By Christine Jean-Pierre
Music lovers always know that Zouk artists are from Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and sometimes, La Reunion. But few if any has ever emerged from New Caledonia. This was then. Now, French Polynesia must be added on the list, thanks to the new up-in coming Zouk/Konpa sensation, Kaalysta. Kaalysta, who is only 17 years old, is clearly a force that cannot be ignored in the Konpa/Zouk world.
New Caledonia sits in the Pacific Ocean, where Konpa music was never an important commodity until 2005, when Konpa bands such as T-vice and Carimi started performing there. Zouk and Konpa music soon made their way to the air waves in local top hit radio stations all over the island. Kaalysta seemed to have swept away by the Konpa fever.
Born on March 4, 1992 on the island of New Caledonia, Kaalysta’s passion for music began when she started singing at her local church choir and at her high school chorus. Kaalysta then began writing and performing her own songs at school and local talent shows. Kaalysta musical influences mostly consist of Zouk and Konpa artists such s T-vice, Tina, Edith Lefel, Kenedy, and Christianne Valejeo.
In spring of 2006, Kaalysta got her big break when she was discovered by Zouk singer Jamice when he witnessed the artist performing natirel by Sonia Dersion at a Karaoke bar while touring New Caledonia. So impressed, Jamice quickly hired Kaalysta as a back-up singer for his album Suave in the song Toi et Moi. Kaaylsta’s performance—so powerful and so gut-wrenching—caught the attention of famous Zouk manager and promoter Alexandra Chabine, who manages many Zouk artists such as Kenedy, Christiane Valejo, and Ludo. Alexandra signs Kaalysta with the permission of her parents to a two-year management deal which would eventually lead up to a recording contract with the record company l’elite du zouk, which is a sub-division of Section Zouk records.
In the summer of 2009, Kaalysta released her first single Tout de Moi on YouTube. The single is a Konpa song with a hot video that featured her dancing and showing off her model-star looks and poses. The song Tout de Moi was produced by Xavier Marboef and written by Kaalysta herself. The success of the song quickly catapulted her up the top 15 song list at Trace tropical fm in both Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Kaalysta is one of those raw Konpa/Zouk singers with undeniable singing talents. Many observers are saying that she is poised to withstand the test of time if everything works out accordingly with the release of her debut album set for September of 2009. According to Zouk music critics, if Kaalysta can sustain her current rate of success, she should have a very successful career in the Konpa/Zouk music industry.