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Destra Garcia

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Destra Garcia
Destra Garcia (2013)
Born (1978-11-10) November 10, 1978 (age 45)
Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago
Other namesQueen of Bachanal, Lucy
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1998–present
SpouseBrian Morris
Parent(s)Lloyd Garcia and Debra Garcia
Musical career
LabelsBamboo Entertainment

Destra Garcia (born 10 November 1978) is a Trinidadian musician, singer and songwriter of soca music. She is also known by the mononym Destra. She is one of the most popular female soca artists in the world.



Childhood and early career


Destra Garcia was born in Laventille to Lloyd Augustin Garcia and Debra Garcia. Her paternal great-grandfather was from Venezuela. Her maternal great-grandfather was from France while her maternal great-grandmother was from Spain. Her musical roots stem from her late grandfather Frankie Garcia, a local jazz musician and her father Lloyd Garcia, an accomplished guitarist. The eldest of four siblings, Destra was raised in the community of Desperlie Crescent, Laventille directly east of Port of Spain. She later attended Woodbrook Government Secondary school and St James Secondary School where she discovered her passion for singing and music. She went on to win her school's Calypso Monarch title for five consecutive years.[1]

She joined a quartet called Psyke which disbanded after only one year. Following the demise of the group, Destra attended the School of Business and Management earning a diploma in Sales Management.

Stepping into success


In 1999 Roy Cape All-Stars took notice of her single titled Ah Have A Man Already with Third Bass and invited her to join the Roy Cape All-Stars band as one of the lead vocalists. She pursued a solo career briefly, but eventually joined the band Atlantik in late 2002. She then forged a successful songwriting partnership with Kernal Roberts up until 2005, churning out hits such as "Whe Yuh Want", "Negative Vibes" and "Bonnie & Clyde".

In 2003 Destra released her first album Red, White, Black which included her hit duet "It's Carnival" with fellow Soca artist Machel Montano. The song became the virtual anthem of Trinidad and Tobago carnival that year and is widely known throughout the Caribbean and by extension, the world .

Soca Icon


Destra won the Carnival Road March title in 2003 at Brooklyn's Labour Day Carnival.[2] Her 2004 hit single "Bonnie and Clyde" also became the theme song of a Malibu Rum TV advertisement.[3]

Georgia Popplewell of Caribbean Beat magazine in 2006 described Destra's music as "the kind of sound that a young person, living at the crossroads of cultures and technologies that is Trinidad and Tobago today, is likely to produce, and the breeziness of her music may well act as an antidote to the hard edge that often characterises life not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but in many other corners of the globe.[3]

What's more, mobile telecommunications group Digicel appointed Destra, in 2006, as their first ever female spokeswoman in Trinidad and Tobago.[4]

She's yet to win either Trinidad's Carnival Road March or Soca Monarch titles, although coming close on occasion. Despite this, she's become an icon of soca, renowned for her pop-oriented tunes incorporating both world and fusion music.[5] During both 2014 and 2015 Destra won Best International Act at the Black Canadian Awards.[6] As well Destra has collaborated with renowned artistes such as Nicki Minaj, Mr. Vegas, Karlie Redd, Tanya Stephens and Spice.[7][8][9][10]

Cultural influence


With Caribbean roots going back to Trinidad and Tobago, Destra Garcia values the tradition of her culture. Destra started by experimenting with Calypso as well as R&B and gospel.[11] Only until Destra became fond of Soca that she would find her passion and place. Soca originated in the Caribbean with Trinidadian roots. Originally dubbed "Soul Calypso", the genre was created by Lord Shorty as essentially calypso with sexualized vocals and at a faster pace. Within one of her most popular songs, "It's Carnival", she states, "Carnival in T&T is so special to all ah we". Destra is there expressing her own cognizance about carnival's significance from a national and regional standpoint.[12] The content of her songs typically pertains to her Caribbean roots, with this as one example.[13][14]

As Destra became more popular, she encountered a bit of a puzzle. She wanted to grow her fan base but also stay true to both her roots and Caribbean culture. With this that she began to confront orthodox norms to work with outside artists for elevated artistic progress. She also embarked upon prolific tours to allow for more exposure, promote the sounds of soca and attract larger audiences.[15] She also makes mention that the biggest setback she faces is the pressure she feels from Trinidad to stay within traditional confines of the Soca style. As an artiste Garcia seeks to proceed to new horizons, responding to modernity in order to keep expanding her fan base. Where she is aims to explore her artistic boundaries while thoroughly incorporating her culture with a constantly loyal fan base.[11]


