Kris Berry and I went to pre-school together and back then we had matching curly-haired crop cuts (“boy cuts”). We’d run around the yard, muddy feet and hands. Play with Barbie dolls. We were both in a performing choir: Theatrum from 4th to 6th grade, such a fun childhood experience and useful training in discipline… Kris has always been extremely talented and cheekier than the rest… but she was also reserved… a little shy even.
Kris grew up around lots of different musical influences in St. Maarten and Curaçao. Our family-oriented culture afforded her an eager audience for her phenomenal voice… But she wasn’t ready. She preferred to listen and absorb… Salsa Antillana, souk, country, Latin, ska, jazz, Cuban…
In 2011, she gathered enough courage to record her first EP (Flower Empty Tree)… Lo and behold, she became an overnight success in the Netherlands, Radio 6 even elected her their first-ever Soul & Jazz Talent!
Kris writes her songs with guitarist and producer Paul Willemsen (Beans & Fatback and Lefties Soul Connection) — but has no musical training, she simply allows her feelings to speak. Paul seems to speak and understand her special language.
Kris’ lyrics are her own… and you feel like you’re reading her private journal at times… raw, vulnerable and funny… in Curaçao’s it’s rather culturally groundbreaking for a woman to be so open and exposed. And I simply love her for it!