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Over the past 26 years, the single constant in Machel's ever-changing, stellar career has been his trailblazing approach to T&T's indigenous soca music. Through his various fusions, which include everything from performing with marching bands to collaborating with Grammy-winning reggae artists, Machel has worked tirelessly to establish soca, calypso's energetic offshoot, as a viable entity that can impact beyond T&T's internationally renowned carnival celebrations.
Born in Port of Spain, the capital of the oil rich island of Trinidad, on November 24, 1974, Machel has already made great strides in moving soca towards the mainstream. The former child star made history in March 2007 as the first soca artist to sell out two back-to-back shows at New York City's Madison Square Garden and he returned to the Garden on March 28, 2008 for another sold out affair. The MSG shows, which earned rave reviews for their innovative use of carnival's elaborate masquerade tradition and seamless incorporation of T&T's various musical strains, including calypso, Indian chutney, and the country's national instrument the steel pan, also solidified Machel's reputation as a consummate showman who can dazzle any crowd, anywhere, not just in a carnival setting. "Performing at Madison Square Garden is a goal that I always had," says the soca superstar. "But we didn't just come and sing; we brought the culture of T&T to one of the most prestigious venues in the world."
He hopes to conquer the musical mainstream as skillfully as he has commanded the carnival/soca circuit since the 1990s. To facilitate this mission, Machel will base himself outside of T&T for several months and focus on recording songs that will solidify soca's presence in the crossover market.