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Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio gives soca a home on SiriusXM


Soca has found a home on SiriusXM.

The popular Caribbean genre which originated in Trinidad and Tobago will be played 24/7 on Tuff Soca, an offshoot of Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio.

Tuff Soca is one of two music channels added to the radio.

Cedella Marley, CEO of Tuff Gong International, announced that the success of Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio on SiriusXM has led to the expansion of its collaboration with the North-American media powerhouse in the form of two additional SiriusXM streaming music channels: Tuff Soca and Tuff Beats.

The channels launched on March 25 online and on the SiriusXM app.

The aptly-named Tuff Soca and Tuff Beats channels will stream the best in Soca and Afrobeats music, respectively.

"The story of three generations of Marley music isn't properly shared without including the full scope of the music of the Caribbean and African diaspora," said Cedella.

The music for Tuff Soca will be curated by superstar selectors DJ Jel (Trinidad) and ZJ Sparks (Jamaica). The music for Tuff Beats will be curated by Ghanaian-born deejay Brooke Bailey.

Tuff Soca will showcase the hits and history of the genre with music from Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Adam O, Mr Killa, Skinny Fabulous, and more.

Speaking to Loop News, DJ Jel, birth name Jelani Roberts, said it is a phenomenal opportunity to be one of the many figures to put soca on the map.

"For too long we have become complacent about where we are and it is time to reimagine what soca can do and the barriers it can cross," he said.

The United States-based DJ said prior to the pandemic, soca was seen as seasonal and connected to carnivals throughout the region.

"Now we are starting to see the shift and more artistes focused on streaming and putting out albums so now is a good time to have these discussions on what we can do to bring soca to the international market.' he said.

He, however, advised artistes that in order to take advantage of the exposure Tuff Soca gives, they need to register their music.

"The biggest challenge we have had is getting older catalogs of music. We had challenges getting registered and published music... there is a lot of education that needs to be done on the artistes' front and the overall understanding of business. We want soca to go global but we are not taking the steps to get there," he said, noting that many artistes do not have the International Standard Recording Code (or ISRC code) for their songs.

An ISRC code gives a song its unique identity and allows the tracking of key details such as sales, streams, radio station plays, and other important information.

Tuff Soca and Tuff Beats came about due to the huge popularity of Tuff Gong Radio's weekly show, Soca Afrobeats Mix, which debuted with the channel last December.

Marley said: "One of the goals of Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio is to give listeners in North America a true taste of the energy and spirit of our heritage."

Marley and her team reached out to the region's massive community of deejays and media personalities to create exclusive mix shows for the channel. Iconic club and radio selectors Squeeze, DJ GQ, ZJ Sparks, and DJ Jel help to round out the cast of recurring mix show hosts anchored by none other than the CEO herself.

Marley's Nice Time is an hour of musical niceness hosted, curated, and (sometimes) mixed by Marley.

For more information on Tuff Gong Radio programming visit HERE.

Fans can listen to Tuff Gong Radio on SiriusXM radios, online and the SiriusXM app.

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