Destra Garcia (born 10 November 1978) is a Trinidadian 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.
Destra Garcia was born in the City of Port of Spain 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 in eastern 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.
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 remains the frontline singer for Atlantik and has forged a successful songwriting partnership with Kernal Roberts (until 2005 inclusive), 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.
Destra won the Road March title in 2003 at the Labour Day Carnival in Brooklyn, and also placed second in the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Monarch competition in that same year.
She is yet to win either the Carnival Road March or Soca Monarch title in Trinidad although she has come close in the Road March race, placing second in 2003, 2004, and 2009. Despite this, she has become successful in the local music industry, specializing in pop-sounding soca compositions as well as fusion music encompassing aspects of East Indian culture.
In 2006, Caribbean Beat magazine 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 which often characterizes life not only in Trinidad and Tobago but in many other corners of the globe.
Also in 2006, the Digicel mobile telecommunications group named Destra as its spokesperson in a two-year endorsement deal.