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Trinidadian stars KES enter the festive season with “Jolene”

The Caribbean soca group captures the essence of soca, calypso, and reggae with a new single and video right in time for the carnival season! 

“Jolene” is the first savory taste of KES’ next full-length album, which will be released this summer through California-based Ineffable Records. The track, a blend of soca, afrobeats, calypso and island pop flavors, comes right in time for Trinidad and Tobago’s traditional Carnival season, a time of year when soca artists roll out new music with the aim of soundtracking the season’s coming festivities. “I wanted to transport you to a place where, even if you’ve never been to the islands before, you would feel like you are there,” frontman Kees Diefenthaller explains. “The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures and people together in this beautiful place, and this song captures all of these vibes.” 

Behind the nostalgic visuals of the song is Maya Cozier, director of the award-winning Trinidadian feature film She Paradise. The video takes us in a small Caribbean fishing village circa mid-20th century, taking inspiration from Brazil’s cinema novo movement with its combination of vibrant saturated colors and neutral, traditional wardrobes. Diefenthaller playfully competes with other villagers to win the affection of the track’s namesake character, in a rich environment of coconuts, dancing and rums. 

Inspired by their native melting pot nation of Trinidad and Tobago, KES is a seven-piece band formed in 2005. Having opened and shared stages with international superstars such as Sean Paul, Buju Banton, Barrington Levy and more, their music is a subtle fusion of soca, calypso, reggae and pop. 

Listen to “Jolene” in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.