By Dave Douglas
Kernal ‘Kitch’ Roberts wears many hats and is about to try out a new one.
Roberts, son of world-famous calypsonian Lord Kitchener, is a singer, songwriter, musician and producer known throughout the Caribbean and beyond as the man with the Midas touch, the man with the golden pen and the Clive Davis of soca music.
His top-of-the-charts hits streak goes back to capturing the 2006 Trinidad Carnival Road March, Band of the Year, sung by Patrice Roberts and the 2007 Jumbie sung by Machel Montano.
He repeated this feat again in 2010 with Palance sung by JW & Blaze, 2011 Advantage sung by Montano and 2012 Pump Yuh Flag sung by Montano.
After a number of successful years as a drummer with Traffic and Machel Montano HD band, Roberts has made it official that he is hanging up his sticks and following in his father’s footsteps as a singer/performer and to back up this venture, he has released his own track entitled Soca State of Mind which was released Oct. 22.
Asked why he chose to make the transition now Kernal replied, “I never really was preparing it in my brain about having a singing career. It just happened! It’s just a calling!
“I was working on a song and I just loved the way my vocal sounded on the track. It was like a marriage. The song was not assigned to anyone yet, so everybody in the studio was just like … Yeah, Kitch, keep that one! Right there and then I made the decision.”
This is not his first effort at the forefront for the hit maker. In 1999 he tried his hand at singing with a tune called Boom Boom Fly and next was a remake of his father’s classic hit, Pan in A Minor. In an interview with 96.1, Roberts says: “Back when I was with Traffic, I tried to launch my singing career but it was a half-hearted one because I was still playing drums in the back and I was never really offered the right opportunity to launch properly as an artist because I was doing two things at the same time, playing drums in the back, then jumping out in the front.”
He has no regrets about leaving his career as a drummer behind, However, he did acknowledge the great opportunities he shared working with the best artists and musicians in the industry, people like Montano, Destra Garcia, Patrice Roberts, Benji, Bunji Garlin, Jason and Blaze to name a few.
He is thankful for the number of doors that were opened to him and the opportunities he was given that contributed to a really rewarding career but says it was about time for him to answer the call and move on to the next.
“I am super excited about what I’m about to do! We’re getting in a state … A Soca State of Mind!” says Roberts referring to his new single release.
“Big Up! to my brother Machel Montano for helping meh name the track! He was very instrumental in naming the song! He called and said Kitch! The song had to be called A Soca State of Mind.”
The inspiration for this song came from the song Empire State of Mind co-written by Angela Hunte originally from Brooklyn, New York.