Introducing Kemistry

By Vernie


The word ‘Chemistry’ has many definitions, one of which, according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary is a “strong mutual attachment.”

What to say about Kemistry’s chemistry?  They do have a strong mutual attachment but they are also poised, collected, fun to listen to and fun to watch.

In conversation one might forget their actual ages.  Mom and Dad, health educator and music producer respectively, hope that their music influences others as it is appreciatively, family friendly.

The eldest Kofi, started performing at the age of 5, with leadership skills already evident, spearheaded the group at the age of 11, when Esi (pronounced Asee) was 9 and Kwesi 7.  Esi the middle child and female of the group sings and has been studying ballet at The Ailey School since the age of 5. She is also a budding model. Kwesi sings, he is an avid break dancer and has begun to display an interest in playing drums. In 2013, the three were featured in the Wyclef Jean Official Video “Bagay Nef.”

Ladies first; Esi – is a girl’s girl.  As she enters the family room, I am greeted by a lithe, confident and self-possessed young adolescent.  As she takes a seat beside me, we talk about the things that interest her including movies, music and performing.  She notes that she is influenced by artists such as Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Beyoncé.  I asked her, what are some of the things she thinks about just before a performance, and she explained, “Well before I go on the stage, I am a little nervous, and then all my nervousness goes away as the show begins.”   Esi is animated and I am transported into her world; a world that oozes self-confidence which, I wish could be bottled and offered to other little girls that long for her organic “coolness” in these ever changing times of style.

We discussed how she handles the stress at performance time, she said, “I don’t like to stress about anything, I just want to have a good performance.”  Both Mom and Esi note that she can be hard on herself but yet, is astute enough to put things into perspective.

Kwesi is nine years old and the baby of the group.  That he is the youngest of the three, has no bearing as Kwesi is just as buoyant and self-assured as his older siblings.  He states that he loves to perform.  According to Kwesi his favorite part of performing is “the end result.”   His personal favorite of the group is entitled, “Golden Bounce” from their 1st album. It is about Montserrat’s Anual Christmas Festival, an event where the group has performed each year since 2012.  He describes the song as “entertaining and fun”.

I asked him who he regarded or rather; who were the heroes in his life, he answered, “I look up to my parents and older brother”. I asked, “Well what about your sister,” he replied “well she’s only 2 years older than me, so only occasionally.”   Kwesi told me if he was president, he would ensure that every car worked on electricity so that there would be no pollution.  I could have spoken to him for hours.

Kofi is 13 years old actually in years but older cognitively.  He is self-assured and right at home in his skin.  As he struts over to speak to me, his presence dominates the room; this is admirable in someone still quite young.  Kofi plays cello five plus days a week and can play chords on a guitar and keyboard “reasonably well”, he says.  His favorite part of performing is the adrenalin rush that he gets while on the stage, one of his mantras is to “go out there and do your best.”  He explains his ‘after performance routine’ to me.

“Once our performance is over, we would go out and meet the crowd and sell our CDs, and oftentimes, I would find a corner, lock everyone out and go over the performance, frame by frame; what could have been done better, what could be toned back.”

His favorite song is ‘In Love’ he notes, that this track kick started the whole process.  His next favorite would be ‘Yes’ he says, “This particular track offers a more modern theme and has beautiful progressions, the song shows the progress of our evolution.”   I agree, it does, but what 13 year old talks about “progress of our evolution?”  Anyway-
To relax, Kofi likes to read; in fact he has been a voracious reader since the age of 5!   His mom’s only objection; he has yet to take an interest in non-fiction unless it is school mandated.  I say she has nothing to worry about.

Kofi is an aspiring cinematographer, he stated that he likes “beautifully cut films” I ask him to elaborate, he says “a beautifully cut film is film that is visually stunning and interesting, cinematic, and emotionally engaging.  You don’t have to like the movie or ever want to see it again, but you can look back and say I’m glad I watched that.”

I asked Kofi if he had any heroes, he said that he did not, but he did have a few role models; Bunji Garlin, for globalizing Soca and bringing the genre mainstream, the Mighty Arrow, Bob Marley and the Cellist, Yoyo Ma.

Kemistry are a very young group, but don’t let their ages fool you.  They are music professionals with a sound knowledge of their roots, infused with present day pop culture; they know exactly who they are individually.  Tune in for more Kemistry.

Filed in: Logwood - Artist Related • Saturday, February 28th, 2015

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Step into the Red. Logwood is a production and publishing company based in the Bronx. We produce hip hop, dancehall, reggae, soca, rnb, pop, and raga rock.