King Selewa & his Calypsonians

King Selewa & his Calypsonians


Cheeky-cheerful & humorous Calypso songs with vocals, guitar, sax, trumpets & percussion. Boisterous, spirited, infectious tunes, swooping lead vocals with nicely complementary back vocals, all in a light, relaxed mood. The arragements show hints of ska, reggae, Latin as well as African influences.


Born in Africa in 1968, King Selewa got into music through Jamaican 60s’ calypso, ska, rock-steady and early reggae music which he and his elder brother, Lord Skalipsoul, then performed live all over Europe from 1995, with great headliners such as the Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, The Gladiators... King Selewa and Chico, his guitar player, soon formed their own band of experienced musicians - their “Calypsonians”, in order to go deeper into the roots of Caribbean music that is to say Calypso. King Selewa’s passion for the authenticity of this folk music led him directly to the original land of calypso: Trinidad and its masters of calypso!

As Lord Invader said: “Calypso is folklore of Trinidad, a style of poetry recounting current events in song.” Calypso is the heir of two traditions: one is European (waltz, mazurka, quadrille, polka...) but it is undoubtedly the West African tradition that attracted King Selewa. It reminded him of all the music he listened to while he was a child: shango, calinda, rada and their rituals (such as voodoo). He then realized, through calypso, the deep influence of African traditions (just like the African griot, the calypsonian is a newsmonger), and many great Trinidadian calypsonians assumed these traditions: The Lion, Lord Caresser, The Tiger, Attila the Hun (these songsters adopted names of power as their sobriquets due to the indissociable influence of Carnival and masquerade.) In their songwriting King Selewa & his Calypsonians were influenced by different styles: Caribbean calypso (Back to mi Home, Caroline, Leon Morgan...), Reggae (Summertime), Afro-Cuban (Ode to Compay, Ikun Bodola, A Time to...), a touch of Orient (Serendipity). Chico, the guitar player on their previous CD "Calypso Invasion", appears here on Reverend Jones to emphasise the Afrobeat sounds and rhythm of this song...



Set List

45 - 50 min typically.
1. “Selewa” (King Selewa. trad.) - 4:28
2. Back to mi Home (King Selewa, Abhourraka) - 4:09
3. Ode to Compay (King Selewa, Funel) - 4:24
4. Ridin’ on a High and Windy Day (John Holt, arr. King Selewa & his Calypsonians) - 3:51
5. Congo War (King Selewa) - 3:34
6. Song of Freedom (adapted from “Ominira” by Ambrose Campbell. Lyrics: King Selewa) - 5:06
7. Serendipity (King Selewa, King Selewa/Abhourraka) - 3:05
8. Leon Morgan (King Selewa) - 3:14
9. Caroline (King Selewa, Abhourraka) - 3:21
10. Summertime (George Gershwin, arr. King Selewa & his Calypsonians) - 4:05
11. A time to... (King Selewa, King Selewa/Funel) - 3:48
12. Ikun Bodola (King Selewa, King Selewa/Abhourraka) - 4:17
13. Calypso Blues (Nat King Cole, Don George) - 3:23
14. Reverend Jones (King Selewa, King Selewa/Chico Richeux/Belhassen) - 4:12