HIS latest video bursts with colour…
and vivid intensity. I have been speaking with Kalpee about his track, Colourful, and putting it together. He talks about Calypso music and his life in Trinidad and Tobago; what we can expect in terms of his future steps; a new artist we should follow closely – he tells me what he hopes to achieve before the end of this year.
Kalpee reveals how he is feeling about playing The Color Run and gives advice to upcoming artists; which artists he grew up around; if there are going to be any tour dates soon – he ends the interview by picking a song that means a lot to him.
Hi, Kalpee. How are you? How has your week been?
Heyy. I’m good; thanks for asking. I’ve been in Sweden working in the studio for the entire week, so my mind is in that creative mode right now and I’m loving it. Got to chill with some friends I haven’t seen in a while as well, which was really refreshing, so I had a great week (smiles). Just by the way the sun doesn’t really set in Sweden during the summer, that blew my mind - just thought you might like to know (laughs).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hey, hey. I’m Kalpee and I’m an artist out of Trinidad and Tobago. I’m really in love with music and I think it’s one of the most powerful tools we have. My sound is a really big mix of genres: it’s like a mix of Pop, R&B; Calypso, Reggae and maybe even Rock. It’s all just a vybe (sic.) for me; wherever the sound wants to go it goes I guess.
I don’t really like boxing off the ideas: it’s way more interesting when we mix it up a bit. Nonetheless, I really hope you enjoy my sound and, if you do, you should let me know (smiles).
Colourful is your new track. What is the story behind the song?
Colourful is about difference and the fact that difference is beauty. We live in a world full of boundaries that limit who we truly are and tell us who we should be. I honestly believe in self-expression and think it’s really important for society. We need to love ourselves some more and we need to be proud of ourselves - cause there is absolutely no one like you out there, so own it.
It is Pop with a twist. Do you think it is important to keep things fresh and not follow the pack?
Definitely. The thing is, I just create what feels good to me. Keeping things fresh and doing my own thing isn’t intentional - I just make music. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago and a big part of my musical life as a kid was in Calypso music. The coolest thing is that I feel like I’m now able to merge what I learnt from Calypso and even Soca music with Pop music and I just think it’s such an interesting sound.
I honestly can’t wait to hear everyone else’s opinion but, for now, I’m happy with how the sound is growing. A true artist has their sound, vybe and message and I guess that’s what makes music fresh. When the sound becomes a personality, no one can copy you; I hope my sound grows into a personality.
The video lives up to the song’s name! What was it like filming it?
It was incredible but so much work (but that’s part of it). It took us a while to put the entire video together, maybe a week filming with the guys in Trinidad and then three days in L.A. shooting everything else. We actually went out to the desert to do the performance shot and it was sick; had an amazing team out there who made the entire thing possible. Major blessings to them (smiles).
Will there be more material later in the year?
Of course. You have no idea how eager I am to put out more music, but all in good time. You know I got your back...
You have been invited to perform at The Color Run. Are you looking forward to that?!
I’m so excited. Can’t wait to feel Color Run’s energy but, not gonna lie; I’m a bit nervous as well cause I really want this performance to be perfect. I know it’ll be an amazing experience nonetheless.
Give me an impression regarding the artists that inspired you growing up. Who do you count as idols?
Bob Marley, for sure; Miguel and Chronixx. Super-inspired by those guys. When you call yourself an artist, you take on the responsibility of having a voice of reason. You almost become a politician to some extent and I feel like all of the above have and are representing in such a positive way. Their music is full of energy, love and substance and I admire that so much.
I’m a huge fan of Chronixx. I think his music is extremely powerful and groundbreaking; there’s a vybe to it that’s difficult to explain but that’s the beauty of it I guess.
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
Got excited reading this question (laughs).
The tour, I’d say, is definitely in the works. The team has been working extremely hard on putting this all together. Colourful made the viral charts in countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore and has been gaining some nice traction in Europe and the U.K…so, I guess I’m gonna be doing a good bit of travelling in the near-future; looking forward to seeing you all (smiles).
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I really, really want to just put out all the music I’ve been working on. It’s hard having all these songs and I’m the only person who can listen - so I hope I get the opportunity to put out an album and then go on tour. That’ll be amazing.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
That’s a hard question, to be honest. My favourite memory isn’t anything extravagant but, around the time of No One - those were the days in Trinidad with my bros - we were testing the waters to see if we were any good at making music. Turns out we weren’t that bad (laughs). We had a couple of studios, Tano’s (producer) bedroom; my living room and my mom’s kitchen, which was mostly used for mixing and mastering. Hahaha; just kidding, obviously, but it’s so nice being able to look back at those days and seeing the growth from then to now.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
In terms of a rider; I’m a pretty simple guy so I’d say room temperature water; a kettle, fresh fruit and, if I had to be fancy, some red wine for after the performance. Hahah.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be open to growth, be patient and always be picky; set the bar. Make an impact, be a leader; be a good example: we have young ones watching.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jimmy October
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Jimmy October. Thank me later
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Umm, not really. Haha. But, I don’t mind. Most of the time I’m using music to unwind - I guess that’s why I love my job.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Chronixx - Loneliness
Gosh, I love that song