Even through government collapses, the Internet overcoming our social reality, and some countries’ attempts to cover up their citizens’ mouths by power, some strategies still remain for us to experience the physical reality. I personally believe that music is one of those options.
For instance, calypso was one of those tools: it was invented for the purpose of communication and broadcasting among slaves in the Caribbean islands. Since the time before TV or radio, calypso has survived as metaphors against control, broadcasting the critiques, the truths, and the news about society. Calypso was the fruits of passion for civilians.
This Toronto-based band, Kobo Town introduces the old calypso music while mixing with later influences such as ska, dub, reggae, and hip hop, and decorating with trumpet, layer of guitar, and funky bass. Kobo Town is just like Caribbean cuisine: a mixture of various musical ingredients gives us one big cultural punch.
Chilled and happy pop-tropical tunes let you dance as if you are drunk at a beach, but in this case, it’s unnecessary to have some alcohol. You might have already experienced this at a show at Dundas Square, during Caribbean festival on the last dimly-lit summer night.
Even if you didn’t catch Kobo Town live, the band’s music brings sweet summer wind to your speakers. Not only in rhythms, but lyrically, they know how to master the calypso. Kobo Town singer, Drew Gonsalves acknowledges that calypso exists for what he should publish. Take the band’s latest single, ‘Kaiso Newscast’, for example: “If I had the choice / I would choose / to live back when calypso brought the news.” Gonsalves is formidable, totally aware of the modern world. Kobo Town’s tunes always sound tropical and friendly, but they are totally ready to fight and pull subtle politics with their own chill waves. They are authentic.
We tend to be comfortable with the things with which we are familiar, but the charm in Toronto is multiculturalism. Once you open your mind, it is really easy to find something we have not yet discovered. Kobo Town is one of those voices.
For more on Kobo Town, visit www.kobotown.com.