Machel Montano has commended rapper Drake using his platform to bring soca to a global audience.
He shared his thoughts during CBC Music’s docu-series, “Drake’s Plan”, an eight-part project that celebrates the Toronto rapper’s decade in music and his global impact on the industry and beyond.
“It takes a certain type of artist to recognise that this is a movement that represents a certain people and see that they can take genres and introduce it to the world,” the “Fast Wine” singer said.
Speaking on his influence and style in a previous interview, Drake said, “I was not only proud but just fascinated by this city, the island influence we have here, the way people talk, the way they carry themselves. My Toronto where I grew up is what I wanted to put at the forefront if I ever got a chance.”
Montano noted that Drake’s influence paved the way for other artists to sample the genre in their music.
Drake has reached dizzying heights of superstardom, largely in part to his ability to tap into international sounds including soca, reggae and dancehall. This is explored in part four of the docu-series.
“That beat that’s so popular Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Drake’s “One Dance” is a feeling. You feel like you’re by that coconut tree, it feels like you’re on the beach. It makes you feel like wining, like moving your waist. It’s more than a sound, it’s a feeling,” he explained.
On hearing “One Dance” for the first time, Montano recalls, “Here’s Drake embracing the sound, embracing the beat. It made me think, ‘Yes this is correct, this is what needs to happen to bring the culture forward’. Some people’s initial reaction is ‘They’re stealing our sound…or this is cultural appropriation’, but for me, there’s nothing that belongs to you or belongs to me that doesn’t belong to us.”
Check out the full episode below: