Going to a Soca Loco event? The energy is different, fresh. These are high energy events with a very personable touch. I’m always curious about new teams; how they come together, what their main aim is, etc. So I decided to find out more. I managed to have a conversation with two of the team members just before their event in Mile End, London England over the weekend.
You guys are called Soca Loco. Is that your main genre? Anthoney: I’d say that is our main genre. We touch on other things. But we like to keep it majority soca. Jevan: Yeah say like 75% soca and then everything else comes into play. So you have your hip hop and couple of bits and bobs.
How many of you are there in the team? There are four of us; Anthoney, Jevan, Kayran and Ashley. Are you an all man crew? Jevan and Anthoney: Yes. Will that ever change? Anthoney: No. I don’t see that changing in the sense there is the main team. We have others who we consider to be our team as well and we do have females in that.
And how long has Soca Loco been going on for? Jevan: About a year and a half?
How many events have you done so far? Jevan and Anthoney: This is our sixth
What made you start it? Anthoney: Well we was thinking about doing it for a while. We always thought about having the idea and letting people experience events in the way we like to experience it. And then it it took a bit of pushing and coming together with the right people. And just thought, ‘alright let’s give it a go.
So how do you like to experience events? Jevan: We’re more of the guys that as soon we go in, we’re going in to dance as soon as we get in there. If not, we’ll go to the bar then straight to the dance floor. We’re not the guys that will sit back and buy a bottle and just chill. This will not be me. I will not sit down for the night unless something is hurting. Anthoney: As you notice when you came into the venue and there was lots of furniture there, but we got rid of everything. And that’s just to encourage people not to sit down, come out to do what you came out to do. Jevan: Why are you going to pay £20.00 for your for your fete and you are going to stand up on the wall the whole night? You didn’t have a good time. If you go back and say you had a good time via snap chat and everything else using filters, I’m not even trying to hear that. We’re pretty much trying to show everybody this is how a fete is supported to be done. This is how we love to do it so how about trying to do it our way?
What makes your fetes different from all the others out there? Jevan: Our thing is, when you coming out to have a good time, you’re come out to fete. You’re not coming out to stand, you’re not coming out to do anything else and that’s pretty much how I feel we put it out there. So every flyer, every picture, every video we put out. You look at it and can see that there’s a vibe the whole time. People are jumping up, people are wukking up. People are drinking their juice. And just having a time. That’s how we do. Cause we have been to fetes and that’s not the case. There’s been times when it is jump up jump up. And other times it’s really quiet. Anthoney: You could say that our fetes are extensions of our personalities. So exactly how we are when you talk to us is exactly how we are when we are in a fete. We don’t just put on fetes and stand on the side and say ‘Go on, pass your five pounds, pass your ten pounds.’ We are in there enjoying ourselves with you. You know who we are, you can talk to us anytime. Jevan: We are always to be seen. So you will never find the four of us just chillin in a corner whilst the party is going on. You’ll find Pelt waist in there, you’ll find Ant somewhere, you’ll see me somewhere, you’ll see Ash somewhere. Most times, we have our tees on so you know who we are so you can interact with us and what not and that’s what we like.
What’s the age range of your audience? Anthoney: I’d say the majority are probably between 24-36. But we do see people up to the age of 50 down to 18.
Where does most of your support come from? Anthoney says softly and laughing: Females [laughter]. Jevan: [laughter] He goes ‘Females’. [laughter]. I can’t fault him. It’s true. The older females, 24, 25 and up in comparison to those that just jump in the scene 18, 19. It would be females. The guys go ‘Aight, they’re going there, we’ll go’.
How did you grow your audience? Jevan: I think it’s going back to how we are in fetes. Cause we did what we did, we meet people. So when we were ready to try something, it was really easy. It was word of mouth. Then we started playing with social media. We never used to do social media. We are horrendous with it. So it’s just telling people. And it was like Chinese Whispers, word spreads.
Have you got an aim to do a number of events per year? Anthoney: Between us we talk. We try to have a plan and strategise. We don’t want to do anything blind. The reason we like to plan is that when we do something, it is something people will enjoy. It’s not for us really, it’s for everyone else. We can’t have a party by ourselves.
