Kwesi Jamaal is an Afro-fusion recording artist, singer and songwriter. Inspired by his Trinidadian roots and the multicultural city of Toronto, monikered “The Six,” the Afro-fusion artist uniquely fuses together mellifluous sounds of Afrobeats, Soca, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, and Dance-Pop music.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Kwesi Jamaal. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Hi, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about your journey.
Hi, as a child living in Trinidad, raised with Caribbean music greats like David Rudder, Bob Marley, and Calypso Rose, I would sit on the floor while my mother cooked meals, listening to music with her and dancing to the rhythms. I would use iron pots and pans as drums, beating them with wooden spoons in sync with the music on the record player. That feeling of performing to an audience of one, then my family and neighbors never left me.
I still get that same hypnotic feeling whenever I hear music today, and that feeling helps drive my passion for creating music from an internal concept into musical melodies with different instruments when in the studio. Not many people know this about my creative process, but I’ll break it down:
I get inspired in 1 of 2 ways; either I hear a beat/music which will inspire lyrics, or I can visualize a story in my mind and create lyrics and a melody to go with it. It’s a genuine love that I have for music, and I’m grateful to have been blessed with this gift.
What inspires your music?
I label my music as Afro-fusion, a melodic fusion of Afrobeats, Soca, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, and Dance-Pop sounds. My music is both sensual and energetic, meant to excite you and make you feel like you have to move your body; to connect with others attracted to the vibes. It’s a captivating experience that will romance your heart for a lifetime, from the moment the sounds kiss your ears.
Mid-pandemic, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic; experiencing the culture, beaches, food, and parties had an impact on me. I remember laying in the hammock on my balcony one day, watching the palm trees blowing in the wind, hearing the buzzing of people on the street with fast cars zooming by, and the melody with lyrics for the first verse came to me. The storyline flirts with themes of magnetic attraction, freedom to lose oneself in the moment, and the euphoria of energetic highs. Production-wise, my producer, Nate Smith, and I collaborated on the sound. Dancehall and Reggae music were influenced by key instruments like horns, strings, keys, and bass creating melodious sounds. I chose to use vocal harmonies in the pre-chorus, coupled with the trance-like instrumental build-up to a climactic chorus.
The intention is to give listeners a sensual feeling with climatic breaks to keep the energy vibrant and enjoyable.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Great question! My strategies for success as an independent emerging artist are consistency and discipline. Creativity opens up doors to opportunity, consistency keeps those opportunities coming, and discipline helps to maintain a healthy balance of success.
Whenever I’m facing difficulties and challenges with creating music, I revisit my ‘why.’ Why do I enjoy songwriting and recording music? Here’s why I compose songs, to communicate my lived experiences, feelings, and ideas with the world. I love that my listeners can relate to and emotionally connect with my music.
When I’m unmotivated to create, I practice patience and discipline myself to trust the process. For inspiration, I give myself permission to have fun again and remember that music is a gift to me first before it’s a present to others!
What’s next for Kwesi Jamaal?
In 2023 my mantra is “We Set Di Vibes!” Meaning we create the energy that impacts our daily lives, environment, and our communities. I’ve returned to the studio motivated to create a musical project (upcoming EP) that will add pure vibes to the soundtrack of my fans’ lives! Light It Up is the official single of the upcoming EP, which is out now.
Any message for our readers?
As an independent artist, building a community around my music is very important to me. To my fans, who I affectionately refer to as my “Vibes Community,” much love and gratitude for choosing to grow with me on this musical journey. Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned for more music and content for you to enjoy!
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
You can follow me on Instagram @kwesi_jamaal.
Thank you so much, Kwesi, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!
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