Temp­ta­tion Is­land Set to Be Revo­lu­tion­ary with Kalash

The Star (St. Lucia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Kayra Wil­liams

If you still haven’t bought your tick­ets to Temp­ta­tion Is­land, now is prob­a­bly a good time. Tick­ets are be­ing sold in Saint Lu­cia, in neigh­bour­ing is­lands and in most of the French­s­peak­ing Caribbean. And just in case you haven’t heard, French su­per­star Kalash will be head­lin­ing the event on July 1.

Need­less to say, he couldn’t have come at a more op­por­tune time. 2017 has seen the res­ur­rec­tion of nightlife in Saint Lu­cia. If pro­mot­ers haven’t al­ready latched onto lux­ury life­style par­ty­ing themes with fetes at least EC$100 a pop, then they’re tak­ing their fol­low­ers to hid­den lo­ca­tions around the is­land for exclusive out­doors par­ties, while ev­ery­one else rides the Soleil train, which is jam-packed with events through to the end of the year.

Temp­ta­tion Is­land, fea­tur­ing Kalash whose sin­gle ‘Taken’ just went gold in France, is set to be epic. No­tably, Kalash is the first since Kas­sav to achieve the feat, and the in­dus­try is watch­ing. Since his break­out on the entertainment scene, he’s been called “The Weeknd of the Caribbean”, or “Vybz Kar­lel en Fran­cais”, but the truth is he’s al­ready carved out his own iden­tity, and his pas­sion speaks vol­umes on bound­less ca­pa­bil­ity. And we’ve al­ready been for­tu­nate to see some of his ta­lent come to life, with an ex­ten­sive list of tracks avail­able for lis­ten­ing on video and mu­sic-shar­ing web­sites across the globe.

A jour­ney with Kevin Valleray, the artiste pop­u­larly known as Kalash, takes you through tunes like ‘Mo­ments gâchés’ ft. Sa­tori, ‘Danje’, and ‘Rouge et bleu’ ft. Booba, the lat­ter with over 26 mil­lion views on Youtube. If you’d felt the need to re­sort to trans­la­tion sources, or tap into your Saint Lu­cian Cre­ole her­itage to de­ci­pher the true mean­ing be­hind songs like ‘Taken’, you’d have also found that trans­lat­ing is largely un­nec­es­sary; the rhyth­mic sen­su­al­ity of the song speaks for it­self.

In the event you weren’t able to help your­self, you’d have found that ‘Taken’ speaks of love, loss, and a woman he’s never got­ten over whom he tries to free from a po­ten­tially abu­sive re­la­tion­ship. Even more pop­u­lar, ‘Free Me’ tells of the strug­gles faced by young men raised in the street life, while his track ‘Bando’, which has for months been on re­peat here in Saint Lu­cia, comes with in­ter­pre­ta­tions from his Youtube fans: “For ev­ery­one who doesn’t speak Cre­ole or doesn’t un­der­stand, Kalash says in this video that he prefers the mu­sic which chose him, to the street. That he does not want to die in a squat, that he does not want to be like his friends who died or went to prison be­cause of drugs. The cowl does not make the monk; un­der­stand the lyrics be­fore judg­ing.”

His bona fide lyrics are com­pa­ra­ble to the likes of other big name Dance­hall stars and, for­tu­nately, the raw and real bits aren’t lost with the lan­guage bar­rier. Of course, even when you do find English vari­a­tions on Youtube, which are avail­able, they don’t have quite the same feel as the orig­i­nal!

‘Neo’ rides along on a trap beat, then there’s ‘Après l’au­tomne’, which lit­er­ally trans­lates to ‘Af­ter the Fall’. Among the more no­table is ‘Traka’, which again speaks of tribu­la­tions of the street. An ex­cept from the song: “As the sea­sons pass in the West Indies, it smells of trou­ble./ We’re clos­eted; we make mu­sic of loss and anger. Lis­ten to my strug­gles./ My life is dirty and rough ev­ery­day. I think it will all come back around. I hear the mis­ery.”

He speaks of a sys­tem that will “kill you at will”, and of dark nights and crimes never solved. “I give more facts about the French West Indies than the news.”

Within his lyrics are the re­al­i­ties of a hard life, not masked by the su­per­fi­cial: “Santa Claus com­ing to the house, no, it’s never hap­pened. If I get a gift, it’s from my mother.”

Kalash has seen suc­cesses across the re­gion and his pop­u­lar­ity con­tin­ues to soar. So far he’s suc­ceeded at con­nect­ing the French­s­peak­ing Caribbean in­clud­ing Haiti, Guade­loupe, Mart­inque, French Guiana, and even Saint Lu­cia, through his mu­sic. Surely, his progress has not gone un­no­ticed by fans and, like he says in the song ‘Après l’au­tomne’, “What I call fruits of labour, is what you call chance.”

Also per­form­ing at Temp­ta­tion Is­land on July 1 will be Jean Atem and Rayvon, Mac 11, The Reck­less Gang, and other scorch­ing ta­lent from Saint Lu­cia. Tick­ets at $100 for gen­eral ad­mis­sion and $300 for VIP are avail­able from The Cell (all out­lets) Steve’s Bar­ber­shop and Cool Run­nings.

Just ahead of his per­for­mance in Saint Lu­cia, Kalash’s sin­gle ‘Taken’ has been cer­ti­fied gold in France.

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