A Blind spot in Soca

He’s headed Blind but in the right direction.

There has recently been chatter amongst Soca lovers about the song Blind by Hey Choppi, produced by Advokit Productions released in October 2022.  They say it is amongst some of the most underrated (Trinidad) Soca songs released for the 2023 season.  With Blind confidence, Hey Choppi leads off singing ‘hey, I’ll carry you where you want to go’ – and that he does.

The song itself has impressive origins as, the writing team includes not only the Artist & the Producer, but also Wong Nebula, Crystal Tais, Abraham Williams Jr., and Machel Montano. The song was mixed and mastered by the prestigious Precision Productions.  It appears clear that a hit factory was assembled to create the track.  The creators of Blind seemingly had a clear vision in mind as the song was released at what most consider the very start of the 2023 Soca season, so ready to ride the wave for this year and beyond.

Two months after its release and just in time for the kickoff of the annual Trinidad Carnival, the official video for Blind was released.  Strategically that would seem to give the song a jolt with its now eagerly listening audience.  And that it did.  The video is well-thought-out (Directed by Dane Padmore & XOriginals) and the Artist was involved in every facet of this production even, serving as the video Editor on the project.  The opening scene has Choppi and his crew performing in a club, ironically with Choppi singing his well-known hit Captain (r. Oct 2019 also produced by Kit Israel of Advokit Productions) which is currently his #1 streamed song on Spotify with just over 1M streams.  He then flows effortlessly into Blind

By the data, Blind is being seen and heard by Choppi fans. On Spotify, Blind has over 450K streams in less than a year – half of what Captain has accomplished in three (3) years.  What that really means is that Blind is currently trending on Spotify nearly 1.5x faster than Captain and +50% faster than Gud Gud (with Machel Montano).  With nearly 2000 streams per day, every day for the past 10 months on Spotify despite not being a Trinidad Carnival anthem – we expect that at this rate Blind (currently #4 on Hey Choppi Spotify) will take the #1 position by its 3rd birthday if not sooner.  The song should absolutely move into position as his #3 top streamed song on Spotify by the close of this year.

One of the interesting things seen in the Spotify trend line is the differentiation between the songs and how they grow during (and despite) each next Carnival.  As seen in the graph above, the rate and volume of streaming for Blind on Spotify has been increasing exponentially especially compared to other offerings that may be more reliant on the Carnival and fete cycle to generate spikes in streaming. 

We can see from the pattern in the graph above that Blind is taking on Spotify trend line that is very similar to that of Jub Jub by Kes (produced by Tano) in contrast to the pattern for example Hard Fete by Bunji Garlin (produced by DJ Avalanche) – a true power Soca built especially as a Trinidad Carnival & fete anthem.

It is not just Spotify that has the song running blindly with significant gains. An overlay with Spotify streams and the radio plays (primarily across the UK, US & Jamaica) shows that when there were increasing radio plays there were also some increases in the Spotify streams. Also notable is that the United Kingdom currently accounts for 65% of the radio airplay for the song.  It is no wonder that they were also the first country to have the song chart on iTunes (Reggae) at #11, weeks before he would peak at #3 in his native Trinidad and Tobago.

The song is still trending as just a month ago it peaked at #1 on the iTunes (Reggae) chart in the Netherlands. In Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman Islands & Netherlands the song would also cross over onto the iTunes (All Genres) chart for the country – peaking as high as #5 in Trinidad & Tobago and at #58 in the Netherlands.  Considering the Netherlands is 17x the size of Trinidad, that peak position speaks volumes for the international interest in the song.

The song also charted on Apple Music (Reggae) in 10 countries (including Trinidad & Tobago).  The song has reached many of the major Soca markets and made a considerable mark on its way.  However, except for Grenada, Dominica, Turks & Caicos and Cayman, the song has not appeared to have deeply penetrated within the Caribbean region. 

As the Cambridge definition of underrated is to have more value than people recognize, perhaps this is the blind spot that the Soca loyalists are referring to when they say that this song is considered underrated, as typically for the Carnival & fete favorites Soca songs, there would be large volumes of streaming coming from iTunes & Apple Music across the Caribbean. 

Check out the song and video here:

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