It is the simplest form of act that stirs a heartfelt emotion to many, inspiring hope, positivity, growth, movement and awareness. Couple that greatness with faith and belief in God and in your vision and thoughts will the greatness of that act be distinguished from the many.
It resonated deeply and produced a simple but yet meaningful wave travelling faster than the speed of sound. A simple musical act encased in an anthem of a chorus, further propelled Bunji Garlin alongside his wife Fay Ann Lyons into the international world’s eyes and ears and beyond. Wrapped up in the mundane and monotony that defined daily life and oblivious to many, a stirring unbeknownst to humankind had been slowly building up momentum waiting for the opportune time to burst forth and deliver the message it had been tasked with, which was bringing forth the musical genre of soca to the centre stage.
Differentology, the critically acclaimed Trinidad & Tobago 2013 carnival entry was a hit from the get go. Produced by Sheriff Mumbles of Black Ice Studios and the ever beautiful, resounding Spanish guitar provided by Nigel Rojas it was the simplest form of lyrics ever penned in Bunji Garlin’s career, leading to one of the biggest summer 2013 hit singles to ever grace soca music. The precise time that it dropped nonchalantly on the soundwaves is unknown, but what is known to many is that at the sound of that beat dropping, delirious replaced happiness and became the new defined term, describing and embracing the feeling Differentology evoked. As repeat requests grew and social media algorithms skirted on the motherboard relaying requests, streaming social APIs groaned under the weight of data that was transmitted and processed. It was then under the watchful analytical gaze that signified a new dawn breaking in soca music. As they say the timing could not have been any more perfect.
From the twin island of Trinidad & Tobago, he was born in Sangre Grande and raised in Arima getting his start in the music industry as a ragga soca artist. Influenced by the soca icon Austin ‘Superblue’ Lyons, who revolutionised how soca music sounded, these were some of his early influences from the start.
She was born into musical royalty, the daughter of award winning calypso monarch and icon Superblue and calpsonian Lady Gypsy, growing up listening to calypso music and at the same time listening to soca music partly due to her father’s influence.
With his fiery voice, laced with the most explicable and phenomenal lyrical verses ever known to mankind, he was destined for a bright future and little did the world envisage what profound and lasting effect he would unleash in his later stage of his career, winning International Soca Monarch in a tie in 2002 then 2004 and 2005.
Following on from her parents’ footsteps, she was part of a band and later on, went to become the youngest female to win Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Road March Monarch alongside two other wins in 2008 and 2009 for both the International Soca Monarch and International Groovy Soca Monarch champions.
Together they have penned many hit songs, but it is the ultimate meeting that has resulted in the powerful force that is now known as Soca’s royal couple and Asylum family. Little was known that the introduction made by Superblue to Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann, moons back would have led to the ultimate partnership and a united force to be reckoned with. With musical royalty etched in their blood, being married and singing together has created no complicated situation, instead cementing their union and with different point of views fitting together like a glove.
Differentology might not have won the coveted Soca Monarch title, but it proved to be a creeper of an anthem bursting its way into number 2 on the iTunes chart. It was the ultimate chosen summer anthem for the UK Guardian newspaper and under the Major Lazer remix enticed the crowd at the three day held festival, Coachella. Continuing to notch up views on YouTube and landing a nomination on MTV Iggy Award it landed Bunji Garlin two record deals under VP Records and European based label, Play-On. Not be outdone Fay Ann Lyons in her song writing expertise delivered her own 2013 hits, amongst them EFF, Are We Doin This Owah and De Stage Open, songs which challenged and engaged with the fans alike to embark on the alphabet F word naming frenzy. In addition to her musical capabilities, in true growing style Fay Ann Lyons continues to add to her impressive list of accomplishments, studying for law and in the process of writing a cook book with a fellow friend on weight loss.
“We ready, We ready”…
As they both make huge strides in the soca music industry, it is evident that Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons are on a long lasting mission to bring soca music to the core and this is only the beginning as evidenced by the next generation of the Lyons-Alvarez family, their daughter, slowly following in their footsteps. Enthralled and eargerly awaiting the next stage, quoting the words of the Viking as taken from his ever engaging Instagram page:
“That freestyle session on BBC 1Xtra with Robboranx is just the beginning of what I intend to do in this world. Long enough have I allowed the doubtful and the plain clueless have a say in what and where I must go when most of them never even seen past the community parlour. So as of now my destiny is mine to make and any musical genre that comes into contact with my mind is going to feel the full force. No holding back anymore especially for those who knows jackshit about music or its environs. God was graceful enough to allow me time to see what I must do and now that I have seen it I will not see anything else other than being musically diligent, vigilant and ready to face whatever stands to ensure what we represent be seen and heard even more than it is now. I am not anyone’s saviour not am I a saviour of any music. I am a harbinger of sound and song and I herald the coming of a new and aggressive age. No one will put the weight of any nation on my shoulders to carry unless God chooses me to do so and he has chosen me to be a warrior for this, someone else will have to be its champion whoever and whenever they may come. We will no longer take no for an answer. Anywhere air can pass I too shall pass for this is the year of the new rise of Soca, this is the year of a renewed people, and this is the year of the VIKING!!!!! AXES UP”.
The Must See Interview!
He might have eloquently hit Robbo Ranks – UK dancehall and reggae DJ with a redefinition of a freestyle at BBC 1Xtra and literally threw the crowds at the Red Bull stage at the Notting Hill Carnival 2013, but here at the UKSS family, fresh of their stage appearance at Oh Gosh we were blessed to grab a few moments and have the opportunity to speak to Soca’s Royal Couple, gaining some knowledge and taking home to bed a few wise and valuable words to ponder on.
In the words of the Viking and ViQueen and shooting his mouth like an M16….BRRRRRRTTT….this is the ultimate exclusive interview brought to you by UKSS featuring Bunji Garlin alongside Fay Ann Lyons, representing the Asylum Family.