Are there defnitive roles? Anthoney: I’d say we all kind of interchange. So we’re very adaptable. What are your strengths? Jevan: You can answer that Ant cause I wanna hear this myself [laughter]. Anthoney: We’re quite similar. Jevan: We’re both people people. We talk to everybody. Actually I think most of that would be me now actually. At first we both used to talk to everybody but I think most of the time it is me now. Remember every time in the fete, you’d say you talk to people too much in fetes. Remember how often you lot say that. I socialise a lot more. Anthoney: The difference is you will stop and talk a lot longer than I will talk. Whereas I will talk to everybody. Jevan: See I will talk to people who come and talk to me and what not. But I feel for strengths, for me it would be more of the socialising aspect and net working and personnel to a degree. But this one here, he likes to have his hand in all the pots. That’s his strength. What about the other two of your team? Jevan: Ash is the set up guy I’d say. Anthoney: Ash is great with vision. Jevan: Yeah he’ll see something, he’ll put it together. He makes our drawings look pretty. Kayran is our resident wukker. He’s our Mr Pelt Waist. So if you see anyone wukking up a storm, a little dust cloud, that’s probably him. With his sweat rag. He’s the party starter. There could be two people, by the time he’s done woooo.
Have you thought about the long term about the direction of Soca Loco? Anthoney: Right now, we’d just like to keep it in. [laughter] Jevan: Let’s just hold it for a minute. Next time we sit down and talk, maybe we’ll say something else.
What about collaborations? Is this another ‘Let me just hold it there?’ [laughter] Jevan: Right now, collaborations are not something we are interested in or looking into. The future? Who knows what the future holds. But for now? We just want to grow this brand.
How do you know that your brand is growing? How do you know that you are more successful? Jevan: More ticket sales. Being able to use bigger venues. Anthoney: Yeah putting people in venues they would like to be in. And that’s always a struggle. Jevan: The first time we used this venue, we could only fill one side. That’s all we could do. This time we have both rooms. So that shows our formula is working. Right now that’s the way we are able to gauge it. And word of mouth. Today I had to go to mum’s at Elephant and Castle to get a roti. The woman who was working there said ‘I know your face’. I said ‘Why?’ She said ‘You do Soca Loco, you got a party tonight.’ I thought ‘Yes, made it’. [Laughter] I was only going to get a roti [laughter]
In terms of Carnival, would you ever bring out a band? Anthoney: We’ve spoken about that. We’re not affliated with any carnival band. I mean we model for Trinity but that’s not Soca Loco. That’s us. For me personally… Jevan: We’re split down the middle with this. Him and Ash are like ‘nah’. Me and Kayran are like ‘There might be a market for it.’ So it’s one of those where we’ll look into it again or we might just leave it as it is. Anthoney: I would never say I want my own band. Maybe a small section. Jevan: That’s where the compromise might be. This question was posed to me a couple of days ago. It so much you gotta think about. The affiliations and everything under the sun. That’s another thing as well. There is so much politics. If we did one, you’ll be stepping on this one’s toes.. nah nah.
Let’s talk about the politics. Have you found some resistance from other teams? Anthoney: Everyone has shown us love. We really don’t step on anyone’s toes. Jevan: It will happen eventually. I can see it happening.
In the next year, what do you want to achieve? Anthoney: This is just totally random and on the spot. It just came to me the other day. You see how when Private Ryan puts out ticket sales and it just goes in a day. Jevan: Yeah I want that. Anthoney: And it goes out in a day. In a day it sells out. Everyone knows, the expectation. You don’t even need to read the intro. You just click ‘buy’. [laughter]. And he’ll drop on his website, he’ll say my tickets are coming out 5pm London time. People will finish work, take that break, everything. Everyone is on that phone at the same time trying to buy the tickets. Jevan: yeah, from time we can say Soca Loco and people are excited hearing it, from time we can say things like ‘We are dropping our tickets at this time and it goes… Anthoney: If that happens, that means we are doing things right. Jevan: We’ve won fetes, we’ve just won fetes [laughter]
These guys, the Soca Loco team are fun. No doubt about it. And by extension their fetes are fun. There’s an infectious quality about their energy. And their implied mantra is simple really, ‘Come to our events to have fun’. No stooshiness, no stand up and pose. Just. Have. Fun.
All photos were used with the authorisation of the Soca Loco team. Images are by TrinisinLondon, UK Soca Scene and Ilovecarnivall.