Friday, September 7, 2007

WE Spotlight - An Intimate Look at Kees Dieffenthaller

By Karen L. Richardson

Away from the open-air stages of soca fanaticism, there is a quieter side to Kees Dieffenthaller that few would expect. The 26-year-old frontline vocalist for Kes the Band is a self-proclaimed nerd. Aware of his blessings as he is concerned about his future, Kees relishes each moment of his ascent in the industry with grace and humility.

“On de stage there are moments when you feel sexual, because that is the energy that you use,” Kees said about his sexy image. “I think that just developed over the years and it’s something I try not to pay attention to. Obviously, you love de attention from de female population. It’s nice, but it’s something that ah doh really think about too deep.”

When Kees gets a moment away from adoring fans, he visits the countryside to observe nature. “When I go home I going and see turtles lay eggs,” Kees said. Other times, he relaxes himself with a plate of food in front of the tube.
Before forming Kes the Band with brothers Jon and Hans, in 2005, Kees contributed his silky vocals to Imij and Company. The Dieffenthallers would have a big challenge ahead as they attempted to establish their own niche in the market. Having since proven its musical credibility as an act, the young band has begun to taste the limelight. “Now you find a lot more attention especially at home. In the region also, cause there’s [MTV] Tempo. They be like, you dat guy from TV,” said Kees. “The fan base has increased and it has been a little tricky at times, because women love to flirt.”

“Right now I’m actually single, hey!” Kees winked, letting out a hearty laugh. “I think now in my life I’m kinda happy being single because music is a pretty taxing industry at times. Sometimes you get lonely. You wanna have that special someone there, but it’s an industry where you really have to understand your spouse. I think now I’m getting my hands dirty in the music and ah giving it a really good kick, I need to be on my own beat. For now, yeah I’m a single guy,” he said with a playful smile.

When the time comes, Kees says he knows how to spot the right girl. “As cliché as it may sound, it does stem to personality and vibe. Is a very very personal thing to me, when I feel a connection to somebody on some level. That has a lot to do with the attraction. I can’t just off de bat see somebody I like and all of a sudden be all over dem. No! I don’t know what it is, but definitely I believe in the unspoken language of souls, and it’s very important who you have around you.”

For now, his only partner is music. Kees is determined to keep climbing higher as he shows fans what he can do. This year Trinidad and Tobago saw its son in a new light, helping Nadia Batson to a second-place win performing My Land on the International Power Soca Monarch stage. “Yes, I like to groove on romance, but there’s a time to get on bad and wild, and that side is a big part of me also. So, I took that opportunity to really bring that style out. A lot of people, even at home, were confused ‘Kees is dat you on that track?’”

What may confuse others is liberty for Kees. “I don’t feel pressure to fit any kind of mold. I look at the industry as we are now taking baby steps into something bigger. What we don’t do is, we don’t limit ourselves. We don’t limit our musical landscape. We are a Caribbean music band, rather than just a soca band out of Trinidad and Tobago.

“We refuse to be pigeonholed into one particular sound. Sometimes I’m contemplative and I think about the deeper things in life and sometimes I just wanna wine and jam and get on bad,” said Kees.

Kees began considering his purpose as a teen. He credits his parents’ spiritual influence for enabling him to pursue music as a career. “At a young age, I really was searching for the answers. What is this life all about. I was gonna study veterinary science and become a vet. Though I loved school, music was something that I always wanted to try. I had to find myself and know what I was really about.

“My mom used to read a lot. She would just drop books on my lap and she would pull a paragraph and say ‘read this,’” Kees recalled as a nostalgic mist enveloped his eyes. He arrived at a personal turning point after reading Neil Donald Walsh’s Conversations with God. “Who I am is music. So from then, I found it easy to sit silent and sit aside from everything and just question myself. Are you really doing something that represents who you are? Is this me? Am I going the direction that I need to be? And I think once you keep that kinda connection with who you are and that kind of connection with God, those lyrics are not something that you have to think about, it’s something that you live.” said Kees.

The sex-appeal emanates effortlessly as every word displays an enviable self-knowledge. Kees Dieffenthaller knows what he wants, and one can’t help but join in hoping that he gets it. “I love de fact dat we’re getting our bligh, but I also know that there is so much more. I really want the world to be a smaller place for music, for Caribbean music…and if it is that we just pave de way for somebody else, so be it. At least we would be remembered for making a difference, putting a dent into de ting. Dat is my mission really, to travel de world with music and change some lives – somehow.”

For more information on Kes the Band visit


(Nurse) Karen said...

This was a very emotional interview. We actually got together inside the FLOW 93.5 FM studios for a heart to heart, and there's so much more that couldn't go into this article. Kees has a depth of insight that many men twice his age couldn't hope for.

judy said...

yes, indeed nurse karen very emotional i must say kees u are one of a kind for men seem not to know their self to be so young and enveloped such maturity.Keep it so do not dear dismiss that aura okay.