Kwesi Paul is the artiste known as Shottalinkz and while he’s yet to make a major breakthrough in the music business in Trinidad and Tobago, he has managed to successfully attain a VPAL music distribution deal and is focused on the lucrative possibilities that are available via music streaming.
A father of two, the Cascade native who now resides in Belmont, is best known for his incredibly gifted touch on Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument, the steelpan. “I am a musician. I play the steelpan and I’ve arranged for more than 17 steel orchestras in Trinidad and Tobago,” he revealed. He highlighted career highpoints, among them, working alongside the late St. Lucian Nobel Prize winner, Sir Derek Walcott. “I worked with Sir Walcott in 2005 on a play called, ‘Steel.’ I was the Musical Director for Desperados Steel Orchestra, which was a part of the play,” he said. Added to that, the father of two recalls working with Machel Montano and Sharlon Bailey- the son of the Mighty Shadow, among others. “Most recently, I worked with an artiste by the name of Tension. He is the brother of Kernal Roberts. I produced his first Soca track.
Paul says he knows his ability to easily deliver on the steelpan, is his gift, something passed on from his father. In 2020, having been exposed to vocal production and benefitting from production training, he expanded his vision and built a home studio, where he would go on to produce music for artistes locally and internationally. It was during that time that he began his vocal journey, exposing himself to yet another area of music that called out to him.
At his very own KSP Studios in Belmont, Paul has successfully produced songs for artistes in Ghana, Canada, Germany and even France. In 2023, he released two Soca singles, ‘Mash Up De Party,’ and a collaboration with an artiste called, ‘Mad Dog Fresh,’- that track is entitled, ‘Mud, Oil and Powder.’
Paul says he is without management at this time, and understands the importance that this portfolio holds. “I am self- motivated and I’m inspired by my children, but I do understand the importance of a good manager. It is a difficult task to do it all on your own.”
Certainly not an artiste who boxes himself into any one genre, Paul says he is capable of singing RnB, Hip Hop and Dancehall. He will however deliver two new Soca tracks for Carnival 2024. “I’ve released ‘Big and Serious’ – a Power Soca track produced by Level High Studios and I’ve written and produced a Groovy Soca track called, “What Ah Want.” He says these are the songs he will contribute to the carnival season.
No matter how the wind blows, Paul says he believes knowledge on the business of music, is imperative to any artiste’s growth in the sector. “From the very beginning, my plan has always been to build an international audience. A lot of artistes like me suffer from a lack of support from the local radio stations. People do not get an opportunity to hear our music and absorb it. I’m focused more on the streaming services internationally to get my music heard, and I believe it will be beneficial to me.”
He says that while he knows things happen differently for people, he knows music is his calling and he will do what is necessary to share his sound with the world. “You have to have information and some kind of insight about what the industry is about. When you find out and become knowledgeable on it, you understand how to operate in it,” he explained.