Bermuda has many musical artists, but not many get to make their mark internationally like Ki-Juan Minors has. Recently, the 34-year-old released Tropical Baby, a collaboration with Kalenna, from the former girl group, Diddy Dirty Money.
The song, which has is burning up the airwaves locally, is available on iTunes, Shazam, Spotify, Google Play, CD Baby and Apple Music. ITunes, Shazam, Spotify, Google Play CD Baby and Apple Music.
Currently based in Wellington, Florida, Minors is also a professional equestrian, but he finds a way to balance both of his passions.
“Music has always been apart of me,” he tells Today In Bermuda.
Throughout his formative years, Minors says participated in plays, school choirs and sang in church. He lists his musical influences as Chris Brown and Ne-Yo for their song writing skills and great performances, but if you want to take it back to the old school Minors says he also looks up to artists such as Al Greene, Smokey Robinson and Kevon Edmonds.
Minors recently spoke with journalism student Shai Scott about how disagreeing about a wedding led to Tropical Baby and what’s next for him artistically.
SS: How did you get the opportunity to link up with artist Kalenna to feature her on your song, Tropical Baby?
KM: That is a pretty funny story. I was at home one night on November 15 of last year and I was scrolling through Instagram. I saw her campaign, “A Chance To Shine” and I read through it a couple of times then I went past it, scrolled back up back up and read it again. She was offering a chance for singers and songwriters who felt they needed a chance to be in the music industry.
I sent my stuff, waited and didn’t hear anything and about a month later I got phone call from her husband Tony Vic; they told me, “Your voice is dope and different, we like your accent, your range is off the hook and we want to work with you.”
They invited me up to Atlanta, I got in the studio with Kalenna, and we banged out the song in a night. It was awesome, probably one of the best experiences of my life.
SS: Did you write and produce the song or was it a song which was given to you to perform?
KM: We basically co-wrote the song and she basically asked me to tell her my story. It is very personal how she works with her artists and I really value that.
We went to the studio and she sat me down and really picked my brain trying to figure out who I was as a person before we got into the song choices. Once she kind of figured out who I was she went through her selection of beats and tracks and said, “Be brutally honest you’re not going to offend me. I’m going to play you a bunch of stuff and you tell me what you like and don’t like, what you can vibe with and what you see your voice on…she played the beat for Tropical Baby and I fell in love with it.
SS: What’s the meaning behind the song?
KM: The song is about my wife and our journey to get married. It was such a hard time in our lives because I wanted the big wedding and big reception, and she wanted it to be more intimate and personal. We were head butting like crazy to the point where I said, ‘You know what I don’t want to do this.’
Then I took a moment and I said, ‘Why don’t you and I just go away go get married somewhere by ourselves’, and that is it.
So if you listen to the lyrics in the song it is about our journey, doing our own thing, living in the moment, making it our own and getting married.
SS: What message is Tropical Baby trying to get across to its listeners?
KM: The song basically means if you are ready lets just do it. Don’t waste any time, if you have the opportunity let’s make it happen.
SS: What kind of vibe or feel did you want listeners to get from this song?
KM: I wanted to bring an island flavor to the record obviously being from Bermuda. I didn’t just want to come out like a regular artist or regular R&B artist. With that song I feel like a lot of people can relate to it whether it be anything in life. It could be trying to make a decision in your career, trying to make a school decision, or decisions in your personal friendships or relationship.
SS: Tropical Baby is a very upbeat song. Does it remind you of Bermuda when you listen to it?
KM: Absolutely, I mean it’s summer time and I am a big soca junkie. I had to be really smart; I wanted a song that had a beat that could mix in and blend with the time frame. I knew the song would come out so that it would pop off pretty nicely and I think it worked
SS: What do you think is different about Tropical Baby and its island feel compared to other songs such as One Dance and Cotrolla by Drake, and Work by Rihanna also featuring Drake that also have that island feel as well?
KM: The songs are very similar and I have heard multiple Dj’s mix the three songs together and I feel like Drake is not a singer and I am singer and so I bring that. I felt like that was my lane and I was going to stick to my lane and be strong at it.
SS: How has the response been to Tropical Baby so far?
KM: Incredible! Let me tell you we have not even given it a big push yet but the response I have gotten for Bermuda has been so incredible, everyone has been really supportive. The amount of texts, Facebook messages, twitter messages, and emails daily. It is something all ages can vibe to. Even my friends that are based in Europe have been playing my record all over and I’m really appreciative.
SS: Do you have any other music plans or big moves coming up?
KM: I am in the process of working with Crowd Control Entertainment and my manager, Tony Atlanta. We are working with a gentleman by the name of Reak.
I am also in the studio now and I have completed a couple of tracks which I really like and think that everyone is going to vibe to them just as well or even better than Tropical Baby.
SS: What do you think makes you stand out as an artist?
KM: “Mainly, I’m a male vocalist from the islands that has so many different backgrounds, which makes me different from a lot of people.
I’m an equestrian who is from Bermuda, who lives in the U.S., who has an amazing voice, with connections all over the world. I feel like I am going to take all those great points, put them together and see if I can hit a home run.
SS: What advice do you have for other local or international artists who are trying to pursue a career such as yours?
KM: I would say to any upcoming artist either local or international; talent is not everything. In this business it is more about your determination. Talent can only take you so far and it is a plus, a huge plus, but if you have the determination, drive, will and the want.
Then really it is just like anything you put your mind to and there is no stopping you. Also, there is no time limit when it comes to music, nor an age limit. I am 34 years old and people say to me “why are you just starting your singing career”, well I didn’t just start it. I have always sung and my voice has always been here it is just my time to let the rest of the world hear it in this fashion.
SS: If you could say anything to your younger self after all you have accomplished what would that be?
KM: I would say have no regrets. Take in all the experiences whether good bad, positive or negative. It’s all just a learning experience and that is basically what makes you as an artist and a person.
Whether I have had a hard time in my life or a great time in my life that is all going to come out in my work. It is just going to be a mater of how I project it for the rest of the world to hear it.