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Destra Garcia
Destra Garcia (2013)
Born (1978-11-10) November 10, 1978 (age 45)
Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago
Other names Queen of Bachanal, Lucy
Occupation Singer, songwriter
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Brian Morris
Children 1
Parent(s) Lloyd Garcia and Debra Garcia
Musical career
Labels Bamboo Entertainment
Associated acts Atlantik, Roy Cape All Stars, Machel Montano

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. The eldest of four siblings, Destra was raised in the community of Desperlie Crescent, Laventille directly east of Port of Spain, and attended Woodbrook government secondary school and St James Secondary School where she discovered her passion for singing and music. She not only won her school's Calypso Monarch title for five consecutive years, she composed every one of her songs. Her musical roots came from her grandfather the late Frankie Garcia (Bourg Mulatresse, Santa Cruz), an island jazz musician. Her father Lloyd Garcia is an accomplished guitarist.

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. Her 2004 hit single "Bonnie and Clyde" also became the theme song of a Malibu Rum TV advertisement.

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.

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

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. During both 2014 and 2015 Destra won Best International Act at the Black Canadian Awards. As well Destra has collaborated with renowned artistes such as Nicki Minaj, Mr. Vegas, Karlie Redd, Tanya Stephens and Spice.

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. 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 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. The content of her songs typically pertains to her Caribbean roots, with this as one example.

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. 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.

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 ...
2015 Bakanation
2016 Queen
2018 Destraction
2019 D-20
2020 Queendom
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