decided to take a short break from live performances at this year’s Trinidad Carnival in order to execute many new projects that are engaging his attention. These projects include a Bollywood film production, as well as new music, which he will be releasing throughout the year.
MACHEL & BEYONCE
Machel is also eagerly looking forward to seeing all of his fans again next week Thursday, February 18th at the Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain, when he will be appearing as the opening act for Beyoncé. This is the first ever appearance in the Caribbean for the world’s ‘Queen of Pop,’ 16-time Grammy award-winning artiste, and promises to be a night of great music and amazing performances by both Machel and Beyoncé.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Montano is no stranger to award ceremonies as his work has been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades. Already this year, he continues his streak of success by racking up five nominations in the 2010 International Reggae & World Music Awards set for May 2 in New York. Montano previouly walked away with the top IRAWMA award back in 2008 when he won the ‘Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year,” and is a front-runner for it again this year.
ALBUM IN STORES NOW
Get your copy of Machel Montano’s ALBUM 34, in stores now, and celebrate Carnival 2010 with the soca superstar.Also check your local music and book stores and other retail outlets for the ALBUM 34 2010 calendar, another collector’s item from this soca icon.