It is no secret that our environment plays a significant role in shaping what we value and the people we become. Still with any location on the globe, a singular cultural notion cannot truly represent a place’s identity. Rapper, singer-songwriter Soaky Siren can tell you all about this first hand. Having grown up on an “urban resort” on the beaches of the Bahamas, Soaky’s sound and message is heavily influenced by her islander upbringing, but her perspective on her hometown may not exactly match yours.
The Latin-Grammy nominated and acclaimed songwriter’s artistic motivation, sound, and concept is deeply rooted in and inspired by her hometown. Hence Soaky’s most recent single release “Dope Boys” (Aug. 23) chronicles a common story of young Bahamian women who find themselves falling in love with various drug dealers on the island.
Though non-natives may think resorts, bikinis, & fruity cocktails when the Bahamas cross their mind, the reality for many of the island’s residents is a consistent struggle to overcome political and economic corruption that has wrecked havoc on the people. A story that is often ignored yet necessary to be told, Soaky decided to take advantage of the platform she had created to share this story. In her own words,
“This was the first song I wrote for my EP and the producer, DallasK, asked me what my sound was. I told him ‘urban resort’ and he got it right away…legend. What I meant was the suns out and yea– we’re in paradise but there’s some very real shit going on and for us life is set up differently. I leaned on melody and production to serve bright, pop-y energy but the lyrics are an account of a time when the drug trade was lit on my island. There was excess amounts of ballin’; dope boys were building crazy homes, buying mad cars - just blowing bags on everything and of course the girls wanted them. Eventually we started seeing drug lords going from riches to ruin. The lifestyle seemed iconic until you saw people gettin’ picked off or extradited. It’s always been a story I wanted to tell, I just never had a canvas for it until that day.“
Instantly transported into this “urban resort,” tropical sounds of waves, seagulls, and beachy breezes emerge, only to be accompanied by the wails of sirens – and not the sexy kind. As quickly as it began, the island’s soundtrack cuts and in comes Soaky. As promised, it’s not a dope rap verse we hear, but a melody, and it’s fire. Over a grooving bass line and record scratches, Soaky introduces the plot of her story with blunt lyricism accompanied by dreamy, sweet production and pop-driven melodic phrases.
This juxtaposition is expounded upon with historically-relevant lines such as, “You work with crooked politicians in the dark / Ship cocaina heroine no Joan of Arc” and, “Got brand new government so shit just ain’t the same / Them federalis came and hit you wit a raid / So bitches act like they don’t even know ya name,” which are followed by an anthemic pop-hook, giving the listener that same false sense of happiness and security that the dope boys’ lovers must often feel. The bridge drives the moral of the story home, as Soaky reminds her dope boys that “When ya gettin’ it, better get it fast / Cuz you never know how long it last.”
Take an exclusive sneak peak of the single below and be on the lookout for Soaky’s debut EP LUCAYA due later this year!