Why Is Kerwin Du Bois Back Now?

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By Michael Mondezie

Kerwin Du Bois is a musician reinvented. Du Bois took a lengthy step back from music to self-evaluate and find new creative direction.

The result of all that self-work comes pouring out in singer/songwriter/music producer’s hybrid Carnival 2024 hit “Energy Killers”, a song with a self-affirming message, unexpected melodies and sing-along hook.

He sings:

I doh need to be looking sweet

Every time I walk in the street

Man ah good so

I doh need to follow no crowd

To make meh family proud

Man ah good so

I doh need to be in the middle of de

bachannal ting

When allyuh limin’

When allyuh winin’

I could jam right over here alone

When ah get in meh zone

I good right here

I doh want to be around no energy killers

“That song is clear indication that now I know who I am, now I know what I need to do, and what I need not to do and I need to hold on to my energy. It was more me just pouring out how I feel after going through what I went through,” Du Bois said about the empowering song last Wednesday.

“It’s an affirmation to me that I don’t need to place myself in certain circles and place myself in certain situations to be approved. I don’t need to do what everybody else doing to get approval, because I did that for many, many years and all it did was drain me and took me away from being me.

Back with a bang

Du Bois has dropped some bangers upon his return to the soca scene. Along with “Energy Killers”, which appears on the Candy Dance Riddim, he has released “Life After Fete” on Majesty Riddim, “One Stop Shop”, on the Mug Shot Riddim and “Talk My Mind” on the Infinity Riddim.

His playful but raunchy single “Benderella”, however, is having the most impact in the fete with its instructions for ladies “tip, tip, tip over” and show “yuh is a strong woman”.

“Everything is going to plan, from the time it drop, it has been getting nothing but love,” Du Bois said through a grin about the suggestive song.

“Is a girls thing,” he continued, “girls love dem kinda songs. It juts makes you feel to lose yourself when you hear it. Even if yuh wasn’t in the mood to dance, from the time that come on yuh have no choice.”

Picking up exactly where he left off, on top the soca charts is a testament to good preparation, Du Bois said.

“I started preparing myself from May (2023). I kind of get back into the groove of wanting to slowly start producing music. Nothing written yet. Just productions, jot down, ideas being listed. I was trying to set up a structure of the roll out, collaborations, how much songs I wanted to do,” he explained.

Building a strong, supportive team remains high on his agenda, he revealed. Accustomed to doing everything himself from concept to execution he now recognises the need to relinquish some of that control to a trusted group of professionals.

“One thing that I need to focus on is having a solid team, that has been invisible in my career for quite a while. I mean I sit down and get the music done, but when it’s time to actually get the ball rolling, that’s where the struggle is. So now it is about putting together a solid team that can work together to achieve and accomplish the mission, not just goals as an artiste but as a creative, because I have more than musical ideas.

The future of soca music

Du Bois says he is impressed and supportive of the genre-bending experimentation younger soca acts are applying to their music. It’s exactly that approach that will take the music to new audiences, he reiterated.

“I think the music needs to change drastically. We need to stop thinking locally and start thinking internationally, and not be afraid to experiment. Soca is a happy music and with that comes the options of playing any kinda field that you want to play. I think music is a form of expression and we need to express ourselves fully without fear of what others might say,” he said.

The Toronto, Canada-based singer was also complimentary of the way in which young acts on the islands have employed social media to promote their music.

“They have it much easier than we had it, with the introduction of all the social media platforms. When we first started, if radio or the print media not giving yuh that plug, then you have to find a way to get yourself, your music, your product out there. With the introduction of the social media platforms it’s easier for you to engage with fans and reach the people that you need to reach in the way you need to reach them by projecting that transparency of who you are as an artiste,

Addressing the escalating crime situation in T&T, Du Bois said creatives like himself can do their part to effect positive change by continuing to be a source of inspiration.

“We have to keep that message of positivity going. It’s something I have been thinking about. We need people who don’t see a bright future for themselves, to have the opportunity to actually listen to someone they look up to who could motivate them to be on the positive side,” he said.

That energy exchange goes both ways. Du Bois says his greatest source of creative inspiration comes from the very people for whom he creates: the fans.

“The number one inspiration and motivation for me is the fans. The second is my environment, isolating myself from the regular, the usual lifestyle and taking more of the scenic routes. The ocean is my power and my strength I get a lot of solace from that and I’m able to feel inspired to not just do music but other creative things,” he said.

And for those wondering when next he will be back on the island?

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