Destra performing at UWI Splash in St. Augustine

Destra Garcia is known as the Queen of Bacchanal, QoB for short, because of the excitement listeners hear in the inflection of her voice on radio talk-shows and because of her own Carnival-inspired event "Festival of Bacchanal".[16] She also is known for having an alter ego named Lucy who is supposed to personify the more sexual aspect of Destra. In her song released in 2017, "Destra vs. Lucy", one of the lines sang is, "[Cause] I [will] sing like Destra, but still [work] it like Lucy" which tells listeners that Lucy is the sexual ego and Destra is the singing one.[17] More detail on Destra's personalities can be heard on a comedic interview with the ego "Lucy" herself on a radio show called "Breakfast Party". In the interview Lucy reveals that Destra is "holding [Lucy] back,... [she’s] too safe" and Destra always watches what she says.[18]

Destra Garcia's sexual ego "Lucy" is speculated to come from Carnival in Trinidad. In her song "Lucy", she sings about growing up a good girl and good student but one day when she is exposed to Carnival she and her dancing starts to become very sexual.[19] Today Carnival consists of woman masquerading and "showing off" their bodies through dance and revealing clothing which creates a lot of sexual tension and is what Destra probably seen on TV.[20] The cause for Carnival in Trinidad to be so sexual is because of dominance of women who attend and their preference of highly sexualized dancing.[21]

Destra is famous for her style. Due to her radical clothing choices consisting primarily of revealing clothing such as tight, short pants, and low-cut bra tops, she has captivated audiences during her performances. On stage, Destra is wild and explosive in her movements and vocals, sometimes seemingly performing in her own world due to her passion. Destra has expressed her music and fashion choices as a merger between American punk rock and Soca. This mix is evident in the instruments used in Destra's music, as she frequently utilizes rock guitar acoustics with underlying Soca rhythms. Her 2006 look "soca fabulous" has been created by local designers such as Meiling and Peter Elias. From a new "glam" hairstyle, to her bold, risqué wardrobe, Destra's new look has been described as one which "is going to rock the town and will be a fashion force to reckon with."[22]

Social media, style, and performance


Destra is one of the leading ladies of soca music. The Queen of Bacchanal expresses that "At Carnival you are studying so much more: the audiences what people are saying about you what you are doing what you are wearing".[23] Not only do blogs about Destra revere her musical talent, they also express admiration for her physique, in particular her fit abs. Her defined abdominals have also become part of Destra's celebrity persona that fans think of when they think Destra Garcia. One blogger exclaims 'I will admit I am extremely jealous of dem abs, I wish mines was like dat but I guess I hadda wuk rel hard'.[24] The tumblr page named 'Triniwoodentertainment' provides images of the star's activity with captions utilizing the same admiring tone such as 'Check out the soca songstress and Queen of Bacchanal, Destra Garcia showing off her abs and curves figure on a scorching hot Sunday. Fit to be a Queen, indeed.'[25] This caption is for a picture of a bikini-clad Destra Garcia enjoying the sun. The blog's post includes a link to the image which is originally from Destra's official Instagram.[26]

Garcia is very active on the social media scene, with a Twitter,[27] Instagram, and Facebook account.[28] She states, "Everybody is experimenting to see if we could take soca to another level. I think soca is already good, I’ve decided to see if I can make it more marketable."[23] Her activity on social media has certainly allowed her to not only connect more with her fanbase but also cultivate a community around her music. In an interview with Huffingtonpost, we learn that "while many popular figures have social media managers, Destra sees things differently. Therefore, to build a level of authenticity, she believes that it is imperative that she does it herself."[29]

The Queen of Bacchanal believes that when it comes to artists, "At Carnival you are studying so much more: the music, audiences, what people are saying about what you are doing, what you are wearing".[23] Destra is famous for her music and fashion style which she describes as 'a merger between American punk rock and Soca'.[24] It is a style that transcends the traditional and modernity. Similarly, Malian West African and Blues singer and songwriter Kar Kar's personal style was also influenced by the American Rock n' Roll era. The YouTube clip titled 'Destra Garcia Live at Soca on De Hill 2015' is a live performance that exhibits her wardrobe style and the explosive, engaging energy she emits on stage.[30] Destra wears a black leather jacket with fringes along the sleeves and pink Doctor Marten boots. These pieces can be described as American punk rock. She is also wearing revealing, extremely short spandex shorts that allow her to maneuver and dance effortlessly with a potential partner to the soca music. Destra captivates the crowd by trying to instruct a male fan from the audience on how to dance with her on stage. She places his hands on the side of her hips and demands 'Now you have to listen to me'. Destra is authoritative and fiery in her dance directions and quickly loses patience with this first potential male dance partner. The failing dancing attempt lightens the mood with its comical aspect. When he fails to follow the rest of her instructions, she exclaims 'I can't teach you nothing' and 'you have to listen to what I say'. Nonetheless, she dismisses him with a hug then gestures 'Off Off Off!’. In order to keep the show moving forward she quickly calls two more men from the crowd on stage and warns 'I don’t like men that are slow'. The man that moves his hips well to the soca music pleases Destra and she proceeds to dance with him. This performance showcases Destra Garcia’s fiery personality and her ability to transcend through the traditional and modernity in soca. She dances traditionally to soca alongside her male dance partner. However, Destra breaks out of the traditional 'passive female role' by taking on the authoritative role of not only leading in the dance but also verbally commanding her male dance partner's movements. Destra’s confidence and dominance are aspects of her captivating persona that make her a strong, dynamic female figure in the male-dominated soca music genre.

