Kalash, the wave “Tombolo” – RFI Musique

Kalash, 34 next June, was far from a stranger before year moon. It is however with that thunderous irresistible, in collaboration with Damso, that the Martinican singer was a hit, reaching the top of streams in 2017. Since then, he has released Diamond Stonewhere he crossed the microphone with his middle namesake Kalash Criminel and the American trap rapper Gucci Mane.

With tombare no less than 21 tracks that break, in a raging torrent of dancehall reggae, rap, Lyrics conscious and festive pieces. We found Damso in I love youthe Jamaican dancehall warrior Bounty Killer in everyone falls and the autotuned singer Hamza in the heat of noir.

On a Parisian promotion day, a few days after his return from Saint-Martin, where he saw the Bounty Killer in concert, Kevin Valleray (his birth name) sits at a table in a Parisian hotel, takes off his sunglasses and poses for 35 minutes of conversation about music, confrontation, spirituality and the sound of dancehall. Microphone “check”, it’s Kalash.

RFI Musique: So you’ve been rich since “Mwaka Moon Hit the Target” ?
Kalash : People may consider you wealth, but “mo ‘mo money’ trouble!” The more you bring in large sums, the more you leave. But for people, it’s being rich, yes.

year moon changed your life?
My life had already changed with other songs, it’s like a crescendo. year moon, it’s the pinnacle in terms of numbers, but it’s not what changed my life the most. It’s not the music that made me star, it was before when I did bendo, Red and blue Download it for free. Booba, Occupied. There, I had taken a course. Really changed with the album chaos, my first Gold Record. The Gold Record, I’ve been looking for it for a long time, is symbolic. The artists I listened to as a kid never understood. It was important to have him for us and of course for my personal career.

How do you write the lyrics of your songs?
I am like Jamaicans, I write as I come. It conveys the emotion of the moment. I can sit down and write a text, like Kery James, but I’m a different kind of artist. I want the melody to sound, no matter the language, to slide. I don’t want the words to change my intention. I don’t write a lot, it’s very fast, ten or fifteen minutes per song.

You have some very sexy texts, in particular of noir with Hamza…
The sound Imperial Punany with Prince Swanny is also very explicit. I see if I’m going too far when my wife listens. I only work with women: my publicist Ikram, Marine, my project manager, my wife Clara who is my manager. If it hits your ears, there’s a problem. I happened to be told “There, it’s limit”then we change one Lyrics or the sound does not come out. But once this team passes, it’s good. They’re very picky about it, a scandal goes too fast, with #MeToo and all. It’s my customs!

What is your opinion about the circus of confrontations in French rap?
You said the word, it’s like a circus. With my age and experience, I look and smile, but I don’t fit in, it’s a waste of time. We have passed the era and the era of confrontations. We are worthy men. But when there are, it makes me laugh, they are clowns. Even in Jamaica, where it was financially profitable, it happened. The Sting, the festival of confrontation, no longer exists. Artists who came into conflict reconciled. It went too far: Ninjaman got hit by the Vibz Cartel, promised the Cartel’s death, the next day the Cartel apologized, Bounty Killer punched Beenie Man in the face… There were a lot of things like that, which people thought were absurd . The confrontation must remain musical, but sometimes it spills over, even in France. But the great artists I take as role models like Bounty Killer, Mavado, etc. abandoned these stories of confrontations. They are in creation. They want to make big hits.

What are your influences on French rap?
In order, those who influenced me: JoeyStarr in ton gun pose. The Buju Banton voice that he does, a really amazing toaster voice, that he knows how to do in to live. Kool Shen on the track for my peopleKery James, Booba a lot, in sounds and productions since Time’s up and Lunatic. The last French hip hop artist that inspired me was Naza. when he did Beautiful baby with Niska, slapped me in the face. It reminded me of home music. He is the last one who influenced me and if not euphon from Gazo, I loved it.


What do you think of the current rap trend, which no longer hesitates to adopt varied choruses from the 1980s?
There are two reasons why hip hop withdrew: first a financial reason, artists want to get into the media conventional, reach more money and a wider audience. So they deradicalize. Second, artists are less cultured, less concerned with social and political issues. Many are ignorant, they know nothing about life except “Wesh, do you understand, what does that say”. We can make festive music, but an artist must have in his catalog a sound that makes the little ones think, that pays homage to old battles. Now, many artists don’t care about reality. They just use the city to look good, to be dishonest, not like they should for being defenders of the oppressed and loudmouths. I’m not telling them to do exactly that, it would be boring, but it’s very light, very festive.

My life it has a gospel vibe. Do sex and religion go hand in hand?
When I make sounds where I talk about sex and daring things, it joins the religion. I’m not talking about orgies or fucking drugs. For me, making love is part of the Bible, so I don’t mind talking about that and talking about spirituality in the next part. I have a very special relationship with religion. I left mine, but I’m trying to find out about everyone else’s. I was an Adventist from a young age. So it wasn’t a choice, and my entire family, without exception, left the church. Some no longer believe in God regarding trials. I, keep a spirituality, learn about Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and their bad sides too. How some were forced to do so by violence. I believe in the divine, in the superior force and I’m afraid of it, it’s what keeps me in a certain behavior with others. There are people who bother me on earth, I know I have the means to eliminate them. I would have done it more than once, but since I didn’t create life, I don’t have the right, so I won’t. I have friends who are very rich on drugs, and if I’m offered to be part of a cocaine business, I don’t just touch that. Not because it’s illegal, but because drugs are death. It’s frowned upon in the eyes of God, and karma, I really believe that. It keeps me correct, in mental and spiritual hygiene.

You have long feared dying young…
I grew up in the temple, I have an uncle who was an exorcist and I had this relationship with the mystic, with demons, with brutal deaths. I saw many corpses, deaths by bullets or by violent accidents, wakes. With us, it is customary to watch the body for several days. When you’re little and you see a dead person all night, it scares you a little bit and it works on your mind. That’s why I was obsessed with mine. There was already the “Club des 27”, and then the 25 with Tupac… in a month, I am 34 years old and it was the 33 years of Jesus Christ. I wait for them to pass to be quiet.

Kalash tomb (Why) 2022

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