The Evolution Of Tamantha Chole To Khole Baldeo, ‘The Island Girl’
They say when you know, you know; and for Khole Baldeo, formerly Tamantha Chole, this was no different and every bit the truth. Embarking on the journey of self-discovery, her search was prompted by the feeling of inadequacy where her craft was concerned. Therefore, taking a leap of faith, she headed to Barbados where she spent five months cultivating a different side to the Grenadian artiste.
Sojourning in a space that was artistically nurturing, Khole said: “It made me realize I had been outgrowing my prior position as a renowned soulful singer in Grenada and I saw my potential even more being away from home. I was motivated, enthusiastic, and hungry for more.” So much so that when she left Grenada, she was Tamantha Chole; however, when she returned, she was no longer Tamantha, but Khole Baldeo ‘The Island Girl’.
Khole, with the help of her manager Alexandra James and her team, took it upon themselves to right everything that no longer served the artiste. This included changing things like her choice of lyrics and her sense of style. As for the journey from Tamantha to Khole, she said, “This transition I’ve made has been a really organic evolution on the journey of becoming and discovering ‘myself’ creatively and stepping into the version of myself I want to be. This rebranding is not only to make a visible statement as to my new direction but also to align myself with the artiste I want to be for the rest of my career as I step onto an international platform.”
Khole now subscribes to what she calls Island Pop. In her words, “Island Pop for me is a sound that encapsulates the vibe of the Caribbean with raw, real, relatable lyrics, melodies, and beats that appeal to everyone, everywhere. Somewhat inspired by a fusion of Dancehall and Pop.” Now, her first step to international stardom falls under the debut of a Caribbean vibe-infused Pop number, Island Girl. Let’s talk about it.
The tale of two people dancing seductively around each other but terrified of touching each other is what you can say Island Girl is about. As explained by Khole Baldeo, it is, “A cycle of two people having strong feelings or attraction to each other but withholding them. They don’t talk about their real feelings for one another because the thought of rejection is scary, so they both just think about what if.”
The debut single was produced, recorded by and mixed and mastered by New York producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Nick Tesoriero (Nick Lotto of Exit Daze), of Blue Hide Studios located in Grenada. Regarding the video, her hair was tended to by Sarah Fraser and her makeup was done by both Tanie Layne and Mischka. Dancers Leeanna Joseph and Kemik De Gale represented the Dance Company, One Unit, and the choreographer used, who hailed from Sint Maarten, Giovanni. As for who headed the creative direction and the name of her stylist, respectively, they are Risanne Martin and Leah DeGannes of Brown Cotton Caribbean. Where the visuals are concerned, the video was shot and edited by Teddy Frederick’s production team, the Grenada Film Company.
Caribbean Entertainment Hub caught up with the eccentric lady herself ahead of Island Girl’s release. Showing what her new skin is made of, Khole Baldeo gets into it with writer and fellow Grenadian, Lesandra Scott, below!
You’re meeting me for the first time, what would you say? Who’s the girl behind it all?
The girl behind it all is a 5’2’’ beautiful, radical thinking, free spirit, fierce, sexy little character. I was born and raised on a small conservative island with childhood dreams of international success. I understand I have an outstanding voice and gift. I have an eccentric personality some might say but more so, I just be myself. If I’m completely honest, there are many versions and layers to me. Even at the times in my life when I struggled with my identity, I stayed true to that. Everyone who knows me knows I have a natural calling for music and performing. I was born for this… I’m a girl discovering herself daily and enjoying life as much as possible. I believe music helps me translate my self-discoveries and realizations in a way that people who connect with me will relate.
Let’s talk journey, you went to Barbados and spent some time there. Paint me a picture, what did you get into?
I went to Barbados on a leap of faith towards artistic development and to see what there was to offer in the entertainment business. Barbados to me seemed to be one of the musical hubs of the Caribbean that has a vastly growing international network. I stayed 5 months and those were life-changing months. I was very lucky to know people who put me in touch with other people and so the story goes. I experienced business in the music industry. I performed at a couple of venues, networked, and then it was exclusive showcases. I met and worked with A&Rs, music producers, artistes from different islands, and songwriters. I grew and learned so much personally and artistically. It made me realize I had been outgrowing my prior position as a renowned soulful singer in Grenada and I saw my potential even more being away from home. I was motivated, enthusiastic, and hungry for more. I had the willingness and eagerness to accomplish whatever I put my mind to including the extremely hard work to get where I needed to be. My faith level grew stronger and so have my responsibilities.
Who’s on your team? Who’s helping you be Khole Baldeo?
My team consists of movers and shakers from different countries. My manager is Alexandra “Ally” James from London. She is my partner in crime and one of my best friends in the world. Royal Woodz Entertainment is the engine behind me. The creative direction team and stylist on my latest projects are Risanne Martin and Leah DeGannes of Brown Cotton Caribbean who are just amazing. Kryss Ras from Jamaica is an all-round boss in the music world and Raeanna Nedd from London.
Now you’re back and already turning heads, (I saw the pictures). You’re here with Island Girl, tell me about that? Let’s talk producer, where was it recorded and lyrics, was that all you?
I came home with a new fire in my eyes and even more enthusiasm and passion in my heart to create the life and musical journey that works best for me with the people who strongly believe in me. None of what you see is as easy as it looks, especially being a female in a very male-dominated industry. I was introduced to Nick Tesoriero probably the second week being home. He’s a musician and incredible producer from New York and now someone I call my friend. Nick, my manager, and I spent several hours at Blue Hide Studios talking about how I want my new music to sound and all of our ideas. After a few meetings we began working and within a month, completed 7 original songs. We wrote some bangers together also with the help of Teddy Rhymez, one of the most talented and passionate Caribbean songwriters. Nick produced, mixed, and mastered my debut single “Island Girl.”
Island Girl talks about a cycle of two people having strong feelings or attraction to each other but withholding them. They don’t talk about their real feelings for one another because the thought of rejection is scary, so they both just think about what if. They both never really experience the affection they want because they’re not expressing themselves as they’re waiting for the other to speak up first. Instead, they just keep playing with each other.
With this rebirth of yours, what would you say that you are here to say?
I am here to say you have one life to live, get to know yourself, and enjoy the journey! I am simply trying to respond to my abilities, make more choices that help me see and be my best self, and optimize my fullest potential. Creating a legacy that positively impacts change in the minds and lives of others, particularly the next generation. That would be a plus as well!
What does your future look like musically? Your Manager, Ally, said you’ve got (a lot of) unreleased songs up your sleeve, tell me about that and 2022
The future looks like hard work, perseverance, and creating more music! I will be traveling, performing, and expanding as I go. We have a lot of amazing music to release and I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Written by: Lesandra Scott
Article Source: Caribbean Entertainment Hub