With the release of their first single for 2022, "Jolene," Trinidad & Tobago soca stars KES welcome listeners to Carnival season in the Caribbean. The single, which debuted with Complex UK, is now available on all DSPs via Ineffable Records in California.
"Jolene," the first taste of a new album set to be released this Summer, is a jubilant celebration of good vibes and rolling waistlines, fusing the irresistible rhythm of soca with afrobeats and other elements for an instantly classic, island-pop tune.
The track, created by Dwala from Trinidad, arrives at a time of year when soca acts traditionally flood the market with new music to set the mood for Trinidad & Tobago Carnival in February. With Carnival festivities on hold for a second year, KES, better known as KES THE BAND, went outside the box to make a song that would transport listeners to the Caribbean no matter where they were in the world.
“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,” says KES frontman Kees Dieffenthaller, also known as KES.
“The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures and people together in this beautiful place, and this song captures all of these vibes.”
Despite the pandemic, KES has seen a streak of successes in the last two years. In 2021, they made their American television debut on Late Night with Steven Colbert, performed on Zoom alongside Jon Batiste in a virtual celebration of Carnival culture, and returned to the United States for the first time in over two years for their maiden tour dates. They released the live album We Home (Ineffable Records) in August 2020, which received positive reviews from publications such as Essence and The FADER.
The band has also staged a series of virtual concerts that have shown live on television across the Caribbean and have been streamed internationally on their YouTube channel, all of which were timed to important occasions in Trinidad & Tobago's cultural calendar.