From child prodigy to rising star: A Conversation with Kalimba
So, how does one fit the criteria to become an unadulterated rock star? Could it be a well-put together, eclectic yet fashionable outfit? Or how about having the ability to play multiple instruments during a performance while completely captivating an entire audience? Seems like Latin rock prince Kalimba has it all together, especially judging from his knockout performance before a capacity crowd last week in Chicago, as the just-turned 27-year-old kicked off the 2009 Gold Cup festivities for Miller Lite as part of its “Solo Con Invitacion” Concert Series. The CMN Insider caught up with the international heartthrob as he opened up about his love for music, early influences, and, of course, the world’s game! --By Juel Grange
JG: You’ve worked in the film industry and even on stage when you played Simba in “The Lion King.” Tell me, which really has your heart, acting or music?
K: Definitely music. My dad was a Cuban-African musician, so I grew up listening to different styles of music. My mom was born in Mexico, but her family is from France and Spain, so I’ve had this wonderful mix of cultures and music in my family.
JG: Is there a person who has particularly influenced you, musically?
K: Well, my dad was a big influence early on. He was definitely a great influence, and he taught me everything that I know about music. He also introduced me to the music of Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Prince – all of whom have had a great influence on me.
JG: Are you often compared to another artist?
K: Yes! Lenny Kravitz. I don’t know why. He’s taller and bigger than me.
JG: You kind of look like him.
K: Really? Well I am handsome, of course [Laughing]. But seriously, that’s good because Lenny is a great musician. To be compared with a great artist like Lenny Kravitz is pretty amazing.
JG: How would you classify your style of music?
K: There’s a word that I love: psychedelic. I want to start injecting that into my music, so that every time people play a song of mine, either a ballad or a good-up tempo, in their car, kitchen, shower, party or just anywhere, they can feel the psychedelic inside of them. I want them to be like, ‘Hey, I need to move, I feel like I need to move!’
JG: What should we be expecting to see from Kalimba in the future?
We’re actually winding down with this album. After the tour, as soon as we get some time, we’ll be heading back to the studio. We are planning to record the new album early next year. By the way the album is going to be produced and recorded by this same crew. I would like to thank the label for all their support so far. I think after the FIFA World Cup, you’ll being hearing from us.
JG: Speaking of the World Cup, which team will you be rooting for?
K: Mexico! Oh please, Mexico.
JG: Well, thanks very much for spending time with the CMN Insider.
K: No, thank you. God Bless.