So far, in 2019, with reference to Caribbean Music, some discourse and creativity has focused on reminiscing. For soca, there has been talk of bringing back old sound riddims, bringing power soca back to the forefront and old ways of feting, (bringing back wearing flats and shorts and waving big flags). Other discourse and creativity focuses on the new; new collaborations and partnerships, new sounds, trying new things. Riggo Suave, international Caribbean DJ and official road DJ for Skinny Fabulous is part of the latter movement with his new move into the entertainment arena of singing. This week he brought out a new single ‘Skillz’ and we wanted to know a bit more about him.
What is your cultural heritage? I’ve learnt that you are from Panama but live in New York? What’s the vibe like in Panama and New York for Soca? I am Panamanian, as my mother and father were both born and raised there. I however was born in the USA. Soca music for Panamanians in New York City is no different to other genres like hip hop or reggae. We listen to all kinds of music. At a Panamanian party you will hear everything. In Panama, Soca is now being viewed the way it is around the world however Reggae is the bigger genre there. Hopefully with time and the influence of Panamanians in New York to make it bigger, one day we might have a Panamanian Carnival.
You’re a well-established, successful, international DJ. You’re known as ‘The Stage God’. Why venture into singing?It’s something I’m passionate about. A lot of people don’t know that I’ve actually been singing since I was young. But you out-grow certain things. I focused more on the DJing and now in 2019 having been around many artistes in the industry, I feel like I’ve been put in a place that allows for growth. I was very young when I started, so to say I know it like the back of my hand would not be right. Now that I am a DJ for Skinny Fabulous, I can actually learn more and get personal guidance in this area.
Why 2019, why now for your song’s release? Because in 2019 it’s a different time from 2009. A lot of the young artists and new artiste have an opportunity to brand their music and talent. After being around for so long as a DJ, I see a lot of the music that is hitting is coming from the younger artist so this is the time.
Can you tell us a bit about your debut song? It’s called Skillz. It’s basically for the ladies. Every female has a special way they move that is signature to them. So I wanted to create a song that can be an anthem for the ladies to show off their skills.
What/who are your influences behind the song? Did you write and produce it? The influence is females. It’s written by Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle, one of the top soca artiste. Recorded by Syndicate Music, mixed and mastered by Scratch Master and produced by Slaughter Arts.
You’re the official Road DJ for Skinny Fabulous. Will you be putting that aspect of your career on hold to put more energy into building your singing career? I am a person that can multitask, so no, I will not be passing the torch. In the event of a scheduling clash alternative arrangements will be made. But I will always be Skinny’s road DJ.
What do you think of 2019 Soca so far and do you have any favourites? This is one of the best years for Soca music in my opinion. There is so much good music coming out that it is had to pick a favorite. Maybe it’s because I’m a DJ. If I say I have a favourite I would have to be bias lol. You already know who that would be. However if I had to put my finger on a few songs for this year thou it would be a top three. Savannah Grass, Famalay, Issa Snack.
What do you make of the comeback of power Soca as a DJ and singer? First of all, let’s stop using the word comeback it never went anywhere. Over the last few years there has been an increase of groovy contributions to the soca music so it may seem to have dominated. However traveling to different islands as a dj, Power Soca is still the leading type of soca music. Power didn’t go anywhere Power is here to stay.
So there you have it. Riggo Suave’s first single ‘Skillz’ is out. He is not new to the entertainment industry by any stretch of the imagination. He is a performer behind the decks and his skills on stage are transferable to this new venture. Here’s wishing him the best for his new career.
For more information on Riggo Suave, please visit Riggo2dworld on Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud and You Tube. His new single ‘Skillz’ is out now.