How do you go from being banned on almost every radio station in your home country to having the biggest Hip-hop songs the country has seen to date? Some would call it luck, some would say it’s an overnight fluke. Some might say it’s being associated with some sort of secret society. Ask a Chromatics fan and they’ll tell you it was bound to happen and nobody else deserves it more. Chromatics has been grinding his way to Stardom in his home country of Trinidad & Tobago and throughout the world for the better part of 5 years. Chromatics was born Richard Raj-Kumar on the 18th August, 1982 in the island of Trinidad. Trinidad is known as the land of Carnival and Soca Music, Chromatics however felt more at home with the Hip Hop element. Chromatics grew up with Heltah Skeltah, Jay-Z, Biggie...
How do you go from being banned on almost every radio station in your home country to having the biggest Hip-hop songs the country has seen to date? Some would call it luck, some would say it’s an overnight fluke. Some might say it’s being associated with some sort of secret society. Ask a Chromatics fan and they’ll tell you it was bound to happen and nobody else deserves it more. Chromatics has been grinding his way to Stardom in his home country of Trinidad & Tobago and throughout the world for the better part of 5 years.
Chromatics was born Richard Raj-Kumar on the 18th August, 1982 in the island of Trinidad. Trinidad is known as the land of Carnival and Soca Music, Chromatics however felt more at home with the Hip Hop element. Chromatics grew up with Heltah Skeltah, Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls and Rakim and with his cousins’ encouragement he began to write hip hop songs when he was twelve years old. This led Chromatics down a long and arduous road that would mould his character and test his resolve.
Chromatics joined up with “Spotrushaz”, at the time a young and developing group of rappers, and began to really consider making music his career. “Spotrushaz” quickly transformed into the most recognizable Hip Hop act in the country and they were constantly working. The group released a flurry of singles (and videos) and radio stations took note. Consistent hit songs and a large local fan base positioned the group’s brand and allowed them to perform alongside some of the world’s biggest hit maker like Sean Paul, Slick Rick, Dougie Fresh, Bounty Killer and Elephant Man.
Chromatics eventually parted with the group in 2007 and formed his own record company and studio, Highway Records Ltd. with his manager and business partner Stuart Fortuné. He has since released his debut solo album “Against The Grain” which is the highest selling Hip-Hop album in Trinidad to date as well as signing 4 other acts to his label. Over the next few years
Chromatics began to be recognized as the #1 Hip Hop act in the Caribbean which took him to Venues and festivals throughout the world Like The Virgin Atlantic Music Festival (Barbados) North by Northeast Music Festival (Canada) where he shared the stage with the likes of the Gza and Cool Kids. At the same time he was becoming quite a controversial artist in his home
country. Songs from his concept album “The Business of Art” spread throughout Trinidad & Tobago due to their heavy name calling of local industry players and radio station employees for their lack of support for local music.
Standing up for artist rights after having a hit year in 2010. His two singles “Hitmaker” and “Cold Blooded” and its subsequent video received over 1000 spins within the span of 4 months and the video was the #1 video in the Country for five weeks on Synergy TV (Trinidad’s equivalent of BET or MTV). Off of this success Chromatics ventured to London, England for
four stellar shows only to return home to find his songs completely removed from the majority of local radio stations playlists. Un-deterred Chromatics embarked on a online protest which raised awareness for the cause and forced almost every station to return to playing his and his artists music save for one station owned by the mayor of Trinidad’s capital city Port-Of-Spain.
This resulted in an actual physical protest outside of the Radio Station which attracted major attention from all other media houses and was covered thoroughly throughout the debacle.
2011 took Chromatics to New York and Boston after having a stellar summer with the release of tracks “Extreme” and ‘Superficial” where he made a heavy impression on the hard to please New York industry. He performed in over 25 shows through the months of Sept and Oct’ to rave reviews. On returning to Trinidad Chromatics began to put the finishing touches on a mixtape called “The Science of Colours” Vol 2 . This resulted in a song now a part of
Trinidad folk lore. During the months of January and February the face of Trinidad & Tobago music changes. Radio stations play 100% festival music based around it’s annual “Carnival” celebrations. This sometimes leaves artists outside of these genres unable to generate much income. Out of this 2 month musical desert Chromatics crafted the “Carnival Rap Up” a song
highlighting and ridiculing some of the country’s biggest artists and personalities as well as recapping some of the most Controversial occurrences during this festival ‘Season”. It was an instant HIT! 5000 youtube views in the first day. 60,000 views by the end of the first week. Articles in EVERY Trinidadian publication you could name was followed by countless radio,
television interviews and performances.
The road has been tough but he is here and seemingly only gets bigger and better as he goes. His recent success has seen him highlighted by Okay Player.com as one of the best Trinidadian rappers to ever touch the mic, along with the Likes of “Nicki Minaj” and A Tribe called Quest’s “Phife Dog”.
His recent performance alongside French Montana in Trinidad has cemented him as the next artist to look out for from the Caribbean. He intertwines the local Trini jargon with an international flow that leaves listeners amazed at a sound that is Fresh and New but yet relatable. With all of his success he still remains humble and enjoys spreading his music to the four corners of the globe as well as the message that no matter the obstacle, no matter
the destination “one will never fail if they never give up”. He embodies the soul of "The Small Island Man" with the big dream and determination to succeed, and nothing captures this more, than when he takes the stage.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO