Sat | Sep 30, 2023

Silent soca raving from night till morning

Published:Friday | April 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Black Chiney's Willie Chin out of Miami stays focused on his channel while at the console at Suave.
Trinidadian artiste and event manager, Kerra Denel (left), and friends, Melinda Smith (centre) and Tenika Jones, chose the blue channel at Suave silent headphones party yesterday morning on the rooftop at 100 Hope Road, St Andrew.
Soca pioneer Fete King (left), disc jockey International Stephen (second left) and his manager Jelani Hunte (centre), Jerry Johnson of 356 Carnival (second right) and Darryl Pace, although listening to different channels, still make a night of the soca silent party Suave.
Zinaida McNamara is ecstatic about trying out the silent headphones at Suave, held at 100 on Hope Road, St Andrew, yesterday.
Silent Noise headphones all lit up for the Suave silent party patrons at 100 Hope Road, St Andrew, yesterday morning.

As the soca-themed activities in Jamaica grow rapidly, promoters are digging for more concepts to try out, including silent soca parties. The restaurant and lounge 100 Hope Road opened its doors for Suave: The Silent Soca After-Party hosted by Trinidadian disc jockey International Stephen, Renaissance frontman DJ Delano, and I Love Soca ambassador Ricki Walsh.

The event, from midnight to 6 a.m. on Friday, was promoted as an after-party for staple soca events Chill, Blocko and Tribe, and featured over six big selector names hailing from Trinidad, the United States and here in Jamaica. Suave challenged the DJs (three at a time) to woo the patrons to listen to their assigned red, blue or green channels. Surprisingly, there seemed to be an equal amount of support for each channel at any one time, so none could be named best player for the night for having more listeners than another DJ.

The underlying focus was soca, old and new songs, with just the right mix of the other musical genres. Disc jockeys could monitor their colleagues along with the listeners' energy and know if a track was most loved or needed to be changed and whether to speed it up or slow it down. It was also a plus to watch persons listening to raving sounds of pop music struggling to keep up with their wining partner who was moving to the uptempo rhythm of the twin islands.

Though the party only had a small, intimate crowd in the rooftop space at 100, the feedback was that Suave did what it was supposed to do. Meanwhile, there were a few hiccups at the entrance to the party throughout the night. It was advertised for patrons to walk with their IDs in order to receive a Silent Noise headphone, for obvious security reasons. Some patrons, however, were already 'lit' from attending the earlier soca events and either could not find their means of identification or did not wish to cooperate with the gate attendants, who did everything to accommodate them nonetheless.

Most of the patrons that spoke with The Gleaner also shared concerns regarding the time of the event, that it was a bit tricky for those with nine-to-five jobs who would need to prepare for work in the morning. Moreover, it was not a holiday or weekend.

The silent soca party ended little after 5 a.m. yesterday.