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Kes The Band Performs At Essence Festival of Culture This Weekend.

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Soca music is finally free to make the world happy again and 2020 Road March Champs, Kes are set to make history this weekend, as the only Caribbean act selected to perform on Saturday night at the 26th Essence Festival of Culture.

Known as “the party with a purpose”, The Essence Festival is an annual music festival which began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine – a popular publication aimed primarily towards African-American women. Subsequently, the Essence Festival became the largest African-American culture and music event in the United States.

For the band of brothers from Trinidad, the festival represents a golden opportunity to showcase their talents as well as the “vibes” of Trinidad and Tobago to a captive, significant and influential American audience:

“Our mission has always been to spread the music and vibrations as far and wide as possible.” Said lead vocalist, Kees Dieffenthaller. “Being a part of the Essence Fest line-up this year gives us the opportunity to share our energy through the music and culture of our beautiful islands, Trinidad and Tobago. So we want everyone to log on, get up and dance and enjoy the infectious energy of soca and calypso music.

“Our goal for this year’s festival,” explained Loreal Lemond, Ashaunna Ayers and Jameel Spencer of the Essence Fest Talent Team, “was to procure talent and creatives globally, who represent their communities – and in this case their country and genre – in a way that is aligned with Essence Festival’s mission and purpose.”

So why exactly was Kes chosen to perform on Saturday night then? Well, it’s the vibe of course! 

“Essence is always on a mission to celebrate all aspects of Black Culture and we are happy to have Kes represent for the international community with a performance that will surely make his home country proud!” Stated Essence Fest’s VP Experiential, Branded Content & Video, Stephanie Dunivan.

Kes the Band lead singer, Kees Dieffenthaller.

While 2020 sidelined live music , the band of brothers remained creative and continued to open doors for Soca music amidst the pandemic, as they produced and presented three live streaming concerts in 2020 and were featured on several mainstream media outlets in the US and the UK in the lead up to those aforementioned concert performances. 

Now, with the virus seemingly at bay to a greater extent, the band is gearing up to resume their mission of bringing their music globally.  

“We had a fabulous tour planned,” explained one half of the band’s management team, Damon DeGraff, “but the universe clearly had other plans for everyone and we took the extra down-time to not only push the envelope in terms of live streaming presentations, but to also craft a new body of work which we consider to be the soundtrack of the future.”

The Essence Fest performance line up includes notable names such as: DJ Khaled and friends, Davido, Jasmine Sullivan, D-NICE, NeYo and others. To witness Kes’ groundbreaking performance at Essence Festival this Saturday night from 7 – 10 pm,  please log on to www.essencestudios.com

PRESS RELEASE: Nigel Telesford | Overtime Media

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Caribbean Buzz

Grenada Shines! Soca Shines Too as Mr. Killa Gets a Space on Mainstream TV!

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Grenada for the win! One of the island’s most notable artistes, Mr. Killa has brought the energy of Soca to the big screen, internationally.

The ’Rolly Polly’ singer broadened his market reach earlier this month after his voice was used by the executive producer for the Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, Glenda Cox. Ebuzztt understands that the production team reached out to Mr. Killa, citing his unique sound and versatility. The artist who co-owns a company called, Rebel1 Entertainment, essentially went on to create the show’s theme song, ”Housewives in the Island Babay.”

The opportunity is a significant one for Caribbean culture as Mr. Killa, who’s real name is Hollice Mapp, along with his team, have stepped into a space that hasn’t been easy to gain footing in, by most Caribbean music genres, especially Soca.

Here’s a look at the Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip!

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Caribbean Buzz

New Soca Parang Speaks Love, But Artist Questions Present State of T&T with Covid Cases Rising.

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Three days after Trinidad and Tobago’s government suspended the State of Emergency that had been imposed on citizens, restricting movement between 10pm and 5am, entertainer, Adrian Hackshaw, who’s best known as Bass, says, ”it seems like we’re back to square one.”

A new Soca parang track released for the Christmas season, the well known radio personality and artist said he had hoped that the lifting of the SOE would see a return to small scale events and some sort of active nightlight with the use of government’s mandated ’safe zones’ – spaces where only the vaccinated would be allowed access. Today however he is unsure, and laments the present predicament the country finds itself in, with an increased number of people being hospitalized for Covid-19.

On November 18th, seventeen COVID-19 related deaths were reported in Trinidad and Tobago by the Ministry of Health, taking the total death toll thus far to 1,908. There were 537 new Covid-19 cases accounted for by health officials on Thursday and 480 persons hospitalized. The country’s government last week said they would not be going back on efforts to move forward and urged persons to take advantage of readily available vaccines.

With these increased cases it feels like we’re back to square one even though the rest of the world seems to be moving forward,” said Bass. He pointed to the lyrics of his new Soca Parang release, “Christmas Is Love,” saying, ”I pray and continue to hope for the best. I pray that we all do what’s best for each other and I urge everyone to share love with each other this Christmas and beyond.”

Bass has always been an avid contributor to both the carnival and Christmas landscape in Trinidad and Tobago. He is just one of many artistes who remain hopeful that some semblance of normalcy will return to T&T so that their livelihoods can be returned along with it.

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