Paradise Pulse
 
Crazy At It Again
  Aryana Mohammed
FEATURES
December 2016

A seasoned man in the business, Crazy celebrates 38 years since the release of “Parang Soca”.

Who doesn’t remember that catchy refrain, “Maria, Maria, Maria, mi corazón”? 

1978 saw the advent of the fusion between soca and parang with the release of Crazy’s “Parang Soca”, the first of its kind, birthing and naming a new genre of “Christmas” music in Trinidad. In 1979 the song received another accolade, becoming the first soca parang tune to ever be played at Panorama and according to Crazy, “the only parang tune that played in Panorama”. Even until today, the song is still considered among listeners as “ah big tune” and is regularly played during the season.

The song gained a lot of traction over the years, cementing it as a soca parang classic. The inspiration to do a crossover came when he realized that the radio stations only played traditional parang along with carols from artistes like Nat King Cole etc. There was no reflection of our people, our culture and our spirit.

“It was an experiment,” he says.

And like all new music breaking into the market, it faced a fair amount of backlash. However, as wine gets fine with time, so too did soca parang, finding its place in our Christmas play lists.

 

“It started off as a joke,” he reflects.
People laughed at him, saying things like, “that is stupidness” and “That wouldn’t sell”. Yet, he proved them wrong, producing a crowd favourite and going on to create other soca parang hits over the years like “Yvonne” and “Put Jesus in Your Christmas”.

 

“That’s what parang soca does do, immortalize your song,” he says, full of conviction.

 

Explaining the economic consequences for soca and calypso artistes due to the downturn in work after Miami Carnival in October, he credits the introduction of soca parang into the local market as the next viable option for sustenance between October and December. It has certainly opened up a whole new playing field to artistes looking for work, with even the famous Scrunter and Baron jumping on the bandwagon. After 20 years in soca, even Iwer George couldn't resist and has taken the plunge, releasing his first soca parang this year, which according to Crazy, has been blowing up the airwaves.

However, Crazy the man with legacy, presses on, and has already brought out three new songs, “Local Fruits”, “Christmas is Today” and “Parang in St. Helena”. He tells Paradise Pulse that the first song is aimed at educating the youths about the different types of fruits grown here, advising them to buy local because of the current state of the economy, while “Christmas is Today” is the expression of his passion, keeping “Christ” in “Christmas”.​

Disappointedly, he says, “People forget Jesus. Now is the time to call Jesus’ name.”

He continues, “What I would like to see is for all the parang soca artistes to come together and praise Jesus Christ.”

Last but not least, Crazy is back with a new “experiment”, “Parang in St. Helena”.

“Nobody ever does parang soca and put tassa in it," he states proudly.

Well we certainly look forward to that! For the upcoming artistes who would like to take a shot at soca parang, he humbly advises to “follow good company” and, regarding the lyrics, to “keep it clean”.

Crazy ended by congratulating Michelle Loubon for the completion of her Masters degree for which she wrote her thesis on soca parang music, taking two years to interview artistes, with no proper information available on the Internet or otherwise.

Be sure to check out Crazy’s new music on YouTube and have a merry Christmas!

By: Aryana Mohammed | FEATURES | December 2016


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