Speaking Soca with The Jillionaire

Long before Major Lazer set off to Free The Universe, Ras Shorty was in Trinidad, experimenting with percussion and steel-drums. The result: Soca music – a fast, frenzied sound, backed by drums, sending listeners into high paced jubilation.

Since then, Soca has made it’s way around the world, catching the riddim that dancehall had imprinted on mainstream music in the 90’s. The sound has been triumphed by international dj’s like the Soca Twins, and Dr. Jay, but no one has evolved the sound quite like The Jillionaire.

Chris Leacock, aka Trini Chris, aka Jillionaire, is a born and bred Trinidadian, whose carribbean influences have helped shape the massive success that is Major Lazer. The electronic group has mashed in together with Moombahton, and Dancehall notes – and it works. The high BPM’s of both genres makes the pairing an easy fit, and one that is palatable for all listeners of EDM.

Major Lazer had a huge global presence last summer; they brought their own sort of Caribana to every corner of the planet. Their music has yielded exactly what they intended; it’s rambunctious and ridiculous (Bubble Butt?) and it’s given a new life to Soca music.

Jillionaire is an advocate of collaboration and has partnered with Ritchie Beretta on many tracks, including  a catchy remix of Drunk in LoveThe two have also launched Feel Up Records, where Jillionaire’s ear for what’s in the zeitgeist will come in handy. It’s not an easy foray to get into, but Jillionaire has been involved in entrepreneurship, since launching a bar in Trinidad as a teenager.

We spoke with him after his set, and asked him to share with us his thoughts on collaboration, the role of young innovators and whether or not it’s possible to live on the internet.