The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Meagan Sylvester

What is the role that pop music plays in social change, especially during moments of disruption, transition and upheaval?

Popular music has had a relationship with the attainment of human rights as social challenges in myriad ways which have been inclusive of: the right to demonstrate the individual will; the right to develop some measure of self-determination and the right to encourage the citizenry to charge forward towards goals for social change. This paper will explore the lyrics of selected Calypsos and Soca songs using the discursive themes of Music as Identity and Music as Social Change as its lens with the main aim to address the relationships and between musical meaning, social power and cultural value as expressions of change.

Meagan Sylvester is a published author from the Caribbean twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. She is a UWI, St. Augustine graduate and a Caribbean scholar whose doctoral research focused on Narratives of Resistance in Calypso and Ragga Soca music. Her continuing interrogation within the academie, centers on Music, Gender, and National Identity in Calypso and Soca, Music of Diasporic Carnivals, Music and Human Rights and Steelpan and kaisoJazz musical identities.