2016 Soca: Kes + Lyrikal Combine For “Unlimited Vibes”

Words by LargeUp Crew
kes-lyrikal

With only the Christmas season standing between now and Trinidad Carnival, soca artists are preparing for the imminent arrival of the Caribbean’s greatest two-day-long display of revelry.

In one of the biggest tracks for the season so far, soca lover boy Kes and New York-based artist Lyrikal have teamed to bring us โ€œUnlimited Vibes.โ€ What these two bring to soca could hardly be compared, but thrown together in the studio they’ve managed to merge their styles for a track that lives up to its name, setting the tone for what to expect this Carnival season.

When we reached out to Kes for a few words on the collaboration (produced by Mad Men and written with Full Blown Entertainment) the โ€œFallinโ€ and โ€œLook Fuh Datโ€ crooner testified that the track was a union both parties did not have to force.

โ€œWe both travel quite a bit, so I see Lyrikal in all different countries and spaces,โ€ Kes said. โ€œWhen weโ€™re traveling and bounce up one another, weโ€™re always saying, ‘we need to do a song, we need to do a song’ but it have to be the right sound with the right vibe. When I got this track I loved it, I wanted to do it with somebody, and Lyrikal was at the top of the list.โ€

Of Lyrikal, whoseย โ€œCloud 9โ€ was among last year’s biggest soca hits, Kes said: โ€œAt the end of the day I respect him coming from New York and taking over his homeland. Thatโ€™s big for a foreign-based artist, and then bringing that energy to Trinidad. So with all those things in mind, why not do a track.โ€

The pulsating riddim is coupled with an infectious chant that reappears throughout the duration of the song. And while Kesโ€™s vocals introduce the lyrical element of the track, Lyrikal isn’t far behind; eventually the two engage in a melodic exchange, juxtaposing their vocal styles to bring forth the energy you expect from either artist.

Asked about the inspiration behind the tune, Kes says:ย โ€œThe song is really and truly about finding that space in the things in life that have unlimited vibes. You land right in a fete and the drinks is the best, the music is the best, the girls is the best. Everything line up and everything is unlimited vibes, and you feel invincible. We wanted to [bring that feeling] every time we do a song; we want to find that space in the song and feel that energy with unlimited vibes. I want people to feel that.โ€

So when and where might you be able to catch a performance of the single? Kes has recently joined the roster of Jamaican songwriter Claude Kelly’s Weirdo Workshop label, and just wrapped up a tour around the US. When we caught him, the band was actually on their way back to Trinidad for Carnival promo and their Woodford Cafe performance on December 15th.