Kes (band)

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Kes The Band
Origin Trinidad and Tobago
Genres Soca, R&B, Rock, Dancehall
Years active 2005–Present
Website [1]

Kes (commonly known as Kes the Band or KTB) is a soca band formed in Trinidad in 2005. The group's musical style primarily consists of soca, influenced by calypso, dancehall and reggae, with elements from other genres such as rock and dance music. It is sometimes described as Island Pop or Caribbean Pop. The band consists of founding members Kees Dieffenthaller (lead vocals), Hans Dieffenthaller (drums), Jon Dieffenthaller (guitar) and Riad Boochoon (bass guitar). Kees, Hans and Jon are brothers. Noted for high energy live performances and the soulful voice of lead singer (Kees), KES has captured the hearts of many. It has become one of the most popular and sought after bands in Trinidad and Tobago, throughout the Caribbean, US and Canada.

History[edit]

Kes was formed in 2005. Hans, Jon, Kees and Riad are alumni of Presentation College, San Fernando in Trinidad & Tobago.

Music[edit]

KES music incorporates a unique blend of soulful vocals and calypso-inspired melodies, over a fusion of rock riffs and island beats, hints of soca and reggae, and can best be described as Caribbean Pop. This style has elevated them to mainstream popularity, allowing KES to become a household name in Trinidad & Tobago and throughout the Caribbean circuit, where they consistently win over audiences with their electric and high-energy performances.[1]

In 2006 KES launched their debut album titled Three Baldheads and a Dread (a reference to the hairstyles of the band members) featuring tracks like, Stay with Me - which dominated the number one position on the Toronto website charts (www.Toronto-lime.com) for 9 straight weeks, a new record; and Heads High, a Carnival favorite.

In 2007 they launched their second album: Lion. Featured on the album is the title track, an inspiring and motivational song, as well as carnival hits My Land (with which Kees and Nadia Batson placed second in the Trinidad and Tobago International Soca Monarch Competition), Our Prayer, reggae influenced songs Limin and Bigger Brighter Day.

In the latter part of 2007 the band released some songs with a slightly different flavour, such as Come a Little Closer which was on high rotation on local radio.[2] For 2008 their carnival releases included Right Dey and De Remedy. KES released a video for their single Lion in May 2008.

Kees collaborated with major industry talents such as songwriter Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Aerosmith) where he co-wrote a song with him for the new Ace Young album.

The band's third album was released on February 10, 2009 and entitled On In 5[3] and featured a mix of old and new releases as well as live performances.

In 2010 the bands song Let Me Know was picked by Six Flags to be played throughout their amusement parks as well as by American Airlines’ programmes.During this year the band also made a huge accomplishment and performed live on BBC World Channel and was viewed by millions worldwide.[4]

In 2011 KES continued showing growth with the release of their fourth Album "Wotless" in early 2011. The album's Title song was one of the most popular for Trinidad and Tobago's 2011 carnival season as well as many other carnivals in the region."Wotless" was born from a collaboration between KES and Trinidadian born Singer/songwriter/producer Kerwin Dubois. Kees won the International Groovy Soca monarch competition that year with "Wotless" following an unforgettable performance on Carnival Friday( Fantastic Friday) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium,Trinidad. The song continues to break the band into new markets all around the world. Other album gems included "Where Yuh From" (an anthemic piece calling out to everyone to celebrate and love their homeland, produced by KES and MADMEN PRODUCTION), Ah Ting ( another strong collaboration with Kerwin Dubois, featuring Kees and Kerwin on vocals) and Come Gyal ( produced by KES and 1ST KLASE PRODUCTION).

KES released their fifth album STEREOTYPE in August 2011. An experimental album, produced alongside the Madmen Production team, once again showcases the band's versatility. STEREOTYPE is a combination of Caribbean rhythms,Pop and R&B. Stand out tracks on the album include " Let me Know","Take me away" and "Loving You"( a collaboration with KES featuring talented Jamaican songstress Tessanne Chin).

In 2012 KES collaborated with Snoop Dogg on a remix of their carnival release STRESSAWAY (produced by 1st KLASE and KES). The single was well received and marked new territory for KES. The band also began raising the bar locally with respect to music videos with the release of the video for STRESSAWAY ( original version) in Feb 2012.The Band released its sixth album in Feb 2012 titled 'WIRED'. Tracks such as "Precision Wine", "Stressaway" and "Coming over" enjoyed heavy rotation on local radio stations. Since 2005 Kes has released in all five albums that has made a great impact on his music career as well as his audience.

Performance[edit]

KES live shows incorporate additional performers Mario Callender (keyboards) and Robbie 'Styles' Persaud (programming) and Ricardo Rameshwar(Keyboards).[5] For KES and other local acts the Trindadian Carnival season, which runs from approximately Boxing Day until the beginning of Lent, is usually the most hectic and demanding period. Thousands of visitors arrive for the annual festival[6] and weeks of concert events. Though each KES performance is by nature highly energetic, it is common during this period to perform 2 or 3 full shows nightly. There are many pre carnival parties that are meant to open the carnival season with a bang! Kes performs at parties such as Rise and Harts and often does multiple performances on the same night. His performances are usually accompanied by back up dancers who have choreographed routines to each of his songs. The entire spectacle makes his performances wildly, lively and entertaining. During the actual carnival festival Kes also makes multiple appearances and performances on various music trucks as everyone parades throughout the streets. His performances are something that everyone looks forward to during this festive season.

KES has performed all over the Caribbean, USA, Canada and Europe, also touching parts of Asia(Japan and China), and has opened for acts such as Musiq Soulchild, Sean Paul, Rihanna, John Legend, Maroon 5 and Evanescence. It is Kes’ versatility that allows him to stand out from the crowd and other performers that compete with him, his ability to perform any and everywhere and almost always steal the show. He brings to the stage more than just a voice, but an energy that seems almost contagious. He never fails to excite and impress the audience with his unique talent and ability to deliver nothing less than perfection when performing. He has performed with varying artists, one most recent being the famous R&B artist Ne-Yo. He never fails to bring forth the most outstanding performances and draw in the largest crowds. His effortless talent and amazing performances has made the small island of Trinidad and Tobago known across the globe. Kes says that he hopes that his performances will lead the way to him winning a Grammy for his country of Trinidad and Tobago.[7] Although his performances mainly ranges within the Caribbean he has also travelled to many areas and guest performed with famous artist that are widely known. Each of his albums from Three Baldheads and a Dread to Stereotype each incorporates a different aspect that make them each unique and widely listened to. His use of varying styles is what keeps his audience engaged and excited. He mainly sings soca (a style of Caribbean music originating in Trinidad and Tobago) but he has been known to also include or add different styles such as R&B and rap. Kes and his band started with small performances in events such as parties and have now worked their way up to the top. His passion and drive for music has brought him to where he is today. Even though he is now married and has a daughter this hasn’t impacted his ability to perform and always deliver on stage or at any event.

Carnival[edit]

In 2011,Kes The Band was awarded the title of "Groovy Soca Monarch" for the song 'Wotless.'

Discography[edit]

  • Three Baldheads and A Dread (2006)
  • Lion (2007)
  • On In 5 (2009)
  • Wotless (2011)
  • Stereotype (2011)
  • Wired(2012)

Collaborations[edit]

References[edit]