The NY-based soca warrior sounds off on leaving Jamaica, carrying the torch for calypso and his new single, “Rock and Come In.”
In Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s, music icon Lord Shorty sketched out a new hybrid sound he first dubbed “the soul of calypso.” It would be a decade however, before soca crystallized into its modern form, incorporating – and then digitizing – the sounds heard at Carnival time. Today, soca is a broad category whose numerous permutations can be hard for even insiders to track. Soca ambassador Linky First (born Jason Henriques) is currently based in NYC but is a native of Jamaica’s rural Brotons province, where he grew up on gospel, Bob Marley and ’90s dancehall kings Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. With frequent gigs throughout the five boroughs and beyond, and reliable summertime smashes like 2016’s “Rock and Come In” and this year’s “Bumper,” Linky First comes through our Manhattan studio to chart his rapid rise and preview what’s next.