How Trinidad and Tobago "won" three Grammys last night

Date: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trinidad and Tobago's culture and talent were represented in at least three of the Grammy awards issued last night, among them, soca artiste Ian "Bunji Garlin" Alvarez being listed on one of the winning albums.

The award for Best Dance/Electronic Album went to Skrillex and Diplo for the album "Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U".

That album includes songs that featured Justin Beiber, Missy Elliot and T&T's Bunji Garlin with "Jungle Bae".

Bunji Garlin posted on Instagram last evening, "Congrats to my @diplo and @skrillex on their Grammy. Thanks so much for having me on the album with the other greats!!! #GRAMMY #2016 #JACKU".

Rapper 'Trinidad James', a T&T national whose real name is Nicholas Williams, was also in winner's row, somewhat.

James is listed as one of eleven writers of the song that won the Grammy for Record of the Year, "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

The main hook of that song, "don't believe me just watch", was inspired by one of Trinidad James' songs, "All Gold Everything".

Trinidad James recieves 8% of the royalties of "Uptown Funk".

The third T&T link to the Grammys comes from Meghan Trainor's award as "Best New Artist", for her song "All About the Bass".

Trainor has insisted that her song, which had topped the US Billboard Charts, was a soca tune.

Trainor said she was inspired and encouraged by her uncle, Tobago-born soca artiste Burton Toney, who is married to her aunt.

Toney, who lives in the United States, performed with the band known as Jackie Johnson’s Excel and later on Atlantik before he migrated. His own talent and passion for soca music served as inspiration for Trainor, who experimented with blending pop and other styles with soca to come up with this hybrid.

She said: "My uncle is from Trinidad, so, ever since I was 7, I grew up listening to soca, the genre that’s from there. It’s my favourite sound. So, we put a band together and we would play soca … and then I would go up and play my little pop songs (laughs). It was fun!"

The 58th Grammy Awards Ceremony was held at the Staples Centre on Los Angeles, California Monday night.

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