[Carnival Kings] The Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds, Talks Music
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[Carnival Kings] The Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds, Talks Music

What would you say is the essence of soca music?

Soca music is the happiest music on earth. It is the kind of music that you can’t just listen to. You have to move your body. It’s interactive. You have to clap your hands, move your head, hit the table. It’s happy music. It brings a smile to your face and makes you happy to be alive in that moment in time.

What is your inspiration when creating music?

My inspiration has to do with what’s happening in my life at the time and, of course, the fans. You want to continue to make music that gives people that natural high. My daughter inspires me because I want her to be proud to have me as her mom. She can have pride in saying “my mom is the Caribbean Queen.” My family also inspires me and my husband is very supportive. All of those things inspire me to do my best and make the best music I can.

What do you feel your music does for the spirit of the bajan community, and people all over the world?

It makes them happy. It makes you forget that bills are due and the kids are on your nerves–all the everyday stuff. It allows you to de-stress. You hear your favorite song on the radio and nothing else matters. That’s how soca music makes people feel. For that hour you’re performing there are no worries.

How do you stay inspired after two decades in the industry?

I love what I do. It’s my passion. It’s an integral part of who I am. I love entertaining people. I love to see the look on people’s faces when they hear their favorite song.

How do you get past career exhaustion and fatigue?

Those times when I feel under-appreciated or like, “why am I still doing this?” something happens to remind me what my role is. When a kid hugs you and says ‘I love your song,’ when a fan tells you the affect the songs have in their life, those are the things that keep you going.

Who are your primary influences?

After God, it would be my mom. My mom has been my biggest fan all of my life. Before people knew who I was, my mom always encouraged me. When I joined the band she gave me her blessing. She said “I know you’re going to do the best you possibly can.” She has definitely been a positive influence in my life. She helps me through when times get tough. She’s that soft place to land.

What message are you looking to convey through your music?

I want to be able to make a positive contribution. Female empowerment is something very dear to me, and I’ve been able to translate that into my music. I want to inspire women and girls to reach their potential and do their thing. I want my legacy to be a positive one– one that makes an imprint that will continue long after I’m gone. When you put effort, thought, and purpose into your music, that’s when it becomes a classic. That’s what I want. That’s a big deal to me.

Which song in your catalog is always exciting to perform at your shows?

Can I choose more than one? There are a few songs that never fail, no matter the audience. Iron Bazodee—it’s simply put together and it’s a nice melody. The energy that comes up is almost palpable. Roll it Gal is, for sure, a woman’s anthem for female empowerment. Women message me about that song and tell me stories about the song lifting their spirits and getting them through, and the song is so well put together. The lyrics are strong. It’s just a great song I never get tired of. One more, a true party track, is Togetherness. This song has so much energy from jump. Every time I perform it, it’s like a brand new song. It has a message of unity. We’re all one. Let’s just come together. That’s a song I love to end my set with. The message and the tempo make it as fresh now as when I created it.

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