Fakekou (Sterling Callender) aka Kou is a brilliant, hardcore London-based soca artist from Marabella, South Trinidad. His passion is simply to make and perform soca music. With a career spanning 15 years and counting, Kou has made and released well-crafted songs including collaborations with DJs and producers such as Herbertskillz and Dr Lord Nelson. Some of his tracks include Roll & Wine (2015), Gimme Som (2016), Ah Too Old (2019) and Not A Problem ft SupaSokah (2022). We asked Fakekou a few questions.
Can you describe your childhood in Marabella in three words?
Funny, educational and dangerous.
Did you face any hindrance from your family when you decided to pursue a career in music?
No. My family has always been supportive and they still are in my new endeavours.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your creativity as a musician?
It was negative in some ways, but it’s also been very positive. I got some time to reflect and reinvent myself, and wrote some new material.
You collaborated with Lord Nelson on your song Ah Too Old, How did that collaboration come about? Would you say it has paved the way for you, musically speaking?
I was working in the legendary home studio in Brooklyn, and one of Sparrow’s former keyboardists started to sing the hook to the instrumental that was playing. Right away, I started freestyling and started to write. I was originally on it alone, but something was missing so I reached out to (Papa) Lord Nelson. When he heard it, he agreed to do a remix.
The last time we spoke (August 2019), you were working on launching your website and T-shirt line. How did those go?
Yes, I launched the line, and decided to take it seriously this year by using this carnival season to push and promote the brand.
What are some of the new tracks you have released post-Covid, and where can your fans find them?
I’ve released three songs this year: Ah To Old (remix), Disco Daddy Afrobeat (remix) and Not Ah Problem; they can be found on my YouTube channel.
As a Trinidadian artist based in London, how challenging was it to connect with your fans in Trinidad during the pandemic?
It’s been very challenging, since I am not really a social media person. I am a one-on-one, hands-on type of guy.
After about a decade of music, what industry advice would you give to upcoming artists? What would you tell them to focus on?
Enjoy the journey, believe in yourself, stay grounded and give thanks.
What new projects can we look forward to? Are there any teasers for our readers about what is to come for Kou?
Yes, but I really can’t talk about it until the ink dries. I would let the moves and music talk for itself. All I can say is, watch this space.
If your fans want to touch base, how can they connect with you?
All social media outlets. Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and soon my website, which is under construction.
You can find Fakekou performing alongside guest artists DJ Bignito from New York City and DJ Multiple from Angola on Saturday 20 and Saturday 27 August at XO Club & Bar, in Northolt, Middlesex UB5 5AW (next to A312/A40 junction; nearest station Northolt, Central Line).