Kings and Queens of Soca
Posted on January 31, 2017
“Ken this is probably the best song I have ever written” – the remark that really got my attention.
In between the daily casual conversation between Nesta and I, the statement struck me. He played the song and it sounded like a distorted rhythm session with some humming over it. Noticing my lack of astonishment, Nesta explained this was version 1.0 and beneath the hums, real words will soon come.
The underlying theme of this story is, to believe. We believed – he brought me in to capture the creation of this project. In the studio with producer Mega Mick and Artiste Preedy, the chemistry was simply organic. To voice the background vocals, they brought in an entire choir. This must be something! I remember Shak cooking up some BBQ Chicken while we worked in the studio. Preedy, who is forever playful was drifting between suggesting lines and playing cell phone video games.
Before the project was complete we made a conscious decision to make everything about this spectacular. The challenge before us was making everything happen with dwindling resources and time. Meanwhile, Nesta and I had simultaneously invested in an event launch with hidden expenses popping up daily.
This project sort of put itself together. Sekon Sta and Mega Mick had this amazing vision for a song and video to encompass the vibe and essence of Carnival, that will also pay tribute to the Kings and Queens of today.
To accomplish this we adopted a run and gun style, pulling scenes together from natural environments such as a tailgate lime or moments by a pool. I wanted this to be a video anyone could appreciate, so while we had the Exodus Pan Yard scene, I felt we needed more. During a trip to Tobago to shoot an ad for Muddern Mud, I discovered Villa Petrus. A Beautiful Villa with a huge pool and picturesque landscape. Without hesitation, I told Nesta hop on a plane immediately! That same evening, Nesta appeared in Tobago and early the following morning, we borrowed a model from Muddern Mud and shot our poolside scene. After lunch, our standby attempt to leave was unsuccessful, but we turned lemons into juice by using that opportunity to catch a final scene at the iconic Pigeon Point Jetty.
As a final scene, bringing everything back home, we returned to Arima and rolled through the streets with a hummer. Allia Lewis of the Soca Squad added her vocals and we felt as though the product was complete. For me it added authenticity to shoot the final scene in Arima, which is near where both Nesta and I grew up.
The biggest downside to this run and gun style is deciding how to put everything together. It felt like I was editing four music videos as we had multiple angles and aerial shots from every scene.
Fastforwarding a few weeks on December 19th to the day after the EEEmpire Launch Party, we dropped the music video and song simultaneously to the public. Kings and Queens continues to be a Soca 2017 Anthem and maybe this song will win us some awards. Regardless, kensambury.com is happy to contribute to Soca music and share the beauty of our country and culture.