Fueled by her love of 90s clubland and her rich Caribbean roots, Canadian singer-songwriter KAPRI is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Universal Music Canada’s latest domestic signing, KAPRI was born and raised in Edmonton but now calls Toronto home. It’s her unique upbringing, however, that sparked an interest in music and landed her debut single, “Deeper,” a coveted No. 1 spot on the Canadian Spotify Viral Chart.
KAPRI was raised by a single mother from Trinidad and Tobago who opened Alberta’s first Afro-Caribbean dance studio. While watching her mom perfect routines to beat-driven Soca rhythms and African drums, KAPRI developed a strong connection to bass and syncopated rhythm. She’s also influenced by soul legends such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan, as well as house-music pioneers like Robin S and Martha Wash (the latter with whom KAPRI has already shared a stage at Toronto’s World Pride in 2014). Rather than emulating her heroes, KAPRI goes deeper on “Deeper,” offering a modern take on 90s dance music with a blend of soul. “It’s not about hopping on the 90s-is-back train but rather bringing emotion back to the dance floor where it belongs!” she says of her distinct musical flavour.
Straying from the hard, robotic sound of recent dancefloor bangers, KAPRI views “Deeper” as an anecdote to the FOMO-induced moments inspired by the digital age. “I want to create music that moves you and makes you want to move. The kind of tracks that let you escape to a safe space where you can just be yourself,” she says. It’s an M.O. that’s been informed by KAPRI’s own education both in and out of school: she holds an honours degree in Communications and Psychology from Carleton University, is a devoted fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and has spent the past few years cutting her teeth in some of the country’s most esteemed dance clubs in Montreal and Toronto.
The music video for “Deeper,” released on September 20, blends the artist’s sound and vision beautifully. KAPRI was involved in all aspects of the video, guiding everything from location scouting to styling to choreography. “I want to ensure I am a part of every aspect of the creative process. For the “Deeper” video, I chose my own looks and found a neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto that 100 percent represents who I am—a Carib-Canadian who’s linked to so many amazing scenes,” she says.
KAPRI’s musical influences and instincts have served her well. Her passionate approach to soulful dance music has garnered an international following, and her goal is to prove that “positive vibes can be powerful and not predictable.”