One of the leading artists in the ragga soca movement, Trinidadian soca superstar Bunji Garlin is also one of the genre's few crossover artists, having made an impact internationally with Major Lazer, the Soul Train Awards, and even the television show Greys Anatomy all in the mix.
Born Ian Anthony Alvarez in Sangre Grande, Trinidad, he got his stage name from the bungee cord (which is flexible) and Garlin (a type of gun). He kicked off his career just as a dancehall-influenced strain of soca music was taking hold. Known as ragga soca, the aggressive digital genre fueled Garlin's 2000 debut, The Chronicles, a thoroughly modern album which also featured soca legend Alison Hinds. The singer would win Trinidad's Ragga Soca Monarch competition that same year, as well as the next, while 2002 saw him win the International Soca Monarch award and release his first album for the VP label, Revelation. In 2006 he made news with his marriage to fellow soca artist Fay-Ann Lyons, while 2007 saw him kick off his international push with the aptly titled Global, an album that featured guest shots from reggae artists T.O.K. and Freddie McGregor. Bunji avoided releasing another album for years, but many of his singles turned into massive, influential hits, especially the 2013 release "Differentology." The anthem was picked up by Major Lazer for a remix, was featured on an episode of the hit TV drama Greys Anatomy, and landed Bunji a nomination for Best International Performance at the 2013 Soul Train Awards. In 2014, he landed a deal with RCA and released the album Differentology on the major label that same year. In the years that followed, Garlin collaborated with a handful of artists, including Elliphant ("All or Nothing"), Jack U ("Jungle Bae"), Machel Montano ("Buss Head"), and Sebastian Ingrosso ("Ride It"). He released his own single, "Big Bad Soca," in 2017. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi