interview de Cali P sur caribbean

Interview de Cali P sur caribbean

Written by Ayeola

With a multi-lingual, multinational, not to mention bi-racial background, it’s easy to understand the ease with which Cali P meanders within and between different musical genres. It also makes perfect sense that this dreadlocked, son of the Caribbean feels right at home with extreme skiers, after all his backyard was the Swiss alps, in a manner of speaking.

His Swiss mother taught him to ski at age 12. His French West Indian father embedded within (probably from birth) his love for music. Born in Switzerland as Pierre Nanon (I still can’t match his name to his persona though, I keep thinking mean chef or quirky Parisian he spent many a day watching his percussionist father at work (performing and making drums) and listening to his extensive catalog of music. His father Jean Pierre also introduced him to his Rastafarian beliefs.

By age 16, the aspiring musician had progressed from drumming to being an MC for the Gideon Soldiers sound system. He released his first single “Forward” in 2005 on the Pow Pow label. With its popularity, more singles followed and Cali P collaborated with noted producers including Riga the Swiss/Irish head of Hemp Higher Productions.

Cali P’s breakout album 2008’s Lyrical Fyah featured a constant theme of conscious lyrics and easy reggae vibrations. Quite a contrast to 2011’s Unstopabble which is listed on iTunes as Dancehall and Hip Hop. His upcoming album Musi-Cali Speaking will see a return to the heartical vibes, but please, don’t be too quick to label him a roots reggae artist. Cali P sees himself a lover of music, of all types; he just has a special preference for Reggae and dancehall.

Ever since they met in 2003, his music has been given a lot of support by seven-time X Games gold medalist Tanner Hall –a freestyle skier. In 2004 Hall and cameraman Eric Iberg used his music on their film WSKI 106. Four years later, Hall again featured Cali P’s music on Believe and the Red Bull sponsored documentary The Massive. Iberg featured his work in IDEA in 2008 as well. The film went on to sell over 20,000 copies. By 2010, Hall, Iberg and Cali P had, along with their professional associations developed a solid friendship which they decided to parlay into a joint business venture. Adding Jamaican Anil “Phantom” Montaque to the mix they formedInspired Media Concepts (videos and other media) and Inspired Music Concepts (record label). Their first work was the Phantom-produced Like a Lion, the soundtrack to Like A Lion (The Tanner Hall Story) Cali P wrote and performed on various songs for the album which featured guest performances from Fantan Mojah, Munga and Charly B.

In addition to performing at several Extreme sporting events including IF3 International Freeski Festival in Montreal, Cali P has performed to massive crowds across the European festival circuit and has traveled to Costa Rica, Panama, Australia to share his repertoire. His ultimate goal is to spread the fyah inna Africa.

In 2010, Cali P also made Jamaica his base for professional reasons (hey it’s the birthplace of reggae) and also because he just loves the Caribbean where he feels quite at home and able to live the life of Rastafari.

Cali P’s latest album, Unstoppable produced by Riga, under the Hemp Higher label has received a positive response in Jamaica. Since his return from a promotional tour in Europe, he’s performed at major Jamaican music festivals including Reggae Fever, and Sting and is booked for Jamaica’s biggest one day Reggae music festival, Rebel Salute, on Jan 14th 2012.

Since its October 2011 release, Unstoppable has been doing phenomenally well on the charts; peaking at #2 on the iTunes Canada’s Top Ten album charts and #7 on the iTunes US Top Ten Reggae Album Charts. The album also peaked at #4 on the iTunes Swiss Reggae Album Charts.

The album’s single “D’Sunne Schiint” (featuring Phenomden) reached the top spot on the German Video Charts the day it was released in September 2011 and simultaneously landed at #1 on the iTunes Swiss Reggae Song Charts staying at the top spot or two days before settling into the top ten.

He’s already released a video for the follow up single, “Don’t Give Up”.

It remains to be seen if it will have the same success as “D’Sunne Schiint”, in any case, Cali Premains inspired and will be blazing the lyrical fyah.

Hot Steppa, Music Lova, Cali-P you are officially CC Certified!


Q & A

1. Now I know you were born in Switzerland but your name is synonymous with the butterfly island Guadeloupe. I would hope you not just using that background for hype. When did you start going to Gwada and can you share an early memory of the island?
I am always in Gwada. As a matter of fact I am going to my sisters wedding this week. My first visit to Guadeloupe was before age 1. True my father is from there and my mother is from Switzerland we just always move going there come back and back again. It was really crazy. My earliest memory is performing as a little boy onstage with my father. I can remember that yes.

2. Right now your sound is very dancehall. You were featured on a rap chart but you started off  as a conscious artist. Was that a deliberate thing or was it just the natural progression of your music and yourself?
To me I don’t really see it as a change cause I always love reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, r&b, those are all music I grew up with. I just take my time to try to put out different projects. So I put out a roots album and then a hip-hop mixtape for people that love that kind of music. And now the last album Unstoppable, is for the whole dancehall massive you zeet. Just showing my versatility.

3. How did the link with Tanner Hall come about?
Very natural too, I had a show in Switzerland and after I went to a dub session and some sports youths, some skiers, came to me to make a dubplate for their crew which included Tanner Hall. When he heard that dubplate he was so happy that he put it into his first movie which he self produced. That was in 2004. From there we just started working together- I went to the premier, we make show together, new movies and he always includes my music and this kind of change the whole vibes for ski people cause it’s reggae music, not rock. For me it’s very interesting because when I reached there the first time I could feel the change. Once they start putting reggae music in the game it gave the whole thing a different flavor. You feel different when you are watching somebody ski and you listening to reggae music. And, it made me more interested in what they were doing.

4. You’re really popular in Europe and you are European. Is it good PR or good music?
I think its both definitely. As a musician you need to have people around you that help strengthen your thing because it will not reach anywhere. Then again I think its also the patience of every artist. Me personally, I love music and I have done music all of my life up till now. The last ten years I’ve been concentrating on doing music on a professional level-touring, recording for different people. I just try to give my best and right now I start to see the result. Just as you said people start to write reviews, people check out whats happening and people come to the shows, and I think its because they love the music also.

5. Do you think you achieved your goals since your move to Jamaica a year ago or could you have still achieved them staying in Switzerland?
I think my goals are not achieved yet. I am just working towards my goals and this included to come here to Jamaica not only because of the music but also of my personal life and being comfortable where I’m at you know what I mean? Although I’m European I am also Caribbean and I feel more comfortable living in the Caribbean than Europe. So when we pick the team now Inspired Music, my bredren and I just decided to come to Jamaica the place where Reggae music was built. Here there is a platform to work with your music more than anywhere else in the world. I also live comfortable with nuff bredren and sisteren and is a positive vibe. Plus I’m close to Guadeloupe.

6. Do you have any children?
Yes I have one child a daughter right now about 7 months. Her mother is Ethiopian.
(I was about to say you got a nice present when you came to Jamaica…LOL) I met her in Switzerland so that where she is actually.

7. I see you wrap your hair which order of Rastafarai do you follow?
I was not crowned a Bobo. I really love the Boboshanti order definitely. Differently still, I represent every house of Rastafarai whether its Nyabingi, Twelve Tribes, Ethiopian orthodox-all of them for me is one Rastafarai.

8. What’s the furthest you’ve ever driven?
I’ve driven around the whole of Europe in a car. The farthest I went in one go was Switzerland to Slovenia which is close to Yugoslavia and it took like one day.

9. Have you even had a weird moment with a fan?
Well you see right now in the times of Internet you have crazy things happen. There are people that feel they know who you are . Like somebody I really didn’t know was thinking I wrote all my songs about her. It was really crazy and when I kind of show her that I don’t know her she start attacking my friends saying they are a bad influence, they hack into her computer … sometimes you have crazy things like that happening but still good over evil.

10. What is your favorite:
place in guada: trois rivieres
Airport: mexico –free internet!!!!
Sport- basketball
Classic reggae singer or song– “Jah Live” Bob Marley


11. Zouk or R&B?
R&B … sorry

12. Knowledge or wisdom?

13. Juice or tea?

14. Vanilla or chocolate?

15. Massage or acupuncture?
None. Performing is enough of a workout for me.

16. I am inspired by every day life.
17. When I broke my CD last week I was really vex.
18. Condons use them.
19. Sometimes it’s really good to kick back, meditate and go into yourself.
20. Cali P- Lyrical Fyah!