Keeping Up With Kalpee

31st July 2018

Having racked up over 12 million streams since his debut single last May, it’s safe to say that urban-pop artist Kalpee is emerging with a ‘big deal’ status. Back with a new single Colourful, we caught up with the charming star.

You hail from Trinidad, work in Sweden and spend a lot of your time in London – how have all of these places shaped you as a person and musician?

I’ve lived almost my entire life in Trinidad and Tobago, that’s home and will always be home and its what’s shaped me the most. There are parts of T&T that’s breath-taking and invaluable, when I think about the beaches and mountains and just the overall relaxed, chill nature of my island, it’s dope. Everything is a party or “lime” as we call it back home. Every Island has its downsides too, and what’s difficult is the mentality of the people at times –  there’s always an exception to the rule of course but generally speaking, there’s a closed-minded approach to music and that prevents growth. When it comes to the artistic side of things it almost feels as though, if you don’t fit the criteria of the norm there isn’t a place for you. The reason I brought that up is because that was one of the biggest influences when it comes to my music and my message – it’s about just being me and not letting anyone get in the way of that. It’s a blessing in disguise to be honest as its given me drive and guidance. Being an artist is by no means about the “hype” for me, I understand the power of music and I really want to grow because of this. Believe me, the youth of Trinidad and Tobago has so much to offer, we are inspired and inspiring, open minded and so full of love and that really excites me. It is an extremely interesting place to live in so if I’m being completely honest when I say it’s a bitter sweet situation that I’m away a lot.

Heading to Sweden to record my music really was an experience – I went there alone and I was there during their winter period – keep in mind this was the first winter I’ve ever experienced, so I’m not going to lie it was really tough to adapt! But Sweden did two things in particular that I think really altered my sound…it made me more appreciative of Trinidad and it put me outside of my comfort zone. You haven’t heard most of the music I’ve been working on but hopefully what I just said will make sense when you do hear it.

And then there is London! A complete mix of cultures, musical genres and vibes that can all live together. I love artist such as J-Hus, Ed Sheeran, Zayn, Stormzy, the list goes on and on. Maybe someday I’ll get the chance to work with some of them haha! I got the opportunity last week to see Bruno Mars and Khalid perform at British Summertime, and it was incredible – inspirational infact! It helps me to understand the standard to be aiming for.

You have a Vlog series about your ‘pursuit of kalpeeness’ – what answers have you pursued, what have you discovered, and what’s next on the happiness bucket list?

Fun fact! Kalpeeness was a name that people would tease me with in school, but I absolutely love it now haha! Vlogging made me constantly have to find something to do, so it made me do things I wouldn’t usually, so I guess it made me more outgoing and a little more courageous. I also discovered that I love to edit videos, so that was the highlight of doing a vlog for me. It’s almost like bits of memories edited together, it feels nostalgic.

On my happiness bucket list … I love being creative so getting to release more music, coming up with concepts for music videos and campaigns then seeing them brought to life is a blessing. Finding out where I’ll be performing next and experiencing new cities and people through my music also.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

I honestly think I would have wanted to be a goalkeeper, I love football, and I played it in school. Infact sometimes I’d skip choir practice to play football haha.

How would you sum up your sound in a crayon colour picture? (draw something below for us!)

You’re obviously trying to embarrass me haha! I can’t draw to save my life, so a stick man on a beach with a colourful sunset will have to do, enjoy!

Your new single is called Colourful – what’s it about, aside from the literal tones?

Colourful is about difference and understanding that difference is beauty, there’s absolutely no one like you in this world and that’s an incredible thing to think about. It’s important to love yourself, to be proud of yourself, because you’re unique and you’re beautiful and you need to own that.

You just performed at Color Run at WEMBLEY – how was it, and what is this cult phenomenon for any readers who haven’t seen the starburst yet…?

Color Run was incredible, it was full of the right energy! Imagine people of every demographic there just having an amazing time together, no egos just pure vibes. I absolutely loved it. Color Run is a 5k run that celebrates health, happiness and self-expression so the entire event is full of colour. They handed out packages of coloured powder similar to what we used for the “colourful” video shoot and got everyone to throw it up in the air together. It felt like a dream, there was a colourful mist all around, the sun was out, and people were singing along with me.

You recently popped into Superdry Regent Street, and we loved having you. What style threads did you pick out, and what’s your general vibe?

By the way, I’m now an even bigger fan of Superdry than I was, I love the way the clothes fit. I picked out some t-shirts, vests, some super dope hoodies and some really cool trousers. My vibe is generally chill – it changes based on what I have to do at the time, but usually I’m in a hoodie with some sweats. Comfort is key.

You’re a very happy person, which we like a lot. But what grinds your gears?

Ummm, I really don’t like when I hold a door open for someone and they don’t say thank you, and when a fly flies into my ear while I’m sleeping, that drives me crazy.

What else is in store for Kalpee this year?

More music, more performances, more growth and definitely more trips to the Superdry store (hint hint!)

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Superdry T-Shirt
Superdry Retro Stripe Vest Top
Superdry Trophy Chest Band Hoodie

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