Awards and nominations

Year Type Award Result
2003 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2004 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2005 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2006 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2007 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2008 COTT Music Awards Female Songwriter of the Year Won
2013 International Soca Awards (Caribbean) Song of the Year Won
2014 Black Canadian Awards Best International Act (Caribbean) Won
2015 Black Canadian Awards Best International Act (Caribbean) Won




Released Album
2003 Red, White, Black
2004 Laventille Pre-Release Singles
2005 Laventille
2006 Independent Lady
2008 Soca or Die
2009 Hott
2011 Welcome Back
2012 Mydestra
2014 The Queen Of Bacchanal
2015 Bakanation
2016 Queen
2018 Destraction
2019 D-20
2020 Queendom


  1. ^ "Destra - the music, the mission". jamaica-gleaner.com. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Destra Garcia". Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Popplewell, Assing, Vailloo, Georgia, Tracy, Sabrina (1 January 2006). "New wave of Trinidad music". Caribbean Beat Magazine. Retrieved 14 November 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Destra Garcia". jamaica-gleaner.com. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  5. ^ Chelsi Henry, Keryce (18 October 2018). "Destra Is The 21st Century's Liberator Of Revelry". NPR.
  6. ^ Ankrah, Veracia (15 May 2023). "Jerkfest adds Soca heavyhitter Destra to this year's lineup". NOW Toronto. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  7. ^ Corrine, Amber (6 October 2022). "Nicki Minaj Taps 8 Caribbean Queens For "Likkle Miss (THE FINE NINE REMIX)" Video". VIBE.com. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  8. ^ Paul, Bryson "Boom" (12 August 2023). "Karlie Redd Enlists Beenie Man & Destra For New Hit "Bumper Heavy"". Substream Magazine. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  9. ^ Serwer, Jesse (23 May 2016). "AUDIO: Destra + Tanya Stephens Connect For "Liar Liar"". LargeUp. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  10. ^ Campbell, Howard (19 September 2018). "More Ism from Mr Vegas". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  11. ^ a b Dyer, Deidre (30 August 2016). "Soca Queen Destra Garcia Is Ready To Shake Up Pop". The FADER.
  12. ^ "Destra – It's carnival" – via genius.com.
  13. ^ "Destra - Its Carnival". Archived from the original on 19 December 2021 – via www.youtube.com.
  14. ^ "OMG Interview Destra Garcia". Youtube. 29 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021 – via OMGTT.
  15. ^ "Destra Garcia Soca Artist".
  16. ^ "The Undisputed Queen of Bacchanal". socanews.com. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Destra - Destra vs Lucy Lyrics | Musixmatch". musiXmatch. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  18. ^ OJO TTRN -Trinidad & Tobago Radio Network Limited (7 October 2015), Lucy Emancipates herself from Destra Garcia with "Show Off", archived from the original on 19 December 2021, retrieved 7 June 2017
  19. ^ "IslandLyrics : Destra Garcia - Lucy 2015 Lyrics". www.islandlyrics.com. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  20. ^ Mason, Peter (1999). Bacchanal! the carnival culture of Trinidad. London: Latin America Bureau. pp. 126. ISBN 1-56639-663-8.
  21. ^ Green, Garth L. (2007). Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a Transnational Festival. Bloomington Ind.: Indiana Univ. Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-253-21883-4.
  22. ^ "The Trinidad Guardian -Online Edition Ver 2.0". Archived from the original on 17 February 2008.
  23. ^ a b c "Trini Jungle Juice: Destra Garcia Profile". www.trinijunglejuice.com.
  24. ^ a b "CarnivalVibration.com Bacchanal".
  26. ^ "QueenOfBacchanal (@destragarcia) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com.
  27. ^ "DESTRA❤️QOB (@DestraGarcia) | Twitter". twitter.com.
  28. ^ "Destra Garcia". www.facebook.com.
  29. ^ Corion, Kimron (22 June 2016). "Why Destra Garcia Is Dominating Social Media And Music While Staying True To The Caribbean". Huffington Post.
  30. ^ "Destra Garcia Live at Soca On De Hill 2015". Archived from the original on 19 December 2021 – via www.youtube.com.