Summer after summer, VP’s Soca Gold compilation has long been the premiere platform for curating the very best songs of the genre. In tandem, It’s iconic album art, featuring tropical motifs and vibrant mesmerizing hues, have become a hallmark of Soca culture and the muses that inspire it. While capturing the narrative of Caribbean people through Soca music and stunning imagery, VP’s Soca Gold continues to influence & curate the sounds of soca-reggae. When asked to develop a concept for Soca Gold 2019 , artistic director and CCO Stephanie Chin – granddaughter to VP’s co-founder and reggae pioneer, Patricia Chin – had only one word in mind: “ Women ”.
“I wanted to channel the beautiful legacy of soca music, which is meant to celebrate and embrace the Caribbean woman. The art for Soca Gold 2019 is a visual companion to the stories being shared through soca on the album. Everyone immediately thinks ‘sexy women in gorgeous carnival costumes’ when they hear “soca”, but it is so much more. Caribbean women contribute to the global art community in so many ways; we needed a team of women who not only saw that vision but also added to it. ”- Stephanie Chin
To bring these songs to life, she enlisted a small but powerful team of female visionaries with unbelievable talent.
The cover features Altea Kelly and Nzingha Jones shot through the dreamy lens of photographer Adrienne Raquel, edgy graphics by designer Rebecca Lovinsky, and 90’s inspired neon sunglasses handmade by rising fashion designer, Mona Thomas. Paired with Janie Richard’s sultry makeup artistry and captured on film by videographer Annie Bercy, the shoot was breathtakingly editorial, accented with a seductive, futuristic haze. Alongside assistant creative director Christina Chin and production assistant Yuko Nakamara, Soca Gold 2019 was styled, shot, arranged, designed, accessorized and assisted entirely by women.
Through this creative process, the team captured the ethereal beauty of Caribbean women and replaced the typical ‘male gaze’ with the embodiment of female artistic empowerment.
On the music front, the album also features performances by young talented female performers like Nessa Preppy and Fayann Lyons. Rooted in carnival festive street culture and embellished with lots of Caribbean flair, Soca Gold 2019 isn’t challenging the beauty standard – it’s reclaiming it.
“We’re the biggest reggae label in the world, so we have a huge part in shaping the conversations around Caribbean music culture. We want to create visual art that can capture the culture’s attention, and then elevate the culture in a way that celebrates Caribbean heritage for what it has been and what it will eventually become.”- Stephanie Chin