Multi-faceted Caribbean artist, Kalpee, today drops his latest single, Island Gyal, accompanied by a cinematic video shot on Las Cuevas beach.
Directed by Josiah Persad, the video captures the energy of Carnival and the essence of island life, vivid with colour and celebration, a media release said.
The genre-blending track is sonically nostalgic while managing to remain universally contempo, with the pan playing alongside Kalpee’s smooth R&B vocal and a steady rhythmic back-beat.
Kalpee said he wanted Island Gyal to be nostalgic.
“I wanted this song to feel nostalgic, light and fun, ‘cause that's what the islands remind me of. The music feels so much like home, blending genres like calypso and dancehall together and incorporating instruments like steel pan and brass, that remind me of Trini Carnival,” he said in the release.
He explains how the track came to be: “The idea for the song started in Barbados but I knew I had to go back home to Trinidad, to capture the energy I thought was necessary for the track. As I landed in Trini, I linked up with my bro, Tano, who at the time had recently built his studio. I hadn’t seen him since before covid happened, so I played him the idea of Island Gyal and we immediately just started collaborating, vibing, talking about memories, about Carnival and how sad it was that didn't happen, and I think that was the inspiration that helped us finish the song.”
Kalpee said it was important for him to shoot the video in Trinidad and Tobago as he wanted to capture the beauty of home and the diversity within its people. "That’s what I envisioned when I wrote Island Gyal,” he said.
Island Gyal follows the artist’s previous release, Jump Off, in March, which in contrast took a darker tone and expressed themes of fear with suspenseful piano progressions. Kalpee is able to flawlessly capture the plethora of emotions that make up the human experience.
Island Gyal's release received great media support with the video premiering with Wonderland Magazine. He has received radio support from BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Target and DJ Ace as well as Capital 1Xtra’s Ras Kwame and gained accolades from other media, the release said.
Earlier this Spring, Kalpee once again pioneered the Island Wave stage at SXSW 2022, with the aim of continuing to create a growing platform for Caribbean artists to come together, showcase, celebrate and support each other’s music. Having launched during the pandemic at SXSW 2021 Online, the very first physical Island Wave stage was ,successfully launched on March 18, 2022 filling the Flamingo Cantina Austin, Texas to capacity as part of the official SXSW festivities with an after party hosted by Ras Kwame and Reggae Recipe.
Island Wave is now not only the official home to Caribbean music at SXSW, but also the first home of New Calypso, a genre being pushed by Trinbagonian musicians as a way to identify their musical heritage, which they proudly carry forward, the release said.
Kalpee has previously worked with platinum recording superstar Stefflon Don on his sun-soaked single Gimme De Ting, and Jamaican Lightening singer Mortimer on their Lessons release. He has also worked with an elite line-up of Grammy Award producers and writers including: Carla Marie Williams (Beyonce, Britney Spears, Rudimental, Sean Paul), Yei Gonzales (Diplo, Cardi B, DJ Khaled), Santiago Rodriguez (Little Mix, Pit Bull, Akon) and The Anmls (The Weeknd, Future, Banks, Belly, DRAM, French Montana, Meek Mill).
With the upcoming release of Kalpee’s debut album later this year and as he continues to explore his New Calypso sound and pursue his projects with intentional passion, this deft musician, singer, songwriter, producer continues to be an artist to watch in 2022!
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