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|Birth name||Olatunji Yearwood|
|Born||September 3, 1985|
Port of Spain
|Origin||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Genres||Soca, Afrosoca, Calypso|
|Associated acts||Mairoon Ali, Machel Montano, Runtown|
Olatunji Yearwood (born September 3, 1985), better known by his mononym Olatunji, is a Trinidadian soca artist.
Yearwood was born in Trinidad to Edward Yearwood, a well-known composer and mother Mairoon Ali, a Trinidadian actress, radio personality and teacher. He established himself as a Soca talent early on when he entered and won multiple talent shows while still in his teens, including the national Junior Calypso Monarch competition.His shot to global fame when he won Trinidad's famous Soca Groovy Monarch/International Soca Monarch in 2015, performing his blockbuster single "Ola." He is the last International Groovy Soca Monarch champion, as the competition's format was changed in 2016 to exclude that category.
Yearwood was featured in The Fader Magazine as the face of Afrosoca music, an emerging genre that fuses Soca and Afrobeats.He sees the release of his debut international album 'Awakening' on July 1, 2016, from FOX FUSE - the world's largest label for soca music.
In September 2018, Yearwood was featured as a contestant on The X Factor UK (Series 15). During his audition, a technical glitch resulted in the wrong backing track initially being played,however, once fixed, accompanied by two backup dancers, he went on to sing his original song called "Bodyline". His performance eventually resulted in a standing ovation from all four judges and, thus, four "yeses" allowing him to proceed to the next round. He made it to the live shows, and performed another bespoke song, "Jiggle It", but became the first act to be eliminated, finishing in 16th place.
Soca music is a genre of music defined by Lord Shorty, its inventor, as the Soul of Calypso, African and East Indian rhythms. It was originally spelt Sokah by its inventor but through an error in a local newspaper when reporting on the new music it was erroneously spelt Soca, Lord Shorty confirmed the error but chose to leave it that way to avoid confusion. It is a genre of music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1970s and developed into a range of styles during the 1980s and after. Soca was initially developed by Lord Shorty in an effort to revive traditional Calypso, the popularity of which had been flagging amongst younger generations in Trinidad due to the rise in popularity of Reggae from Jamaica and Soul and Funk from the USA. Soca is an offshoot of Kaiso/Calypso, with influences from East Indian rhythms and hooks.
The culture of Trinidad and Tobago reflects the influence of Asian, European, African, Latino, Amerindian, American, West Indians and Arab cultures. The histories of Trinidad and Tobago are different. There are differences in the cultural influences which have shaped each island. Trinidad and Tobago is an English-speaking country with strong links to the United Kingdom.
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