A soca mission
by Kimberley Cummins
Louise Sterling-Jackman is on a mission to take soca to the world.
Many people may not know her by her Christian name but there is no doubt that her sobriquet, Ms Desire has rolled off the lips of fans on many occasions.
Ms Desire is dynamic, Ms Desire is a show-stopper, Ms Desire is the future of soca, Ms Desire … are but a few of the remarks made from people who have witnessed this young woman perform.
Desire was born in England; she is the product of a Barbadian mother and Jamaican father. While she said she was appreciative of both of her colourful cultural influences she had identified herself most with Barbados and that was why wherever she went she flew the blue, yellow and black high.
The 24 year old told Barbados TODAY of her love for soca and how it had grown to mean everything to her — literally becoming her life.
“I began singing from the age of seven. I initially started singing rhythm and blues; all the common denominators, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyonc?. My mother is Bajan and every summer she used to send me up to Barbados to stay with family during the holidays. It wasn’t until I was 16 and I went to Cohobblopot with my cousin that I actually fell in love with soca.
“It was my first soca show and I remember seeing krosfyah and Alison Hinds live. I was memorised by the command that they had on stage and their music was so fun and carefree.
“That’s when I think I seriously decided to start singing soca, I mean I always used to sing along to the radio during the summer but I never thought I had what it took to be a soca artist. But after seeing the live show at Cohobblopot I knew that this was the genre of music I wanted to get into and I love it,” she said.
No better feeling
“I choose to sing soca because I love it. There is no better feeling in the world that I get, than when I am on the stage singing soca. Also singing soca in the UK where it is such a niche genre allows me to always get a great reaction from the crowd.
“If I perform to a non-soca crowd in the UK, it is always something they are not expecting, but always something they end up loving and they receive it very well. It’s almost as if I am educating them on a new feeling they have never had before; the power of soca music is amazing.”
The international soca artist, as she is called, since beginning her soca career in 2008 has performed in Berlin, Holland, New York, Atlanta, Barbados, London, Leeds, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham and many other places across the United Kingdom.
She performed at numerous places in Barbados throughout the Crop-Over season. Last year she performed at Soca on De Hill, 10-10, Glow fete, Brewster’s Road and Soca Titans. At Crop-Over 2012 she brought down the house at the Monstapiece album launch, on CBC’s Festival Stage and at Girl Power.
Additionally, she said, her music was doing very well in the UK; it is in rotation on most if not all the Caribbean radio stations. It is also doing very well in the United States, especially New York, Miami and Atlanta and some of her songs were also in heavy rotation in Barbados during the Crop-Over season.
Her hits include: in 2011; Mind Ya Bizness, which was produced by Peter Coppin and Carnival Love and Near or Far featuring Kirk Brown, both produced by Blood.
This year she won the UK Groovy Soca Monarch with the Peter Coppin produced Ready Fa Dis. She received rave reviews for Superman featuring Kirk Brown, which was produced by Soca Child as well as Gimme Gimme on Blood’s Canejuice Riddim.
Ms Desire said she has many plans for her soca career. Presently she is working with different producers and writers to get the “right sound” for her sophomore album. Her first album Breaking Out was released last November and it has done well. Selling over 2,500 copies worldwide with the most popular song on the album being Mind Ya Bizness. This song was also featured on the I Am Santata movie soundtrack and it was also nominated for the Best Soca Compilation at the International Soca Awards in New York.
She is getting ready to release her first contribution to Trinidad Carnival with a song titled Give it to Me, which was produced by Precision Productions and written by Justin Ward and she is pushing hard to have material prepared for Crop-Over 2013. firstname.lastname@example.org