On the heels of headlining performances in Toronto for OVO Fest and Notting Hill Carnival in London, Soca star Bunji Garlin, born Ian Alvarez, will be delivering his highly anticipated album “Turn Up” on VP Records, this Friday September 1st. Featuring carnival anthems ‘Big Bad Soca’, ‘Take Over Town’ and “Climb.” The 17-song album encompasses the soul of Soca music and the pride and joy of carnival.
“Turn Up” comes just in time for the New York Carnival season as Bunji is set to headline Hot 97 Radio’s annual Labor Day concert On Da Reggae and Soca Tip for the second year in a row. Garlin’s New York promotional schedule will include an appearance at The Apple Store in Williamsburg as part of their ‘Today at Apple’ series and a stop at Brooklyn Mirage with the successful Busshead Tour co-starring Machel Montano.
The album includes collaborations with hit making duo R City, (“Take Over Town”, “Carnival Today”) and reggae superstar Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (“The Message”) among others. Contributing producers include Stadic Studio Productions, 1st Klase, and Jus Now. Totaling 17 tracks of solid listening, written primarily by Bunji Garlin.
“Turn Up” is the follow up to the 2014 album “Differentology” which featured the explosive single of the same name. Earning Bunji a number of firsts for a Soca artist including a feature on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and a Soul Train Award for Best International Performance. The New York Times stated “he assuredly moves soca into the now era…uproariously engaging.” Rolling Stone Magazine stated “Garlin’s (album) exemplifies what it means to be a differentologist…blends dancehall, EDM + Trap into his sound without ever seeming like he’s trying.”
“There’s been huge growth for soca over the years, much greater acceptance for it, and it’s still growing because it’s a young music,” said Bunji Garlin on the new wave of carnival culture. More than ever, mainstream culture has embraced the costumes, colors and energy of carnival including the likes of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and more and every year, Soca artists strive to create the one song that best captures the essence and spirit of the Carnival season (February to October). This year “Big Bad Soca,” from the new album is that carnival anthem. With its high energy, hooky melodies and descriptive lyrics, the song invites the listener to celebrate the music and dance. “That is the definition of a good song, it will take you anywhere and everywhere,” says Bunji of Big Bad Soca, which has become an anthem at carnivals across the US and sets the tone for the entire “Turn Up” album.
“The album delivers everything that soca lovers enjoy,” said Edwin Howell, A&R for VP Records. “But even more so, it has the right balance of different genres to appeal to a wide audience, which is something Bunji does so well,” he concluded.
Bunji has brought Soca music to every continent in the world and it’s no overstatement of his influence on this culture. With his fourth album for VP Records, Bunji is primed to take his music to even higher heights. With an ongoing tour schedule that covers all of the annual Carnival stops, Bunji is front and center in the music and his audience is ready to Turn Up!