Jade Leatham and Kenrick Lawrence have been quietly developing their unique musical style over the past three years and have recently released “Doucement,” the first of five singles from their upcoming EP 11:11.
The duo, from Pichelin and Portsmouth respectively first started their musical collaboration as members of Jazz fusion band Breve. However, it was while at sea as part of a cruise ship band, that their romance and signature sound was forged.
They now perform as Tropikal.
“Our sound has evolved,” says Leatham. “You’ll still get a lot of what you loved about Breve, but a lot more of our personal growth and experiences will be reflected in our releases,” she adds.
“Grown and sexy but fun,” chimes Lawrence.
With all this fun, the pair still has a serious mission in mind- to expose local talents while fostering change and unity in the local music industry.
“One thing that’s important to us as artists is to use as many Dominican professionals as possible in our work.”
Lawrence says they are walking-the-talk as with their first release “Doucement,” everything seen and heard is “Dominican-made.”
Leatham, further extrapolates on their mission.
“Our ultimate goal is to be voices for change, to be catalysts for a cultural renaissance in Dominica, the Caribbean and in the black community. We want to inspire people to tap into their gifts, invest in themselves and build generational wealth while breaking generational curses.”
Written by Leatham, with musical composition by Lawrence, the song highlights the duality of Dominican culture with its English and Creole expressions. The styling is heavily cadence-influenced and Dominica’s iconic natural vegetation and Kalinago heritage are featured in the accompanying video directed by Michael Lees with assistance from Marica Honeychurch.
Filmed on the grounds of the Layou River Hotel it features dancers Yomaira Joseph and Edward Collins and the work of MakeUp Artist (MUA) Martinique Sandy.
The duo will also be re-releasing two songs written while they were members of Breve- “Runaway” and “Way Oh”.
“Runaway was extremely special to me,” reflects Leatham. “I wrote it for Nehemiah and Christalin Darroux after the tragedy they experienced in Tropical Storm Erika. Now that we have lost Nehi, and with so many people emotionally trying to cope with COVID-19, I just wanted to re-introduce it to listeners and hope they will find refuge in the song.”
Nehi was a beloved local musician from Petite Savanne who worked with Leatham and Lawrence and artists such as WCK and Asa Bantan. He died in a bike accident in October 2018.
Leatham, who is based in Georgia and Lawrence who is in Dominica are dealing with their own COVID woes as they are working on other projects while thousands of miles apart. They, like many in the music industry, have tapped into virtual tools to bridge the physical gap and are looking forward to being able to perform for audiences in Dominica and around the world.
“This journey has gotten off to a sweet start and we just look forward to what the future promises,” says Lawrence.
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1516150422ls=1&app=itunes https://open.spotify.com/album/79duZVT1qrkuyISBZZroR7 https://soundcloud.com/tropikalmuzic/tropikal–doucement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H632hhJeFR8