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Gully B’s Top 10 Soca Anthems for Notting Hill Carnival 2019

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As we approach one of the most important weekends in UK Music, we sit down with our go-to Carnival specialist, GULLY B

With a monthly show on Reprezent Radio, specialising in Dancehall, Soca, Afrobeats and Reggae music, Gully B is one of the UK’s most revered curators of Carnival-esque music. Fresh off the back of his own stage at Neverworld Festival, featuring David Rodigan, Shy FX and many more, as well as his second season at Andy C’s XOYO residency, we catch up with the Essex-based DJ, ahead of his set on top of the Pure Lime ‘Chocolate Mas’ truck, at Notting Hill Carnival this Sunday. 

There is a distinct difference between the two sides of the Notting Hill Carnival. Usually, you’ll find in the streets within the Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove area, filled with huge stacks of speakers, most likely playing the sounds of Reggae, Dancehall, and in recent times, Drum & bass and Grime. This side of the Carnival is usually a reflection of the Jamaican communities and sound system culture in London. However, the other 50% of Notting Hill Carnival is based around the origins of how it all started, the Carnival procession route.

Historically, this is where steel bands would perform, following a perimeter around the areas of Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Green. With a focus around other Caribbean islands like Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia and many more, the procession trucks celebrate the sound of Soca music. With a much faster tempo to the Jamaican sounds in the streets, the moving sound systems on the trucks, offer a unique and completely different experience to Carnival. Where band members spend months preparing their outfits (as well as their drinking tolerance!) for a beautiful celebration of culture, love and music. 

With a deep knowledge of Caribbean music, Gully B runs down his top 10 Soca tracks of 2019, which you’ll be sure to hear Pon Di Road! 

1. Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin – Famalay 

No list would be complete without this one! Arguably the biggest Soca song of 2019, the three titans of the genre; Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin, team up to provide the ultimate message of unity and cultural acceptance that is engrained in the ethos of the Carnival. 

2. Kes – Savannah Grass

This one is equally as deserving of the top spot as ‘Famalay’. The Soca icon, ‘Kes’ has a habit of providing lifelong soundtracks to Carnival. With previous hits like ‘Wotless’, ‘Hello’, and ‘I Shall Return’, the accomplished vocalist delivers yet another feel good sing-a-long, which is guaranteed to bring out the sunshine when we touch down at Notting Hill!

3. Motto – One Woman

Only through the pure positive energy of Soca music, could a man and his girlfriend sing together; ‘I don’t want no one woman, all I want is plenty woman’, and get away with it! Now THAT is the kind of vibe that only the St. Lucian artist ‘Motto’ can provide. This will be the song you’ll all be singing on the tube ride to our afterparty at Clapham Grand 😉

4. BoBo – Tic & Tac It 

Soca music comes in many different forms, and the east coast of St. Lucia have developed their own sub-genre called ‘Dennery Segment’. This year’s essential Dennery Segment anthem is without a doubt, BoBo’s ‘Tic It & Tac It’.

This one has the bass to rattle every truck at Notting Hill Carnival, and with the simple, yet infectious lyrics, this one is the soundtrack to your wickedest whine!

5. Farmer Nappy – Hookin Meh

Straight off of the Purple Heart Riddim, the Trinidadian singer ‘Farmer Nappy’, brings us another feel-good anthem to bellow through the streets of Ladbroke Grove! I feel like this could easily follow Motto’s ‘One Woman’, as a way to try and undo a breakup, and with a tune so uplifting, who could argue?! 

6. Teddyson John – Kité Sa

Without a doubt, Teddyson John is one of my favourite current Soca artists. The St. Lucian singer really hones his skills as a vocalist on the uplifting track, ‘Kité Sa’ (also known as ‘Leave’). This one definitely deserves a spot in your playlists, and with a slower tempo, this one is perfect for anytime of the year. 

7. Machel Montano X Ashanti – The Road

Yes! Your eyes are reading that correctly! Ashanti on a Soca record! Teaming up with the king of Soca, this is one collaboration that is a must for Carnival 2019. Machel Montano dropped his album ‘G.O.A.T’ back in February, just before Trinidad Carnival, and I guarantee you’ll hear plenty of the album at Notting Hill Carnival too. Everything in the music video captures exactly the positive vibes that you can expect, when you hit the road this weekend!

8. Patrice Roberts – Like It Hot

Patrice again! The first lady of Soca does what she does best, in this Soca anthem ‘Like It Hot’. As an iconic figure of Feminism in Trinidad, Patrice Roberts takes centre stage on the Kickstand Riddim, and you can thank her for this song that is sure to bring out the sunshine over the bank holiday! 

9. King Bubba FM – She Always Bend Over 

Showing love to my Barbados crew on this selection! This is a straight up booty-shaking, whine pon a bamsee, back it up pon a man, anthem! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Name says it all really! 

10. Lavaman – Never Miss A J’ouvert

I absolutely love the Jab Jab style of Soca, and this new release from Grenada’s ‘Lavaman’, is a perfect example of the sound from the island. With such a fitting title for our Chocolate J’ouvert with Pure Lime, you can expect to hear me playing this one on the truck as everyone in the band, coats themselves in chocolate! 

So if you’re a Carnival veteran or considering your first experience at Notting Hill Carnival, why not take the time to experience Carnival from a completely unique standpoint. Gully B and the team at Pure Lime are offering all-inclusive food and drink packages to join their band on the truck and be a part of the FAMALAY!

If you have the stamina to last all day and all night, or you’re already attending SW4 Festival on Sunday, you can also catch Gully B at the Get Busy Carnival Afterparty at the Clapham Grand.

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