For the first time in ages, Trinidadian soca – a percussive, often high-speed, calypso-influenced Caribbean music – has a new global star in the making. Bunji Garlin, a stylish tenor with a mean hook game, scored a kinetic smash with 2012's "Differentology," which stayed in rotation for a full year, placing him as the clear successor to soca's previous crossover king, Machel Montano. Garlin's debut exemplifies what it means to be a differentologist: The singer blends dancehall, EDM and even trap ("Truck on D Road," with A$AP Ferg) into his sound, without ever seeming like he's trying too hard. It's soca for the Spotify generation.
From The Archives Issue 1217: September 11, 2014