Mon | Jun 1, 2020

Keida goes reggaeton

Published:Sunday | October 27, 2019 | 12:16 AMStephanie Lyew - Sunday Gleaner Writer

There are nearly 3,000 miles that separate Jamaica from Brazil, but on Vai, the first single released from her upcoming EP, recording artiste Keida is looking to shorten that distance.

The singer channels her ‘inner-Shakira’ – not the one who collaborated with Rihanna five years ago, the Hips Don’t Lie Shakira – and yes, we know she is Colombian and not Brazilian. The point is, Keida creatively dipped into the sounds from across the seas to give the track an eclectic resonance.

“It is a fusion of genres, typically baile funk and reggaeton, created out of sampling music that has that kind of pulsating feel. The style of music was introduced to me by the producer, Roe Summerz,” Keida told The Gleaner.

She added: “The title of the song, Vai is Spanish for ‘go’and can be interpreted in varied ways from dancing to moving forward from one point in life to another.”

Working with multiple genres is nothing new for Keida, who has been steadily travelling the world over the past five years. She staged a summer tour that took her to Ethiopia and Europe, with the final stop being Israel’s metropolitan city of Tel Aviv. The shows were primarily reggae, she shared, but while in Amsterdam, where she stopped to flex her recording muscles, Keida soaked up the sounds of UK drill, Afrobeat, Afro-trap, Afro-reggae and even Afro-dancehall fusions.

“I may experiment more with this fusion sound and style, among other genres that I have been exposed to in my travels, but there are no plans to switch genres because as it remains, I was never originally stuck in any one genre at any time throughout my career – it will be explored like other art forms,” she said.

difference in radio play

“What I have noticed is, with my quest to find other genres, listeners would assume it was a complete switch of focus; in particular when I started doing reggae music and not strictly dancehall tracks and there was also a big difference in the radio play my music received.”

Lest anyone doubt the calibre of her efforts, Keida has maintained a steady winning streak over the past year. She collaborated with one of the world’s best-selling artistes, Christina Aguilera, on her track Right Moves, featured on her Liberation album. And her solo releases have gradually racked up YouTube views and streams.

Look at Keida’s catalogue and there is evidence of an unremitting passion for the various global music forms, but as she readies her upcoming EP, she takes heed that her projects are in sync. Rightfully named Long Weekend, the six-track production is a mixture of the singjay’s rootsy technique of putting the lyrics of her dancehall and reggae along with the newly explored Brazilian genre.

The Jamaican Boy artiste expressed that she wants persons to listen with open ears to her dynamic shifts between the genres.

“I am doing what feels and sounds good to me. What’s more, music is about what puts me in a good mood and helps me to deal with all types of emotions, and I would want persons to have that same reaction.”