History of Caribbean Music Association (CMA)

London Brotherhood of Soca Soundsystems (LBSS) was instrumental in first introducing and promoting soca music in the Britain.

London Brotherhood of Soca Soundsystems was formed 14th July 1980, by Mr Lawrence 'Lord Sam Soca Wax' Chambers, "the pioneer of the fledgling soca sound system movement in Britain" (Westindian Digest, 1980).

In order to hear Caribbean music, you had to go to the Sound Systems and Lord Sam Soca Wax brought over the latest Soca & Calypso tracks from Trinidad, from Kitchener to Sparrow.

Lord Sam also pioneered the migration of soca music from static sound to a MOBILE SOUND; by being the first soundsystem owner to invest heavily to make a sound system mobile, playing Soca & Calypso music on a truck around the route at Notting Hill Carnival. Many others followed, impacting Notting Hill Carnival's culture to what it is today.

As there were a limited number of steelbands and live bands, LBSS Mobile sound systems aided an increase in carnival bands and exposed soca to larger audiences.

LBSS were at the forefront of promoting soca and entertaining audiences at Notting Hill Carnival, other Carnival events and black tie functions.

During this time, LBSS created the Soca on the Move Competition, a competition for mobile sounds at Notting Hill Carnival which took place on the route at judging point, a continued tradition (Currently at Westbourne Park).

Soca is the genre you predominantly hear playing on trucks/performance units during the carnival procession.

Lord Sam established LBSS as it was not possible to get funding from the Arts Council unless applications were submitted from a constitutional body.

LBSS lasted until 1992 / 1993, when its members felt there was a need to broaden their horizons by diversifying into other genres of music like reggae, salsa, high life to name a few, LBSS formed a new body called Caribbean Music Association (CMA).

Caribbean Music Association continued the tradition of the 'Soca on the Move' competition, valuing the importance of Soca on the route at Notting Hill Carnival and the DNA of LBSS' cultural movement and impact in the UK.

The Soca on the Move competition scaled to new heights and CMA became masters of playing music on the road for Notting Hill Carnival.

CMA has also gone on to support and adjudicate the UK Soca Road March, which awards Soca artists from the UK for the highest number of times their song is played at Notting Hill Carnival.

First members of LBSS

  • Lawrence Chambers (Lord Sam Soca Wax)
  • Trevor Charles (Shadow Hi Fi)
  • Michael La Rose (People War)
  • Michael (One Unity) later became Destiny Basil (Black Patch)
  • Bernard Thompson (Mangrove then became FATS)
  • Peter (China Funk)

Later joined by

  • Tony (Mr T)
  • Victor Philip (Caribbean Diamond)
  • Cecil Kelly (Renegade)

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