The first ever Soca Switch competition, an event that is expected to open the “carnival music” season in Saint Lucia, will be held on Saturday, April 25. Just4Fun Carnival Band, the entity behind the event, says that it is seeking to develop the St. Lucian carnival product by creating a unique event to showcase St. Lucian artistes in the form of this “Soca Switch”.

There are two main reasons for this venture, the organizers say. Firstly, it is seen as a vehicle to get Saint Lucian artistes to release their music early in the Saint Lucia carnival season. To that end, the event will be held on the last Saturday in April, previously a staple date for the launch of the Just4Fun Band which this year was launched on January 31. Secondly, it is expected to provide a professionally televised production featuring Saint Lucian Soca music with the aim of getting it broadcast across the region.

“Soca Switch” which is backed by Digicel and Piton Beer, will introduce a Soca competition in April at the height of Jazz season. “By its very design, artistes will have to release new music to qualify for the cash and prizes as well as bragging rights that come with winning a competition,” a spokesperson for the event says.

The Soca Switch competition is open to all Saint Lucian artistes based locally and internationally.

All power and groovy songs released before 10th April, 2015 will automatically receive entry into the competition for the St. Lucia 2015 carnival season. Releases should be sent to prior to 10th April, 2015.

There will be no distinction between Groovy and Power Soca in the Soca Switch competition as it is one competition where one champion will evolve.

The first wave of judging will be done by a selected judging committee which consists of both local and international judges with various backgrounds including, but not limited to, regional, international and local DJs, production houses, writers and a cross-section of St. Lucian carnival enthusiasts, with a shared vision for the growth of St. Lucia carnival. Additionally, part of the judging will be done via text and Facebook e-poll. After the first wave a total of twenty songs will be selected.

The second wave of judging will be done by a panel of judges to select the qualifying ten songs which will go through to the competition on 25th April, 2015. All qualifying artistes will be notified via email.

The third wave of judging will be done on the night of the actual Soca Switch competition, 25th April,2015. All ten successful artistes will perform their qualifying song with any desired props along with a live band. An appearance fee will be paid to the ten successful artistes.

At the end of the competition the best overall performer will be crowned the reigning Soca Switch champion with over EC$10,000 in cash and prizes to be won.

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