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Cali P and TEKA to release vinyl edition of ‘Vizion’ album

Published:Thursday | January 20, 2022 | 12:07 AMSade Gardner/Staff Reporter
Cali P (left) and TEKA.
Cali P (left) and TEKA.
Cali P (left) and TEKA.
Cali P (left) and TEKA.

The story of Cali P and TEKA’s Vizion album started in 2017 after the former heard a remix of a Migos song built by the Berlin producer. The sound, a genre-defying blend of pop culture’s finest, has served as the pen to the chapters of Vizion, which include two EPs, the September-released album, and now, the album’s vinyl edition to be released on January 28.

Cali P is no stranger to packaging his art as vinyl and hopes the edition – which retains the album’s 13-set tracklist alongside 10 remixes and five instrumentals – will be embraced by vinyl lovers all over.

“My hope is that vinyl lovers across the world can get their copy cause it’s a limited edition; we only did 300,” Cali P told The Gleaner. “This is really special for me because that (vinyl) is something I’d always look forward to from an artiste who puts out an album. It’s something I can hold, and while I listen to it, I can read the lyrics or check where it was recorded and stuff. Those are things I personally really like, so I’m happy that we get to release the Vizion on vinyl really soon.”

The album title signals the direction he wants to take his music, free from genre jails and select audiences. It permeates throughout the album, which starts with Innit, a delirious dub groove centring the superstar life of the singer, and extends with tracks like Hit Like Gunshot, an Afrobeats number about social and racial injustice, and When You Hold Me, a drunken hip hop and reggae affair the ladies will enjoy. The genre diversity is clear, so too is the ability to deliver message music regardless of the rhythmic experimentations delivered by TEKA.

“The album I did before this, I Thoughts, was really roots-reggae music that I really love and performed everywhere, but I really wanted to do something that is going towards the future that unites the younger people, the generation I’m in, and the generation above me,” he said. “TEKA did it in the production, bringing that sound of the old reggae music, the foundation styles, the warm sounds, and mixing it up with the new school, the trap, Afrobeats, dancehall, and that was the vision – to unite things and bring people together.”

Their work chemistry started in 2005 when they worked on Take Care of My Family, which appeared on Cali P’s debut album Lyrical Faya three years later. Working on the Vizion project primarily evolved at TEKA’s studio, where the men immersed themselves in making music in a way that allowed for unconventional art, fuelled by their trust in each other’s creative direction. This foundation allowed them to share the “visionary” space with other creatives who remixed some songs. Producers include Grammy-nominated outfit Crate Classics (behind Doja Cat’s Woman), who remixed When You Hold Me; Dancehall Rulerz, who put a dreamy, dancehall-pop spin on Crazy; and Riga/Hemp Higher Production’s trappy hip hop take on Life Lesson. Singer Shanique Marie of the Equiknoxx camp appears on the People Want More remix, and it’s hard not to notice the three remixes of Rise Up & Shine. The single, featuring StoneBwoy and Seun Kuti, is a motivational hustler’s anthem with sweet, Afro sounds. The vinyl album offers a dancehall remix by TEKA featuring Mawso Nanon and Babalafaya, a dub vibe by TEKA with melodica magic by Addis Pablo, and a chill, electro version by Swing Ting.

“We never really had a plan of how much remixes we would make or even who we would make remix it; it was really a natural process,” Cali P shared. “Once we spoke with one of the producers, we maybe sent him three or four different songs off the album that were available at that time and made them choose which vibes they like the most or the one they would like to remix.”

As for Rise Up & Shine’s three remixes, their placement complements the project’s disruption of tradition.

“We just gave everything a chance, and then it’s remixes so they can all go their way and be for those people who really appreciate it.”