This is where I focus on soca artist, Bunji Garlin. A lot has been written about the artist online, so I shall not attempt to repeat anything which you can simply google and find on several websites. I shall simply speak my mind on the artiste.
I think very highly of this Trinidad soca artist, (whose real name is Ian Alvarez). It's remarkable how creative this man is, particularly as a lyricist. As for freestyling, no other soca artiste seems to be able to match him. I have watched this artiste "mash up" and win the International Soca Monarch so many times with what some would arguably consider an ordinary song. As soon as he starts freestyling, you know it's over and victory belongs to him. When it comes to winning a soca monarch title, few can compare.
Bunji Garlin has a style that is unique, one that blends dancehall elements with soca and calypso. As a result, he is able to attract the youth, particularly those of the "grass roots". Equally, he has won the hearts of those in the upper strata of society. I have seen this man go tete a tete on stage with leading dancehall artistes like Beenie Man and really "hold it down" and represent for his homeland, Trinidad and Tobago.
Garlin is also referred to as the Fireman. He has many songs about fire, is known for shouting "Fireeeeeee", and often uses fire in his performances.
Unlike artistes like Iwer George who only release two or three songs for Trinidad carnival, Bunji is known to release many songs for the season. The only artist that comes in his category in terms of the number of releases, is probably, Machel Montano HD. The good thing about this is that Garlin is not only about quantity, but quality songs as well.
Bunji Garlin is married to Faye Ann Lyons, the daughter of Trinidad soca great, Super Blue. Faye Ann is a leading soca artiste in Trinidad and a former soca monarch and road march winner. In my mind this is a great union. Many people only dream of such a marriage, where both partners have similar interests. They are members of the Asylum family, and the Asylum band. Bunji and Faye Ann, with their joint efforts in soca music, clearly demonstrate that two is better than one. I enjoy watching these two artistes perform on stage together and think that they compliment each other very well.
In the soca music business, many soca artistes don't get to perform very often. Most artistes operate at a loss and have to depend solely on other means of employment. Fortunately, the same cannot be said of Bunji. As a soca artiste who has made a tremendous impression on soca music, and with such a multitude of fans and interests all over the world, he tours regularly. Bunji seems to be one of the artistes who makes the most money out of soca music.
My favourite Bunji Garlin songs include Down in The Ghetto, Bomb Song, Blaze the Fire and Warrior Cry, all of which won him soca titles.
Hats off to this soca genius and may he continue making more and more hits.
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