Twenty-six-year-old Kalead Batson is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer for his reggae band, and Kayaweh, in which he is also the lead singer.
A University of the West Indies graduate in Political Science with History and International Relations, Khalid and his band last weekend launched their debut Extended Play (EP) Compact Disc.
Entitled Gnosis, it was launched at the Cove Nightclub in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. It covers an array of themes ranging from consciousness, social identity, Rastafarianism and its misconceptions, to positive thinking.
When asked what the EP was about, Kalead told Bajan Vibes: “The concept was to introduce myself to Barbados and the region. Notice in itself means to know, to know of spiritual mysteries and [that] is what I was trying to accomplish.”
“To let people know of me and also know what my creative is about which is edutainment which is educating people and entertaining them at the same time,” he added.
“If you look at the tracks on the EP, they range from love and dancing to concepts of spirituality and other things. It touches on a lot of different areas.”
Kalead became involved in music around the age of 18 or 19. “That is when I really got into playing the guitar,” he said. “Around that time I was going to UWI doing a degree in Political Science with History and International Relations and by the time I graduated, I just felt like I had a lot of knowledge that I wanted to share.”
He added: “Being into music at the same time, it was a natural course. After graduation I started performing with few of my musician friends [and] I got more into writing and song writing and this happened organically.”
When asked about the response to the launch of the EP, Kalead said it had left him speechless. “Honestly it was something. I was grateful for the turn-out because I thought initially that Sunday 9-12pm wouldn’t be a good time . . . but we had a lot of people who came out to support,” he said.
He added: “We sold out all of our copies on the night and had a list of other persons that I need to put out orders to.”
The EP launch included performances by Rhea Garnes, Adrian Greene, Lexi and other artistes. “Generally, it was a wonderful experience,” said Khalid, who produced the EP himself, expressing satisfaction with the final product.
Kalead said the positive response “has given me the courage to continue using events and indeed to press on”. He added: “I got a lot of important people passing through, Adonijah, Mahalia Cummins, DJ Simmons, Empress Zinga and a good few others that I can’t reach from the top of my head . . . I would like to say thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting.”
Asked what is next for the band Kalead and Kayaweh, Kalead said they had attracted the attention of accomplished film maker Maya Cozier who is working with the band on their next video release. Work will commence on October 16.
He urged members of the public to look out for the official release. In the meantime, fans can follow the band at their official handle .,@kalead and kayaweh and on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.