This is one of the most asked question I get from other pannists.
As a steelpan soloist, I have spent my entire career obtaining different genres of instrumentals as they are a valuable asset to my field of entertainment. However, soca and calypso backing tracks are among the most difficult to obtain. I am going to share with you the 3 ways I obtain backing tracks.
1. Original Producer
Finding the producer of the original soca song that you want the instrumental for is very easy. A quick YouTube search for the song and looking at the credits in the description would land you with the producer's name or production company. You'll then search for the producer on Instagram or Facebook and send them a message requesting the instrumental. Be sure to introduce yourself and tell them why you need the instrumental. Keep it short, sweet and professional. Be honest about your intentions! The best-case scenario is that you'll get the instrumental sent to your email while the worst-case scenario is that you'll get a "no" or you don't get a response. Nevertheless, it is worth the try.
2. Search Online
Believe it or not, a lot of people ask me where I got specific instrumentals from when it is available online for everyone. Some of these instrumentals are available on YouTube, Soundcloud, or another website/blog.
When looking for soca and calypso instrumentals online, take into consideration that the song you're searching for might be on a "Riddim" that features various artists. So instead of looking for the instrumentals for the specific song you want, you may have to search for the instrumental for the Riddim. For e.g: Patrice Roberts' 2022 hit "Mind My Business" is one of the songs featured on the "Happy Papi Riddim" produced by Travis World. If you want the instrumental for this song, you'll be inputting "Happy Papi Riddim Instrumental" in your search engine and I'm sure your results would be desirable.
3. Remake The Instrumental
So you've exhausted the options above, and you're still empty-handed.
Hiring a producer to remake the instrumental for you is an option. Think of it as an investment in your craft because you are going to use the backing tracks to do live performances that you'll be paid for.
The quality of the backing track depends on the skill level of the producer. I have worked closely with Full Stamp Music over the years to recreate some of the soca and calypso instrumentals I've played on my YouTube channel. An instrumental remake can cost upwards of $500TT or $70USD (depending on the complexity of the track). However, I have teamed up with Full Stamp Music to make this more affordable to you. Any one that mentions they were referred by Keishaun Julien would get 15% off their first purchase of an instrumental.
Remember, gathering instrumentals is making an investment in yourself as an artist which directly impacts your value proposition.
If you find that this blog was helpful, please share it with your friends and leave a comment below. Don't forget to subscribe for more updates!