Our dive into Weirdo Workshop's amazing creative output continues this week with a mini NEXT Session with Trinidad and Tobago artist Kes. We first heard of Kes' work while talking with Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony - two songwriters responsible for peppering the Billboard Top 100 with hit after hit after hit. Weirdo Workshop is their record label and creative collective aimed at filling what they see as a major void of meaningful work present throughout pop music today. I think you'll find Kes fills that void nicely.
A backyard, family band that channeled their first fits of creativity into a punk band making songs called "Bullet In The Head", Kes Dieffenthaller along with brothers Hans and Jon have moved and matured into different sonic territory over the years. "Our music has really spread across boundaries, across countries." Kes beamed in conversation. "It's where the world meets. I think that's what our music is. You get a touch of Calypso, a touch of Reggae, a touch of Pop, a touch of rock, a touch of soul. It's really that combination of all our influences."
Joined by Chuck Harmony on the Steinway, the brothers Dieffenthaller dial the exotic, Caribbean rum party vibe of their recorded material down just a bit, turning in an exquisite and uplifting version of their song, "Have A Little Light". With the sun pouring into the studio in golden strands, it would be damn near impossible not to feel what Kes, his brothers, and Weirdo Workshop are trying to do with this music. "Music has always been everything for me," Kes would conclude. "It's always been an escape, it's been medicine, it's been fun, it's been joy." That's exactly what you'll get in our newest mini NEXT session with Kes.
Alyuh my people people Jump up with meh people people Wave up with meh people people Get on bad with meh people people Oh gosh with meh people people Jump up with meh people people for me, since I remember. It's always been an escape, it's been medicine. It's been fun it's been joy. My mom is a classical singer and my dad is very much in touch with the culture of Trinidad and Tobego. He would work with the calypsonians... as we say. Yeah, growing up we were a backyard band, we started in ...you know? And that music just carried us right to where we are right now. We're a family band, more or less, and the first band situation was due to my biggest brother Hans on the drums. He basically gathered all his brothers and started a band from pretty young, and we started off in, of all things, rock music, coming out of the Carribean. Our first song was a punk rock song called Bullet in the Head, it was really dark and heavy for like seven-year-olds, you know? But it was ... I would say, but it was crazy to really see the reaction of people, and we come from where we come from and we love all types of music, but rock music definitely was the start. Growing up in Trinidad, those influences are very...rich country, rich music, a lot of music. Just like any band coming up, strength to strength, it was really just one thing led to another led to another and it's a bigger situation and a bigger situation. I think that now all music is really spread across boundaries, across countries. It's where the world meets, I think is what our music is. Kind of get a grasp of, a touch of calypso, a touch of reggae, a touch of pop, a touch of rock, a touch of soul. It's really that just space, that combindation of all our influences. It's just music, man. I'm excited for the album, I think that it's music that is our window to the world. It's really an introduction for those who don't know us, to really get a grasp of all our songs. And we've managed to touch so many just different aspects of who we are in this music, and it's changed my life. It happened so naturally. And it's so amazing to me that each song, they're all different, but they're all stringed together and really connected in such a real and organic way. So I tried my own medicine, let's just say, and I'm really... I know it's gonna translate to those, to people who want our medicine. The one way to feel real good the one final thing, no good But here is the best advice I know Love hard with no regrets Watch how the fire spreads We can make this hopeless glow If you have a litte light in the morning Have a little light in the afternoon Have a little light in the evening Watch how the world opens up to you If you have a litte light in the morning Have a little light in the afternoon Have a little light in the evening Watch how the world opens up to you I don't need the preacher, no to tell me that my world's gone bad Don't believe the psychics They say my future looks bad You can listen to opinions Nothing but confusion Don't you wanna be a part of this love forever lose ya, so If you have a litte light in the morning Have a little light in the afternoon Have a little light in the evening Watch how the world opens up to you If you have a litte light in the morning Have a little light in the afternoon Have a little light Watch how the world opens up to you It's easy for us to assume doom and gloom and there are a lot of things that light up our life that you need, get in touch with, and Have A Little Light is just a reminder of that. You've got to give light If you want to feel light You've got to feel the light every day of your life You've got to give light If you want to feel light But you've got to feel the light every day of your life You've got to give light If you want to feel light You've got to feel the light every day of your life You've got to give light If you want to feel light You've got to feel the light It's really about every day you need to have your dose of light, your dose of positivity, you know, and it should not just be...it should be all day, it should be in the morning, afternoon and the evening. Have a little light in your life, you know. I hope our music does reflect that we have a world view. We group up in industrial wave, it was very party oriented. And we love to party, we love to have a good party and throw a good party. But there's so much more as well, and I know that this album is going to really show the different shades and different dimensions of who we are as people. And I hope that we really...it inspires someone. If it inspires one person to try something a little different, no matter where you're from in the world, something a little...maybe against the norm, but you just need to express that feeling and I really want that to be... Because a lot of these songs you would never think they were from where we're from. And not downplaying where I'm from, it's a beautiful country, it's just that it's not predictable and it took some doing. It took some risk-taking to do that journey. And I really hope that it inspires someone to take that road. Take that road. It'll be the harder road, but it will be the more fulfilling one in the end.