Christian Kalpee continues to enjoy international success since signing a record deal with Sony earlier this year. His release, No One, has reached play lists in over 60 countries and has received over four million international views thus far and another release is on the way.
Kalpee along with his team, Michael “Tano” Montano, Jimmy October, Richard “MRI” McClashie and Kriston Koon, released the single in November 2016. However, the video for No One was only released in May.
With a few “links” and the help of a friend involved with another distribution company, Sony contacted them soon after and they began working on other songs to release.
In an interview with Newsday, Kalpee said: “One random day we got a call and it was Sony Music, it was and still is a big deal.”
Kalpee, 23, began singing in calypso competitions in primary school and then in the secondary school choir. At 13, he performed in a May fair at Presentation College.
“I always knew that I loved music and singing, but I didn’t know I wanted to be a musician. He and Montano also tried their hands at soca but did not have the passion for it. “It was the first release ‘Tano’ and I did that we were really proud of,” he says.
“It’s tough when you don’t know (your style) and you have people who are not guiding you in right way… just because you are from Trinidad doesn’t mean you have to do soca…we don’t support our own if it’s not soca.”
He and his team are currently trying to create their own sound by merging different genres and trying to figure out a way to bring his accent and “Trini roots” into pop music and other genres.
kalpee continues on Page 24A
He believes there is a stigma against the arts and because it is not considered a real career, he opted to study law –which he hated– at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“It’s so important to do exactly what you love… you have to make the leap…no one has the place to tell you that you can’t do something,” he said.
He thanks his parents for constantly pushing him in his music and other people who told him his dream was simply just a hobby. “Through rejection you learn a lot of things…your skin gets thicker,” he muses.
Kalpee doesn’t think his music has quite penetrated TT even while the song has gained recognition via streaming platforms and radio stations in Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Taiwan and other far away places.
As he continues working on his musical voice and sound, Kalpee says: “I am a Trinidadian artist, I will always be a Trinidadian artist…people should look at me and if they like my music, they should be a fan of me, they should like my vibe, my energy, all of that is part of being an artist.”
He wants his music to make people “feel”, as he says, [because] that’s what music should do. “There is music that is feel-good music, music that you would drive to in the night that would make you feel euphoric…changes your mood.”
By targeting the younger generation, he believes that he can spread his music throughout not only TT but the world through social media. He thinks youths have a more open-minded way of thinking and that more young people in Trinidad are turning to the arts and exploring their passion.
“Little things make you realise how important it is for you to really be true to yourself and be hungry in what your dream is.”
Kalpee’s latest single What about Us was released last week.