Alison Hinds: On her own, and on a roll

Bajan soca superstar Alison Hinds is flying solo — but not going it alone

Alison Hinds. Photograph by Andrea De Silva

There are two things Alison Hinds wants people to know, now that she is no longer the lead singer of the band once called Square One.

The first is that she has not given up performing or recording. Far from.

“The fans were quite upset initially, especially when it was bandied around that I was retiring, which was entirely untrue,” says Hinds. The truth was that she had “always intended to have some time away.” The how and when were pretty much decided when she got married, then had a baby.

That was in mid-2004. She was ready to return by the New Year. “My fans are obviously happy I’m back.” So is Hinds.

The second thing she wants to make clear is that she may be flying solo, but that doesn’t mean she’s going it alone. The “Queen of Soca” is the voice behind the Alison Hinds Show, backed by a band that’s all her own and “really tight.”

Hinds still has access to Square One’s considerable repertoire, among them “Top Class Bubbla” and “Faluma”. The same goes for all her former bandmates, some of whom have regrouped as Square Roots. But these days 35-year-old Hinds is more concerned with doing her own thing. She rode the airwaves recently with the funky, slow-winding hit “Roll.” And she’s currently working with her new manager, Van Gibbs (who also handles Rupee), on her first solo album.

At present, there is no scheduled release date or title for it. They’re just letting the music happen. She “definitely” sees fusions in her future, and is doing some co-writing.

As much as it’s about sounding fresh — and being aware of younger competition, like Barbados’s other singing sensation, Rihanna — it’s also about keeping it real.

“Soca music will always be my heart and soul,” says Hinds. “I want to stay true to being a Caribbean woman, and I want the music to reflect that.”