Ines ‘Bwabwa Lika Wabap The Amazon’ Khai. Her language is Creole despite living in exile, her skin vibrates to the Caribbean chords and her heart beats to the rhythm of the ka drums from Guadeloupe.
Ines managed to take her Creole all over France and further afield (Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Senegal, Brazil …). She discovered the Negro Spiritual in the choir Gospel Dream and with the contemporary gospel that we know better today as R&B. Her repertoire while absorbing influences of ‘Nu Soul’ was still sung in Creole. In Paris she met DJ Phonie and Exxos who introduced her to their ‘Kako Mizik’ a sub-genre of hip hop made in Guadeloupe, where ka drums are sampled to mingle with American classics. Her first album ‘Bwabwa’ (2008) was performed on many stages including The French Caribbean. Ines was nicknamed ‘The Queen of Creole Soul’. She left an indelible mark on the Afro-Caribbean musical landscape and was invited to make guest appearances on albums by Dominik Coco and Damogueez.Ines
In the second disc, Nu Soul influences were less important and ‘Ka’ became the sole basis of rhythm in Ines Khai’s new music. The singer felt the call of the drum at the depths of her being, it seemed that the masters of gwoka music, the soul of Guadeloupe, contacted her and gave her a mission to allow the music to be discovered by a larger audience. A key influence of the traditional ‘Léwoz’ song appeared in her singing and choirs will just be cleaned. The traditional artists Konket Guy, Franck Nicolas, Jacques Schwarz-Bart and Fanswa Ladrezeau were listened to religiously and had a great influence on the material for the new album’s composition. Just like the songs that will always remain in Creole, this is now the music that Ines Khai regards as more deeply rooted in the culture of her country.
Living in Cork for a few years, she worked with the promoter FeileAfrica and toured all over Ireland with the Band PITAK. Ines Khai’s amazing vocal range was accompanied by a fabulous line-up of seasoned and diverse musicians; including one of Ireland’s top bassists, Jerome Rimson (from Detroit), two Congolese musicians from Ireland’s best traveled African Band (The Lace) Daniel Muyombo & Troca on electric guitar & Drum Kit respectively and Ireland’s Patrick Naughton playing Djembe, percussion & shakers making up the quintet. It is testament to the quality of Ines performance that she has been able to gather such a high quality line-up as her backing band.
After leaving Cork, Ines continued working on new songs to create a new solo repertoire with only guitar and voice, singing a more intimist story about crossing oceans with beautiful creole words and melodies. Come join this journey!
Photo courtesy of Wallace Pixmaker.