Introducing - KRU-Mania
The ANTIGUAN dictionary defines EL-A-KRU as a working force of Music, Energy and KRU-isma.
El A Kru is Antigua’s most Kru-riffic export, bringing its infectious music to an ever widening fan base; leaving Kru-Mania in its wake.
The headlines tell the tale: Five International Soca Award nominations in 2007. Twelve weeks, three spent at number one, in Caribbean Tempo’s Top Ten. It’s not for nothing that the Kru have been affectionately dubbed the “Soca Paramedics”. They have the remedy for fans infected with the soca fever; that remedy, even more soca.
They are the Kru that unleashed the ‘Lethal Batty’ and encouraged soca disciples to free up with ‘Expose’. They’re proven hit makers, 15 years strong; and, as one of their songs declared, they’re taking this music straight to the mountain.
The dream was born on the island often referred to as the gem of the Caribbean, Antigua; a mere 108 square miles but brimming with talent. The boys of the Kru had music in their veins and a dream in their hearts when they came together as the ‘L. A. Crew’ (Little Antigua Crew) in 1990.
The Crew paid their dues and honed their craft on the tourist circuit; in the process, updating the standard hotel fare, bringing visitor’s taste for Caribbean music into the 20th century.
But they weren’t sleeping on their soca career; over the years, producing a string of local Carnival hits – ‘We Want More Money’, ‘Right Time For Love’, ‘Helikopta’, ‘Ring Ting’, ‘Turn out the Lights’, to name a few.
The band’s first re-invention took place in 1998, when L.A. Crew became El A Kru, and launched Lethal. That album showcased the Kru’s skill at bringing not only Soca straight-up, but blending it with other genres into delightful concoctions. The fans drank it up, and demanded seconds. Lethal’s breakout hit was the raunchy ‘Lethal Batty’, which soon found its way on to VP’s Soca Gold CD. The risqué number proved to be not only the biggest hit yet for the boys from L.A. , but one of the biggest soca hits anywhere; that year and well into 1999.
Soon, the boys and gal found themselves in the heart of the Soca Mecca, Trinidad and Tobago. Over a 28-day stretch, the Kru rocked 19 shows during the country’s 1999 Carnival and joined internationally-renowned costume designer Peter Minshall’s Lost Tribe on the road.
Life being what it is, setbacks were inevitable; and a major one came that same year with the destruction, by fire, of the Kru’s crib. Not only did the band lose its home, but all of its equipment as well. It was a hard blow but the tight-knit group, through determination and faith, overcame the odds.
They’ve soldiered on, delivering their chronically contagious brand of Soca over the years at events like the Brass Festival in Trinidad, the St. Kitts Music Festival, the Tortola Music Festival, UNIFEST in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Carnival, and Labour Day in Brooklyn. With dynamic live shows in St. Croix, St. Thomas, Virgin Gorda, Nevis, Montserrat, Tobago, Miami, New York, England, St. Lucia, Barbados, and more, they’ve continued to take the music to wherever Soca fans reside.
It has been an amazing ride; with more local hits like ‘Maria Maria’, ‘Anotha Man’, and ‘Off Limits’ following, even as the band went through a couple of personnel changes. The hit making never waned; this, in itself, indicative of the band’s resilience. More than that, Antigua’s five-time ‘Sweetest Band on the Road’ scaled many more peaks between 2006/7/8.
‘Expose’, as noted, blazed the Tempo countdown, struck Gold for the Kru yet again, and put them in elite company with five International Soca Award nominations – including band, video, best new female, best up tempo female, and female soca performer of the year. Winning three of the five nominations that year-Best new female, Best up-tempo female, and Female Soca-Performer of the Year.
Other tracks from that Antigua Nice album have performed well including ‘Salute’ and the title track, which was co-opted as the promotional song for Antigua’s Team 2K7 tourism promotional campaign. In fact, as people flowed into Antigua for the single biggest cricket event in the world, Cricket World Cup, they couldn’t miss the billboards – featuring Kru vocalist, Tizzy – or, fail to catch the ubiquitous tune on radio or TV.
For The Kru, 2007 and 2008 continued the hit parade. Producing amazing tracks like ‘Kick It Off’ ,‘Bounce’ and ‘Wuk Meh’. All three of which have been major hits across the region and beyond. From 32 performances in T&T for carnival 2k8 and the International Soca Monarch finals the mission was in full gear.
The Journey continued in 2009 with another magnificent season in T&T for carnival. With another 29 performances and a second straight trip to the Intl. Soca Monarch finals the secret is out. The Kru is the newest and most potent force on the Soca scene.
With talent cyarn dun, unique chemistry, and irresistible charisma, the Kru continues to win converts as it crosses new borders on its quest to remain one of the Caribbean’s best.