How a Trinidadian Chutney Soca musician became a global TikTok sensation

TikTok’s unpredictable algorithm is shining its light on one of Trinidad’s many musical forms.

In recent months, TikTok’s increasingly influential role in the music industry has been questioned and criticised more than ever before. With FKA Twigs, Florence and the Machine, and Halsey each bemoaning the industry’s pressure on them to create TikTok hits, a backlash has emerged to defend artistic integrity when pitted against the platform’s mercilessly unpredictable algorithms.

But Vedesh Sookoo never felt this pressure.

A Chutney Soca musician from Trinidad, his twenty-year career has been built around the old-school Caribbean ways: club night gigs, festival spots and blaring his music atop carnival floats. He didn’t have songs on YouTube, Spotify, or any social media.

Then he went viral on TikTok.

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