Kes The Band – Born Ready To Take Soca Music Global
Kes the Band (otherwise known as KTB) have been understated heavy weight brand ambassadors for soca music for a very long time. The team often makes a big splash on stage both at home and abroad using their formula of bringing high energy performances, strong instrumentals and an extensive discography. They do all this while interweaving different musical genres into their set. It’s a formula that definitely works and completely engages the audience no matter where in the world they are performing. And therein lies their secret and one of their key differentiators in a landscape where it’s very difficult to stand out. Kes the Band have been able to successfully distinguish themselves by generating demand for soca shows outside of the Carnival season.
They have done this by creating music that has life outside of the fetes and the Carnival road experience. They have also done this by creating a performance set that incorporates different musical styles and captures a wide array of tastes. But most importantly they have done this while staying true and loyal to the soca backbone that holds them up.
The Caribbean musical landscape has been encouraging more and more collaboration as the years have gone by.
And from time to time, music from another genre definitely seeps into a concert or performance. But, it was refreshing to see KTB dedicate between fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes to reggae and dancehall classics in their recent performance. Whether intentional or not, it is a very loud and clear statement on the need for unity for our region to succeed musically.
Most soca artistes scramble to grab a coveted spot on the Carnival show circuit every year and KTB is no exception. Most artistes and performers know that acceptance and validation from the Carnival audience brings with it a certain security on bookings for the year. But, even within that context, they have managed to broaden their vision to include non-seasonal performances as is evidenced by their recent Thanksgiving show in Atlanta, GA. It is a good space to be in as the movement to ‘take soca global‘ continues to build momentum. And although they are not the first band to do this, and will definitely not be the last-they have made major strides in owning a space not regularly frequented by soca music.
This is just one of many strides that the band has been making to establish a mainstream presence for their music. In 2011, the song ‘Wotless’ was nominated for a BET Soul Train Music Award in the category of best Caribbean performance. It was also the year that Kes worked with Jamaican songstress, Tessane Chin, on a song entitled ‘Loving You.’ Beyond embracing an inter-island connection, this collaboration took on even more significance when Tessane went on to gain international acclaim when she took the title of Season Five (5) Winner of the show, ‘The Voice’. In 2012, Kes collaborated with internationally acclaimed rapper, Snoop Dogg, on the song ‘Stress Away.’ The same year the band performed at the Play Station Theater in Times Square in New York City. In 2013, they also performed and sold out at the historic BB Kings venue in New York as well.
These are but a few of the flags that the band has planted on the road to taking soca global. And they are meaningful ones. The heavy weight brand ambassadors have kicked off the 2018 soca season with a bang, with songs like Hello on the FolkLore Riddim and Body to name a few. We cannot wait for what comes next.
Check out some quick soundbites from our after-show lime with Kes the Band below. Audio Quality is not the best but hey thats just incentive for us to sit down for another interview with this boss ;]. (Video by Bronson Blair of Prothro Productions).
SOUND OFF: What is your favorite song from Kes The Band?
(For Review of Atlanta performance Click Here)
Who or what influences your type of music?
Kes cites many influences across different genres including Stevie Wonder, David Rudder, Sparrow. But…(more in video)
Whats next for Kes in the music business?
Kes is on a consistent mission to bring the continents closer, the islands together and people in general together. His music is ….(more in video)
How can we take soca music global?
Kes believes in a holistic approach is the key to success. In his opinion, there are people of influence in different parts of the music ecosphere who all …(more in video)
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MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.