The rhythms of calypso and the drone-heavy music of East India were combined to create the energetic musical hybrid, soca, by Trinidad-born vocalist Lord Shorty (born Garfield Blackman). During a 1979 interview with Carnival Magazine, Lord Shorty recalled, "I was trying to find something new because the talk was that calypso was dying, and reggae was the thing....I felt it needed something brand new to hit everybody like a thunderbolt."
Focusing on calypso in the early-'70s, Lord Shorty experimented with altering the rhythm until "introducing" soca with his hit song, "Ïndrani," in 1973. The new rhythm combined the musical traditions of the two main ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago. Lord Shorty initially referred to the rhythm as "solka," later explaining, "the 'so' comes from calypso and the 'Kah'" to show the East Indian thing in the rhythm. The name of the rhythm was later changed to "soca" by a musical journalist. Although his early soca recordings utilized instruments, including the dholak, the dhantal, and the mandolin -- associated with East Indian music -- Lord Shorty went towards a more standard instrumentation, including drums and guitar, beginning with his 1975 album, Endless Vibration. Converting to Rastafarianism in 1981, Lord Shorty changed his stage name to Ras Shorty I. He continued to explore new musical
ground with Love Circle, a band featuring 13 of his children. In the late-'80s, he introduced a new style of music, jamoo, which combined elements of reggae and gospel. ~ Craig Harris