EXCLUSIVE: Izaline Calister's musical warmth
BY JACK ABOK
Beauty and warmth can be hard to come by, but Izaline Calister has both in spades. The Curacao-born singer who makes the Netherlands her home, is a gorgeous, chocolate- skinned woman with a dazzlingly smile and a voice that can make you cry.
Calister sings in the language of her birthplace, Papiamentu, a blend of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English. "I think I am more original and have a better chance of being noticed singing in my native language. I also think that I sound slightly more beautiful in my own language than in any other," she says. The choice has garnered Calister much attention. She won an excellence in education award in Curacao and the Netherlands' Edison prize.
"It means so much to me that the government of my country thinks so much of me and my music to give me this award. I don't think it has more meaning than the Edison though. For me it gives the Edison more meaning because I received this award partially because they are so proud of me receiving the Edison.
"With increasing exposure, Calister is seeing her career blossom. "My audience has been steadily growing through the years. I am still building a name for myself and each year things get better and better. .. My `fans' are from so many different ethnicities. Surinam, the Antilles and I also have a lot of Dutch fans.
"Her fifth album "Speransa" (hope in Papiamentu) was released in 2008. Calister composed, wrote and produced it herself. Her songs have a certain melancholy with their beautiful vocals, softly strummed acoustic guitars, wind instruments, bongos and unobtrusive rhythm section.
Calister has big plans for the next future after more than a decade in the business.
"In the next 10 years I would love to consolidate my position in the Dutch theatre world," she says. She is currently working on a new show called "noorderlichtekooi" which features female theatre-personalities and singers.
Continuing to work on her music, however, is central to Calister's plans. "I would love to make a CD with songs in English, Spanish and Dutch, preferably with a lot of violins. I would like to write songs for other people too. It must be heaven to hear something you conceived come to life in the voice of someone completely different from you. I have still so many things I would like to do, but I feel confident that my career will last long enough for me to get to do all of those things and more. I look forward to that."
Check out Calister's tour dates in the Netherlands at www.izalinecalister.com/schedule/schedule.html