Afro Soca Love

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Afro Soca Love

Connecting the African diaspora one fete at a time. I had the honor of speaking with DJ Maga Stories, CEO of Afro Soca Love. Read all about him and how he was inspired to orchestrate events connecting all walks of the diaspora through a multi-sensory experience of love, soca and afro beats.

SO! Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Los Angeles, but lived in London, NYC, DC, St Lucia and also all over California. My mother is St Lucian and my father is Sri Lankan.

So let's get my burning question out of the way. What does "maga" stand for? Because... Trump.

Before Donald dump. “Maga” means “skinny”. Its our “Caribbean slang”. Not his. Its black owned, and I’m taking it back.

When I think about HBCUs, I completely forget the the fact that not just African Americans attend. What was that like for you?

Yes! I noticed that alot of us may be intimidated by one another’s cultures as much as we are fascinated with each other’s cultures. That fear sometimes keeps us from exploring and learning more about one another. Once that takes place, and we become less exposed, we begin to assume a lot about one another and it creates a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding. But the beauty of it all is also once we experience each other, we are able to break down those blocks and connection and find a genuine love between one another. 

How did your upbringing and experiences at Howard University inspire you to create Afro Soca Love?

At Howard I was very involved with the international community. I hosted events, DJed and was apart of leadership groups where we did our best to integrate our cultural experiences into the everyday life on campus. I also was able to travel to other universities and connect them to our schools as well through my networks with the international community. It was really cool, although I went to Howard I was connect to all the schools in the area and it gave me a huge network and change to explore diversity in schools across the nation. It would later help me understand and connect others, it was like a playground for what I would do in the future. 

Myron DJing at one of his Afro Soca Love events.

What made you transition from DJing to organizing Afro Soca Love fetes?

I made the transition, because I wanted to have more of an impact on the community. DJing was mostly about playing music and the gigs were about make people dance. Having more control over the overall event allowed me to focus on the messaging and moving people through a more actionable performances where I could have those conversations about us with us while also making the crowd groove. Nobody could tell me what to do, and it allowed me to really step into my voice as a musician and connect with people on a level where I could be myself and play and communicate about things I felt the most passionate about. 

What was your most significant challenge you faced with your brand and how did you overcome it?

The most significant challenge was scaling the business. It was always an issue to find venues, business owners and partners to understand the impact of our culture outside of the carnival season. A lot of our show have been off season and in venues that don’t typically host events for our musical genres. I have also been met with reservations on the support we would get in new cities, but we also ended up proving them wrong.

Souls fused by afrobeats and soca. Rhythm and vibe connecting the diaspora.

"There is absolutely nothing like this international experience”

J Carter, Founder of One Music Festival Tweet

What do you love the most about Afro Soca Love?

I love the mission the most. It’s not really about the music, it’s about the message and the cultures. We are really about connecting the diaspora.

Tell me about the different types of people that come to your parties and the responses you have received over time.

The beauty of our show is the crowd, it is so mixed. A lot of people had never been exposed to the music before and a great amount were deeply connected to the music and culture. I think that it what people enjoyed the most, there was always new faces and cultures. I made it a point to always welcome everyone. 

How has COVID-19 challenged your business, and what do you currently have planned for the future?

Yes, with the pandemic we had to stop doing shows. But it was actually a great blessing. It allowed me to focus on the fashion side of our company which I have always been involved with but haven’t had much time to learn and grow. In terms. 

Have you played mas before? What was your first time like, and what is your most memorable experience?

I have played alot and often in the past. My first time I was around 17, and it was so big to me, I was afraid of the big crowds of people and the costumes. It was intimidating at first, but as I got older it became the best time of the year and my life. The most memorable experience was Carnival in Notting Hill in 2015. I didn’t play mas but it was the first time I played on a big truck for everyone on the road. I remember crossing the stage and everyone on the street was behind our truck, folks were in their apartments looking down at us, and the sun was coming down, it was amazing to see everyone enjoying themselves with one another.

Connecting with Afro Soca Love

Afro Soca Love on Instagram

Click the Link Below to connect to Instagram

Merchandise

I am IN LOVE with their merch! Check them out! Black-owned, hand made, and for a good cause.

AWM Thanks you!

The world is so small! I learned about Afro Soca Love two years ago when a friend sent me a link for your DC fete in 2018.  I wasn’t able to attend, but you’ve been on my radar since. I purchased a few of your items, and after scanning your website, I knew I wanted to hear all about your brand. 

It has been an immense joy learning about Afro Soca Love and its mission.  The concept of unifying the diaspora resonates deeply with me and I am looking forward to seeing what you and your team have in mind (post COVID, of course).  Many blessings to you and your business.

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