Bunji Garlin

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About Bunji Garlin

Even the biggest soca hits in Trinidad and Tobago can have a short life span amid the competitive intensity of annual Carnival celebrations. But Trinidadian star Bunji Garlin scored a soca anthem for the ages in the form of 2012’s “Differentology (Ready for the Road)”—a stripped-down, chant-worthy ode to partying that’s just one of many examples of how Garlin has reinvigorated the homegrown genre. Garlin was born Ian Antonio Alvarez in July 1978 in the borough of Arima, where he first took the plunge as a performer at local events in the late ’90s. Adopting his stage name to evoke the flexibility of a bungee cord and the power of a gun, he soon started competing in annual music competitions around Carnival season, and his intense, synth-heavy fusion of soca and ragga earned him four International Soca Monarch titles starting in 2002. His audience grew beyond the Caribbean with the success of “Differentology,” and in 2015 he took a step into glossy EDM territory with the Skrillex and Diplo collab “Jungle Bae.” For all of Garlin’s outgoing ideas, though, he’s always hewed closely to his Carnival roots—as evidenced by the traditional percussion and fraternal message of the 2019 single “Famalay.”

Sangre Grande, Trinidad
July 14, 1978
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