Soca music is a genre of Caribbean music that originated within a marginalized subculture in the Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1970s, and developed into a range of styles by the 1980s and later. Soca was initially developed by Lord Shorty around 1972 – 1973 in an effort to improve traditional calypso which seemed to be on its dying legs in Trinidad by the start of the 1970s with the rise in popularity of reggae from Jamaica and soul and funk from USA with the younger generation.
A sound project was started in 1970 at KH Studios, Sea Lots in Trinidad, to find a way to record the complex calypso rhythm in a new multi-track era.
Musicians involved in the initiative were Robin Imamshah -guitar, project lead, Angus Nunez -bass, Errol Wise-Drums, Vonrick Maynard -Drums, Clarence James -Percussion, Carl Henderson -Keyboards, David Boothman -strings. Some of the early songs recorded at the KH Studios that benefitted from this recording project are “Indrani” by Lord Shorty and “Calypso Zest” by Sensational Roots both recorded in 1972. Later came the soca hits “Endless Vibrations” and “Sweet Music” by Lord Shorty recorded in 1974 and 1975 respectively and “Second Fiddle” by Ella Andall recorded in 1975. In 1976 “Savage” by Maestro and “Trinidad Boogie” by Last Supper -composed by Robin Imamshah- also benefitted from the improving multi-track recording technology at KH Studios. Soca is an offshoot of kaiso/calypso, with influences from chutney, cadence, funk and soul.