In 2015, tens of thousands across the world shared that experience listening to the young and unsigned Barbados-based artist Kristen Walker’s debut, originally posted on SoundCloud and then shared across all social media platforms. Kristen’s R&B entranced multitudes with its Island airiness, sweetly sensual vocals, uplifting vibes, and smoldering grooves.
“I grew up in front of the beach, and there is this feeling of floating that comes to me in my music,” says the 20 year-old performer, singer, songwriter, and recording artist. “I just look at the ocean and it clears my mind, and words come to me honestly. This is my truth, and I strive to put these vibrations into my music—the universal language—and heal people and send out positive messages.”
It all began in January 2015 when Kristen uploaded her debut single, “Wind Blows” onto SoundCloud and the spins rocketed to 70,000. Previously, she had built a respectable profile locally as a young and promising musician, gifted as a songwriter, recording artist, performing artist, and backup vocalist. From there, exposure swept like wildfire—cover song videos notched millions of views, and she garnered prime exposure via P. Diddy and his music-oriented digital cable network, Revolt TV.
Kristen’s artistry gracefully embraces R&B, hip-hop, reggae, and jazz—the music she soaked up growing up in Barbados. She counts influences as varied as Bob Marley, The Weeknd, Sade, Ella Fitzgerald, and Drake. As early as age four, she was certain of her destiny in music, and by 16, she was accepted at the Barbados Community College where she graduated in 2014 with an Associates degree in music. Formally studying music profoundly shaped her as an artist. Outside of the rigors of the institute, Kristen would post videos of her own stunning rendition of modern urban classics, and she would ply her craft working alongside diverse and distinguished artists. Some highlights in her resume include legendary jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Joan Belgrave, jazz pianist Ian Finkelstein, saxophonist Marcus Elliot, reggae and modern jazz crossover pioneer Arturo Tappin & Band, and modern reggae icon Willie Stewart from Third World.
Kristen writes with sage wisdom about relationships and empowerment. Her lyrics are poetic and her messages are universal, and throughout it all, the ocean is the muse and ever an artful metaphor.
Kristen reflects on her journey and her life’s purpose: “This music journey has taught me you can go further than you think, and that to really connect with people you have to be honest, and live authentically. I’m ready to share my music with the world. I’m ready to communicate a message of love, give people hope, and uplift humanity.”