As the soca movement grows exponentially, there are several new faces taking things to the next level. One such artist is DJ Stephen. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, DJ Stephen is a key player in Trinidad's contagious love of soca music. He has won several awards including: Best DJ on the Road in Houston's Caribfest and International DJ of the Year. He has collaborated with soca greats such as Machel Montano, Kevin Lyttle, Bunji Garlin and reggae-dancehall artist Gyptian. DJ Stephen is also Machel Montano's official DJ when on the road. 

DJ Stephen's solid representation on the soca scene has allowed him to travel to several continents to entertain revelers at music festivals, create his own mobile APP, and most recently his own apparel line I Am Soca Clothing. 

KingstonToLA recently caught up with DJ Stephen to get his take on the rapidly growing soca movement.

KNG2LA: How long have you been playing in LA and what do you like about the vibes here?

DJ Stephen: I have been playing in LA over the past six years. I love the intimate energy of the LA Caribbean Audience. 

KNG2LA: How often do you go back to Trinidad?

DJ Stephen: I go back to Trinidad at least five times per year.

KNG2LA: What is your opinion on the evolution of soca music within the past five years?

DJ Stephen: I believe that soca music is now one of the most popular and fastest growing party genres in the world today. Over the past five years, the soca sound has evolved into something that the world can understand, while still maintaining our energetic vibe. 
KNG2LA: Which soca artists should we be watching this year?

DJ Stephen: I believe some of the younger artists now carry the future of soca music. Names to watch for are Lyrikal, Voice, Teddyson John and Ricardo Drue. 

KNG2LA: What projects can we look forward to from you in 2016?

DJ Stephen: This year I'm really focusing on the promotion of my merchandise store The Soca Store as well as expanding the Brand of Dj Stephen Music as an international soca ambassador. 

KNG2LA: How do you feel about dancehall and reggae music compared to soca? What are the similarities and which genre do you prefer to turn up to? 

DJ Stephen: I personally really love reggae music, the newer dancehall I vibe to as well, but me being from Trinidad I think it's in my blood to party hard to soca. So soca music I would say is my favorite. 

Cheers to that.

Pree DJ Stephen's recent recap of his 2016 Montpel Carnival Tour here on KingstonToLA:

And turn up to his brand new soca mix here: 

Featured image courtesy of DJ Stephen's Google + profile.