Dan It Up: Time Travel to 1990s Trinidad with Mark Hardy + Stef Kalloo

September 14, 2015

Words by Tishanna Williams

Mark Hardy seems to have a knack for “mixing old with new” and making “ole time something come back again.” This time it’s the Ragga Soca sound of Yard Fowl Crew’s 1992 sell-of track “Dan It Up,” complete with the hip-hop and soca dance stylings of the 90’s!

While the younger generation might think that this collab with Stef Kalloo (out of the Xplicit Entertainment camp) is a hot new track, for those who grew up in Trinidad in the ’90s, the video and rhythm are cause for a trip down memory lane, to the days of sound systems, the Kiskidee Caravan and Ragga Soca. With oversized jeans, netted tanks, thick gold link chains and vinyl records of calypso legends like Calypso Rose and David Rudder, the video includes all sorts of nostalgic imagery designed to evoke the period.

“Outside of Carnival, it feels like we didn’t have much of an identity,” Mark says. “So we are trying to get a sense of documentation for those that come after. It’s a consistent history lesson and we are trying to keep the legacy going through what we think is the best way.”

Kiskidee Caravan, originally started by Robert Amar of Caribbean Sound Basin (one of the biggest Caribbean studios in the 90’s), was geared towards developing the musical talent of Trinidad and Tobago. Considering that past alumni include Ataklan, General Grant, Destra Garcia, producer Sheldon ‘Shel Shock’ Benjamin and Bunji Garlin, this was definitely the group to be in if you were serious about music and talented.

Now… let’s take a minute to set our eyes and ears on the sexy and talented female holding her own in this male dominated video, shall we? Stef Kalloo  is a singer/songwriter that began singing at the early age of 4. Her recent collaboration with Marlon Asher on the track “Beautiful Day” has been remixed in several versions by the Dubbhism Label for different territories in Europe and her latest release “Take it Up” is a regular on TraceTV.

“I feel like Stef and I, and others in our generation, are the link between past and present. Musically we are the link between Kiskidee Caravan and new artistes like Jimmy October, Inzey and Nailah Blackman.”

With tracks like “Pumpin,” “Nah Boy” and “Iz a Trini” (with Yung Rudd and Jimmy October) Mark Hardy and Xplicit Entertainment seem to already have the ear of every Trini, and this latest release is already geared for greatness with its retro, cross-generational flair and Stef as the icing on the musical cake.

Watch below.