Experience the Vibes of Jamaica Carnival with Traz Di Jennik’s Party Nice

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – While their country is synonymous with reggae, Jamaicans have always had an open mind when it comes to other types of music. Including calypso and soca from their sister islands in the Eastern Caribbean.

Count singer Traz Di Jennik in that tolerant crowd. A dancehall and reggae artist who has been recording since the mid-1990s, he is gearing up for Carnival season in Jamaica with Party Nice, his first soca song.

The uptempo track was released on March 14, two weeks before revellers don their colorful costumes to party and ‘gwaan bad’.

According to Traz Di Jennik, he did a soca song to “show my versatility” but believes Jamaicans will warm to the idea of one of their countrymen doing something different.

Jamaica Carnival song Party Nice by Traz Di Jennik
Traz Di Jennik

“My plan for Party Nice is to get a hit out of it, as a different type of music. I plan to promote it just like I promote the rest of my music,” he said.

Party Nice is co-produced by Traz Di Jennik, his wife Lydia Campbell and Trevor “Skatta” Bonnick, lead singer of Grammy-winning band Inner Circle.

Bonnick has been a mentor to Traz Di Jennik since his early years in the music business. He started his career as Alkatraz and recorded songs for leading dancehall producers such as Steely and Clevie, Patrick Roberts and Donovan Germain.

He also had a liking for calypso and its frenetic offshoot, soca.

“Sparrow is my artist, Saltfish and all them songs I grow up on,” said Traz Di Jennik.

Calypso had a presence in Jamaica long before reggae. Trinidadian Lord Kitchener lived and recorded songs there in the 1940s, while his compatriots The Mighty Sparrow and Lord Creator are popular had hit singles there during the 1960s.

Byron Lee, founder of the Dragonaires band, started the week-long Jamaica Carnival in the mid-1980s.