Artist Biography: Cali P.
With a career and an energy that show no signs of waning, the irrepressible and incomparable Cali P continues to break artistic boundaries. But across this time there has been one stable factor in his talents: the quest for groundbreaking music driven by his spiritual faith.
Born Pierre Nanon to a Swiss mother and a Rastafarian-Guadeloupean father, Cali P began his creative journey at a young age. He grew up immersed in music, learning to play the drums aged three. His father co-founded the cultural drum ensemble Akiyo from Guadeloupe and he would take the young Cali P with him when the band performed on the island.
But the artist as we now know him began his career proper as a Dancehall-based MC in the Swiss Sound System collective Gideon Soldiers. But a solo path soon beckoned with the release of his debut single Forward in 2005 and debut album Lyrical Faya in 2008. From here, Cali P’s career blossomed.
In 2010 Cali P moved to Jamaica – working out of the legendary Bobby Digital’s studio for a year. Then, a long-term partnership with producer Riga and his Hemp Higher label followed. It spawned the hit singles Jah Rule the World and Dem Ago Burn Up featuring Capleton, as well as the albums Unstoppable and iThoughts, and the Healing of the Nation EP.
Never one to creatively box himself in, the end of the 2010s saw Cali P form a new partnership with German producer TEKA and his label Low Low Records. The focus of the pairing’s work was a long-term project spanning several years – called Vizion. It saw the pair release the EPs Vizion I and then II in 2019, followed by the full-length Vizion album in 2021. Reggaeville described the project as:
“a brilliant culmination of several years’ work from Cali P and TEKA. Musically inventive, it is as good as any Roots concept album that’s been released recently. Cali P cements himself as an artistic force to be reckoned with and the album is a sterling addition to both musicians’ catalogues”.
Cali P is a seasoned live performer. His credits include Rebel Salute (Jamaica), Summerjam (Germany), Reggae Jam (Germany), Festival De L’ete (Canada), Reeds Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Rototom Sunsplash (Spain) and Goa Sunsplash (India). His IThoughts tour saw him cross 26 cities in Europe as well as the Ivory Coast, India, Dubai and 12 dates in the UK. Cali P also headlined the US extreme winter sports competition, the X-Games – following in the footsteps of 50 Cent and Damian Marley.
His chart success is equally impressive, with over 300 released tracks and four number one albums on the iTunes Reggae Chart, as well as entries on the US Billboard Reggae Chart. He has collaborated with some of the greats: from Popcaan to Stonebwoy via Mykal Rose and Freddie McGregor. And Cali P has always been a genre-defying artist: sitting equally at home in Roots, Dancehall, Afrobeats, Hip Hop and Trap.
Little wonder, then, that success has followed him. Because his artistry and creative soul are almost unparalleled.
Rastafari is his guiding light; he calls it his ‘strength that was always there with him since he was lickle’. But Cali P also sees the need for music and its messages to reach as many people as possible. This creative and spiritual MO drives much of his work: from the Roots-meets-Hip-Hop vibes of Jah Rule The World and its expansive and stunning globe-trotting video, to the Vizion project – which was musically diverse; defying genres to appeal to as broad an audience as possible including heavy elements of Trap and Afrobeats.
Cali P is a consummate artist whose passion for his craft and humanity shine through in all his endeavours. Constantly groundbreaking, he is one of the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years – and this inspirational talent will continue to shine for many more to come.
Cali P Biography written by Mr Topple from Pauzeradio PR Services (28th March 2022).