Reigning joint Soca Monarch and Road March Champions, Kes The Band is set to share a new version of their biggest international hit single, “Hello” with the global music market this Friday.
The 2020 version of “Hello” was recorded ‘live’ during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in Trinidad and Tobago, mixed by internationally-acclaimed sound engineer, Dexter Simmons (of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston fame) and the new soundscape successfully takes the song out of the Carnival fetes and street processions and translates it into the broader world of melodic pop anthems.
First released late in 2017 for the 2018 Trinidad Carnival season, the original version of “Hello” has organically grown into one of the most streamed soca songs of all time with over 70 million streams across YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.
“Hello is one of those songs that was created with the Carnival spirit,” lead singer, Kees Dieffenthaller explained, “but it just took on a life of its own outside of the festival, the region and the Diaspora. It’s been translated in many languages and covered by various singers and musicians around the world in a multitude of styles and genres and it’s still growing – we hope that this new version will again inspire people around the world to take new interest in our sound and the message behind the song: which is quite simply extolling the virtues of the sometimes lost art of communication…
In a world filled with innumerable digital platforms, apps and other technological wonders designed to bring people together and keep us connected, Hello is still often the simplest and easiest way to start a conversation…”
On YouTube, where “Hello” has amassed over 42 million views, only the Baha Men’s “Who Let The Dogs Out”, Rupee’s “Tempted To Touch” and Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” have more spins within the genre and no Trinbagonian Soca act has accumulated as many streams to date.
The 2020 version of “Hello” features lilting flutes, jangly guitars and insistent bass and drums, which surround its addictive refrain, creating a feel that’s distinctly tropical and undeniably universal. Enhanced with a colourful and brilliant illustration from Trinidadian creative director, Nicholas Huggins, the “Hello” art-work completes Huggins’ unique vision for the We Home album and all four singles to be released this month.
Of course, the “Hello” 2020 single forms part of the lead up to the release of Kes’ new album, We Home, which is scheduled for Friday, August 28.
Recognised now as icons of soca music and ambassadors of Caribbean culture, KES is building momentum toward the release of this their first new full-length album in over five years. Led by charismatic frontman, Kees Dieffenthaller, the band of brothers is breathing new life and energy into its catalog of Carnival hits and island pop jams on this live album – complete with fresh renditions showcasing their prowess as a live band par excellence. The second of four single releases planned in August, “Hello” puts a fresh spin on KES’ biggest hit to date.