Alison Hinds (born 1 June 1970) is a female soca artist from the Caribbean island of Barbados. She is one of the most popular soca singers in the world and has unofficially been given the nickname the “Queen of Soca”. She has produced many popular songs that top charts even in countries which do not widely listen to soca.
In 1986, Hinds joined the soca band Square One. At first this band performed mostly in bars and clubs, but later they became a top Soca band, bringing soca to a new level. Alison produced her first hit in the year 1996, “Ragamuffin”. That song made her win road march of that year for Kadooment (Barbados’ Carnival). The following year she repeated road march and also won The Party Monarch with another hit “Twister”. Alison was the first woman to ever win these titles in Barbados. This led to Hinds’ role as the lead singer in the band. Next, Square One created an album called “Full Bloom”. This album took over the Caribbean. It included the song “Faluma”, which was the top song in the Caribbean for the period of 1999-2000. It toped the charts of Guatemala for 49 weeks. It was during this period that Hinds’ popularity grew. Square One continued to produce hits until 2004 when it broke up – partly due to Hinds’ departure.
Currently Alison Hinds lives with her family, husband Edward Walcott and daughter Saharan (born May 5th, 2004), on a horse farm in Barbados. She has her own band, “The Alison Hinds Show”. This band was formed in 2005 when Hinds returned to the soca scene with the hit song “Roll It Gal” which is an anthem for young women and encourages them to have pride in themselves. In 2006 the song was still popular. Hinds is the main singer and most of the members of the band are young dancers and musicians. She also produced a song called “Love Affair”. Since she returned to music she has recorded a collaboration with Machel Montano for the the remix of “Roll It Gal”.
KI (Kris Veeshal Persad,) is a most talented, effervescent, and promising crossover artiste, who has proved that he can compete with the best in the Soca and Chutney business. His professional and affable demeanor as well as his ability to blend his talents as a band leader, musician and singer providing top class entertainment certainly is an inspiration to young people and to those up and coming artistes.
Son of Trinidad’s established keyboardist, band leader, & producer Veerendra Persad, KI started his entertainment career as a keyboardist at the tender at age 7. He competed and won the very first “Children of Mastana” competition and shortly thereafter migrated to Canada where he spent his formative years concentrating on his Academics and Studying Music. KI continued to display his commitment and dedication to the band and was given the opportunity to be lead musician and producer for JMC 3veni. He used this experience to produce the band’s last 5 albums, and collaborated with Madmen Productions in producing the massive hit “In Front Of Meh” by Umi Marcano, formally of Machel Montano’s “HD.”
Entering the Chutney Soca Monarch for the first time in 2010, KI placed 4th with the successful hit “Catch Meh Lovah (Sunita & Nadia)”. This year, his scintillating performance at the 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch Competition saw him place 3rd with his song “No More Rum Again” with over 10,000 votes. He has since then became the most requested Crossover Artist at Major festivals/carnivals worldwide.
2011 has proven to be a record breaking year for KI, as he was asked to be the opening act for Machel Montano’s Return Concert in Manhattan, New York. He thus became the first ever Crossover Artist out of Trinidad & Tobago to perform at the world renowned Madison Square Garden alongside his band Jmc 3veni. In December of 2011, he received a National Award for Chutney Soca in Trinidad & Tobago, endorsed by President George Maxwell Richrds. KI now continues to tour throughout the Caribbean, North & South America, and Europe, promoting the fantastic music and culture of Trinidad & Tobago.
One of the great success stories of the ’80s, Barrington Levy, arrived on the dancehall scene and swiftly remodeled it in his own image. Although numerous DJs and vocalists would rise and fall during this decade, Levy was one of the few with staying power, and he continued releasing massive hits well into the ’90s. Born in 1964 in Clarendon, Jamaica, as a youngster, Barrington Levy formed the Mighty Multitude with his cousin Everton Dacres. They started off playing the sound systems and cut their first single, “My Black Girl,” in 1977. All of 14, Levy broke out on his own the next year and recorded his debut solo single, “A Long Time Since We Don’t Have No Love.”
By 1981 Levy’s effortlessly buoyant voice had spread his fame to the point where Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes, at the time the most in-demand producer in Jamaica, pursued him. His first Junjo single was ‘Ah Yah We Deh’, which sold moderately well, as did two further releases. His fourth single, ‘Collie Weed’, was a great success. Levy did not sound like anyone else: he perhaps revealed some of Jacob Miller’s style, and a little of Bob Andy’s influence, but his phrasing evoked the raw energy of the dancehalls. While other singers were struggling, Levy was slugging it out at the top. His 1979 album, Bounty Hunter, sold well and a string of singles consolidated his position: ‘Robber Man’, ‘Black Rose’, ‘Like A Soldier’, the massive hits ‘Money Move’ and ‘Shine Eye Gal’, and the stunning ‘Prison Oval Rock’, and a series of albums were released between 1982 and 1985 to capitalize on his success. He later denounced many of these as ‘joke business’, being packaged with old singles, out-takes and one-off private sound system recordings. He performed his first UK gigs in 1984, including an appearance as a winner at the UK Reggae Awards. He then linked with young producer Jah Screw and enjoyed a big hit with ‘Under Mi Sensi’. He followed it with ‘Here I Come’, which was a hit in the soul clubs and scraped the UK charts when licensed by London Records, who also issued an album of the same title. However, Screw and Levy made the mistake of courting crossover success and he sounded lost on subsequent rocky singles. Levy travelled between Jamaica, London and New York, and although he lost momentum at the end of the 80s, he still had all the talent of his peak period, as the 1988 recording Love The Life You Live made clear. Two Bob Andy cover versions, ‘Too Experienced’ and ‘My Time’, brought him back to the forefront of reggae, and he signed to Island Records in 1991 for the fine Divine set. While it remains to be seen whether Levy can ever achieve the broader success that seemed to be his in the mid-80s, he remains one of reggae’s most powerful and original voices.