Calypso in London

Every year the ‘London Calypso Tent’, showcases the best Soca and Calypso acts

Notting Hill Carnival celebrates all forms of Caribbean music, and is a great platform for contemporary Calypso artists. Calypso makes up one of the five disciplines of Carnival, along with Mas bands, Steel bands, Soca and Sound Systems, but unlike Soca and Steel pan, has not enjoyed the mainstream popularity.

Every year the ‘London Calypso Tent’, showcases the best Soca and Calypso acts. The events are held every Friday, over the month leading up to Carnival weekend. Artists including, Sister Sandra, Lord Cloak and the legendary Mighty Tiger, perform and entertain the audience with Calypso talents and a strong spirit of competition, leaving with that bachhanal feeling all the next day.

Trinidad & Tobago is famous for being the home of calypso and in the 1920’s, it was the dominant style of music in the Caribbean. Calypso music is a form of social commentary, full of sharp wit and verbal dexterity, and has inspired other Caribbean music styles, including reggae, Soca and Rapso.

Calypso performances were at one time a male arena, today there are more and more women with excellent delivery, performing, competing and winning. There is very little Calypso on the radio, and virtually zero coverage on the TV, so we will have to see if Calypso makes a mainstream comeback.

Did You Know

• 1912 the first recording of instrumental Calypso music by a band called Lovey’s Orchestra.

• 1914 the first vocal recording of a Calypso was made with Duke of Iron and Jules Sims.

• 1935 Lady Trinidad made history as the first female Calypsonian to sing in the tent, in Port of Spain.

• 1937 Lady Trinidad became the first female Calypsonian to make a record.