Booster Shot: French-Canadian Soca Ambassador featured in FADER

>> Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghislain Poirier and Nurse Karen after our meet and greet in Toronto

Listen to the Ghetto Palms 76: Poirier Soca Mix while you read:

I got pretty excited earlier in the week, when I found out that FADER online chose to feature a soca mix on their "Ghetto Palms" DJ page. Love it or hate it, the mix I'm talking about wasn't dj-fied by a Caribbean-based or even Caribbean-descended sound. The man behind it is Ghislain Poirier. He's a french-speaking Montrealer of good old Quebecois roots.

We met last spring in Toronto. At the time, he was on an international tour promoting his Soca Sound System EP. He produced 4 tracks of original soca, one that features Trini DJ/Artiste Dawg-E Slaughter. Due to his genuine interest in penetrating the scene (that and his unrelenting pursuance of good media), he looked me up and arranged for us to sit down for a chat.

Later that night, me and my cousin Slimmy checked out his set at downtown's swanky Drake Hotel.  We wukked our waists into a frenzy, as the beats-per-minute increasing incrementally without us even knowing it. The night was incredibly fun.  I had no choice but to give credit where it was due as he digged into his digital crates to pluck rare gems that rarely play at your typical soca party.  It didn't matter. No one in the crowd had a clue about the music - no one but us, that is.   Trying as they may, our critcal ears could not interfere with our waistlines.  The set was incredible.

If you search the internet, you'll find the Poirier brand everywhere. He travels coast to coast in North America, and Europe may as well be the far corner of his playground. He flies. He spins. And he flies again. next month the Poirier Sound travels to; Mexico, France, Belgium, The UK, Sweden and The Netherland.

The media loves him too. Quite frankly, dear soca fan, I think it's about time you get to know him. Despite the misfortune of not having any sunny and spicy West Indian blood in his veins, Poirier is quickly establishing himself as a major ambassador for our music. He takes soca through doors it never dreamed of, and in some cases never knew existed.

Poirier doesn't only do the soca thing though. He's an avid student of world music styles, whose introduction to the anglo-Caribbean stuff came through reggae and dancehall. But soca's maniacal BPM's offered him a new weapon for the clubgoers on every coast, and he gladly welcomes her to his arsenal.

* boom *

Love and Soca,

P.S.   Read the FADER feature HERE
         Follow Ghislain Poirier on Twitter

Wanna send a little big up out to Ghislain Poirier for being a courageous ambassador of Caribbean music, with your Canadian passport.  Kudos on the growing list of accolaides, and we'll catch you in Toronto on November 22nd.

PULSE CHECK:  How do you feel about non-West Indians playing and creating soca music?

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