There are quite a few quality songs like Orlando's and Nutron's that make no mention of carnival in the lyrics and could be hits in any non-carnival environment. The only thing that is stopping those sorts of soca songs from becoming hits (if they don't get the air play during carnival) is the backward seasonal thinking.
The reason why most soca artists are releasing their songs now in the build-up to carnival is because they know the mentality of most of the Trini radio stations and DJs. It is that if their song don't get enough airplay during the short carnival season and don't become a carnival hit that it is shelved for the rest of the year regardless of how good it is and even if the song focused on a non-carnival topic in the lyrics.
It is a seriously self-oppressive practice and backward way of thinking due to years of colonial brainwash that has been carried on despite 51 years of so-called Independence and time to free our minds from the colonial brainwash.
What T&T soca artists need to do is to learn how to re-market their music to the radio stations and public post carnival especially if their song was of good quality but got lost in the carnival dust but they all know it’s an uphill battle once carnival is over hence the mad rush to release everything right now.
Once we change our backward mentality then artists will have enough confidence that they would get their deserved radio airplay and support after carnival, to hold back the release of some of their material rather than trying to realise practically everything for carnival as is generally the practice.
However if we look at the most successful soca artists they are releasing music all year even if some of it is geared towards other Caribbean Carnivals. What we need is for soca artists to be releasing stuff all year but with some of the material geared towards other occasions and not just carnival so that there is new soca music coming out all year long dealing with all topics of life just like it happens with all other internationally popular and commercially successful music genres. This is what Calypso did in the 30's, 40's, 50's & 60's when it was internationally successful.
The main problem making soca artists think twice about this is whether or not they will get the desired support all year long from their local radio stations who seem to be more keen on pumping the foreign stuff that in many cases is not much better than stuff that the local artists are producing. Colonialism and self cultural and musical oppression is still very alive in T&T but I hope it will end this year with a radical change of mentality by ALL of us including you Santiwah.
I think everyone needs to pay attention to the lyrics in this hit song this year and lets play more local all year long and not just for the carnival.
Mr Famous - Play More Local [Happy Riddim] [2014 T&T Groovy Soca / Promo Video]
Artists also need to help themselves by producing quality songs on a range of topics and not just about wining and jumping in your costume which is tiring and detrimental to the rich calypso tradition of storytelling. They need to go back and listen to the calypso music of the 30's, 40's, 50's & 60's for the lyrical storytelling formula for international success as those older Calypsonians did regularly achieve way more international success than most of these modern Soca artists.