COUNTRY: Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname
Indian indentured servants who came to Trinidad from 1845 to 1917 brought their music with them and eventually fused it with island music to form a genre called chutney. Traditional chutney music added Indian instruments like the dholak and the harmonium to Caribbean songs, as well as a religious sensibility and, often, vocals in Hindi. Contemporary chutney pioneers like Surinamese vocalist and harmonium player Ramdew Chaitoe became well-known in the ’60s and ’70s all over northeastern South America and the Caribbean .Â Today chutney has blended with soca to form “chutney soca,” which has become popular international dance music. “What is chutney music?”: a primer | Kuch-Kuch Baby!