Working hard and long.
With over 30 years in the music business, Denise Saucy Wow Belfon is primed yet again, to have her music exposed to new audiences and a new generation. While many from her native Trinidad & Tobago and throughout the Caribbean know her well as the Wining Queen of Soca, as well as for other hits such as Dance & Dingolay, and Saucy Baby, it’s the Work that continues to get her noticed.
History has said that Denise put down the track with its famous “Work! What you waiting for? Work! Put your back in it!” produced by Anastas ‘Pupa Nas-T’ Hackett, in just one take during the late 1990s. It is not only the lyrics – but also the iconic vocals Denise provided, that have helped the song to remain relevant and to seemingly last a lifetime.
Originally released as part of a vinyl compilation by JW Productions, by 2001 the song was picked up by Masters at Work – an iconic duo in the history of house music. By 2002 the remixed song with its heavy house beats infused and blended delicately with its Soca origins had peaked at #7 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart in the United States.
Over the course of the next 20 years, the song would be used, mixed and remixed countless times. The Wining Queen long ago sang about how to “tic-toc up yuh waist and juggle it” and in 2019, the DJ Flex Put your back in it (Afrobeat) version was released to the TikTok generation who completely absorbed the new sound and accepted the challenge. The TikTok influence and virality catapulted the song to its current position as Denise’s’ Number one (1) song on Spotify (by a landslide over Wining Queen) with nearly 10 million streams to date, hitting the charts in over 150 countries worldwide and – peaking at #1 in over 20 countries on Apple Music & iTunes (World). Just over a year ago in January 2022, mega-stars Shenseea and Megan Thee Stallion used elements of the song Work in their song Lick, again exposing Denise and, her voice and creating general awareness of Soca – to a new audience and generation.
More recently towards the end of 2022, Scottish Electronic DJ Kevin McKay of Glasgow Underground created a fresh House remixed version of Work – extending even further its lease on life. In just two (2) months, this new version of Work already has nearly 1 million streams on Spotify – closely edging up on Wining Queen which has nearly 1.5 million streams on the platform. A look at Denise’s Spotify Monthly Listeners Trend clearly shows the impact of the new dance version of Work as it has increased by nearly 20x since the song release.
Twenty-Five years later, we have these very different versions of the same song – that is carried by iconic vocals and a catch phrase that has transcended time, audiences, and genres. As the song continues to be shared around the world in its various forms, one thing is for certain, the world knows that the song has roots from Saucy and Soca.
What you waiting for? – get Saucy!