The soca number features TT’s national instrument, the steelpan and the hype of the ‘bacchanal’ in a ‘trini’ carnival season.
Douglas is prepared to take it to the stage of the Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch Semi-Finals on January 20.
He has released two songs this year: ‘Bacchanal’ and ‘Do you think he will understand’ – written and produced by Carlton Roberts.
Speaking with TTnewsflash, Douglas, who resides in Canada, said he is hoping to perform on stage in the finals on Fantastic Friday, “I am hoping to be on the stage of Soca Monarch on the final night, both in power and groovy. Other than that, my plan for the season is to once again engage the soca audience with some high energy music and some laid back soca to dance”.
On a more serious note, when asked about his take on soca ‘seemingly’ overpowering the calypso art form, Douglas replied: “I think soca is doing what it is doing and calypso is doing her thing, however we need to pay more attention to the tree from which all these new music is being born. Kill the tree and the fruit of the tree will also die”.
When asked what he thought about ‘rum lyrics’ being injected into soca music – a trend which is very frequently heard in chutney music, Douglas said: “Look, the reality is the more things change is the more they remain the same. Sparrow sang ‘drunk and disorderly’, so it is nothing strange to sing about what we do. We, as West Indians drink rum and we ‘whine’ in fetes, so we sing about that too. I think as Trinis we could be a bit hypocritical at times, that’s why I say we wear a mask all year; it is carnival when we show our true selves. Carnival is not mas, it is self revealing, the rest of the year is when we put on our mask and do the acting”.
Out if the carnival season, Douglas is also busy recording other styles of music, along with doing music for the pan and performing in countries around the globe, “I do not have any tours planned at the moment but my handlers in Toronto are working on tours and performances for the future. I would also like to take this opportunity, to thank all my friends and fans for their continued support over the years. God is good all the time”.
Douglas first became interested in music watching folk performers at the local community center in his native village of La Romaine. He was also influenced by his older sister, who was a writer and a poet.
Douglas’ musical development began to flourish in the local Pentecostal Church, singing in the choir. At the age of sixteen, he formed his own group, called Exodus; this gave him his first real taste of stardom. The band became popular and performed frequently at venues around Trinidad.
In 1984, Douglas enlisted with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, where he served for six years. During this period he continued to sing, performing with the Coast Guard’s own band at local venues. There he experimented with other musical genres and discovered the Soca music culture.
He recorded his first song in 1988 with ‘Fireflight’, then joined the band Atlantik.
His musical influences include Lord Blakie and Lord Kitchener, as well as R&B greats such as Peabo Bryson and Stevie Wonder.
Douglas released hits such as “Good Music to Dance” and “Who Let the Dogs Out”, which was a popular party tune across the Caribbean, although the most popular version of the song outside of the Caribbean is probably the cover version of the song, sung by the Baha Men. Other releases include “Soul Island” from the Friend CD and “Abuse” from his 2000 CD Sir Anslem Douglas.