Dominica Calypso

An Introduction to Dominican Music

dominican music

What’s that you hear?

Does it sound melodious to the ears?

Wait; you’ve never heard it before?

These sentences are most apt in describing Dominican music. Although widely known by many throughout the globe, Dominican music, or music from the tropical island of Dominica is still unknown to even some of the most thorough musical connoisseurs.

The Real Source of Domincan Music

Dominica, situated between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, has over the years been influenced by its French counterparts. This influence has no doubt played a significant role in the musical styles which exist on the island.

If we think back through history and recall that at one point the British and the French fought over the island, and fast forward to modern day, it is quite easy to understand from whence the musical flavors stemmed.

A Style for Every Audience


Modern day Dominican music can be separated into many styles. Soca styles are characterized by an up-tempo beat, and catchy hook. This type of music is very popular on the island and can be heard often at parties.

Alongside Soca music, are the Calypsos, which are often more so popular around local celebration times, such as Carnival, or the annual World Creole Music Festival. These tend to be more of social commentary, and although they also sometimes have catchy hooks, they often tell a story in relation to social issues.

The island also has a large “conscious” Reggae musical population. These tend to follow the Reggae styles made popular in Jamaican music, but are often slower and more in tune with social injustices.

Bele, Quadrille, and Jing Ping are also popular, and all combine fast past drumming, with traditional French creole lyrics. Lending also from French influences is the Kandanse, which incorporates the Compa musical style which took root from the Haitian and French Antilles. This musical style has been incorporated into the Calypso and Reggae style and has evolved into what is known as “Kandanse-lypso”

Less traditional, but just as popular is the African dance music. This musical style takes its roots from Zouk and Compa music, and provide up-tempo beats often to a mix of African and English lyrics.

Lastly, anyone who is familiar with Dominican music knows the term “Bouyon”. A uniquely Dominican musical style which likens itself to “soup mix”. The musical art form took shape in the late 1980s into 1990s on the island, and had the band WCK as its pioneers. Staying true to the “soup mix” description, the music combines traditional drum beats, Kandance music and often whimsical lyrics.

No Substitute for Experience

The island of Dominica has much to offer in terms of musical variety. Check out some musical collections which will boost your fondness for the music the island has to offer here:

Keyboardist, Entreproducer, and founder of Craig's main focus is to help Caribbean artists earn the most revenue from their music.