Up and coming singer/songwriter/guitarist KITA describes her sound as Folk/Alternative. KITA’s just released her first EP, Lion Hat … but this talented local also has dreams of hitting the festival circuit
You were originally from the Gold Coast. What brought you to Port Macquarie?
Yeah, I was. It was family which brought me here and to live a healthier life. The Goldy is just pumping all the time, and I suppose my mother didn’t want me to grow up in a rowdy city. At first I wasn’t too happy to move, but it has grown on me and I love this place now.
Who taught you to play guitar, and how old were you when you learned?
I first picked up a guitar when I was 9, just a year before I started being classically trained as a singer. It was my sister’s influence that got me into it. She’s a great guitarist, and I have always looked up to her. She’s taught me quite a lot and was always there to help me with it whilst taking lessons for 6 years. I only truly found my passion for it a couple of years ago.
You describe your music as Folk/Alternative. Why did you lean towards these styles of music – what is it about them that inspires you?
Well, being classically trained for 9 years and being involved in the national choir, I kind of got my fair share of choral music. I felt I was being trained out of my own style (although I’m so glad I’d been so thoroughly trained growing up, because it taught me a great deal).
I think I got to a stage where I’d had enough of lessons and wanted to form my own path/style. I always knew what I loved listening to, so I started playing covers of these tunes: like Fleetwood mac, Julia Stone, Laura Marling and Ben Howard, until I started to write my own stuff. Their music is so beautiful and inspirational. All the artists I love have empowering lyrics that actually mean so much and move people and connect with me in such an amazing way. Sorry … that got really deep ha ha!
You’ve just released your first EP, Lion Hat. How many songs are on the EP – did you write them all?
I did! Such an awesome feeling to have finally finished the beast. There are 6 songs on there, and yup, I wrote every single one of them.
What’s the song Lion Hat about – it has an unusual name!
It is a tad unusual; that’s why I like it so much. I also like art … lots of it. Pictures always inspire my songs. My room is filled with paintings, pictures from magazines and photographs. There’s this one drawing of a girl holding a big lion hat on her head just above my desk, where I write the majority of my songs. One day I just couldn’t write … I saw this picture and kind of daydreamed for a while and came up with a story in my head about a girl who’s too shy to be herself, so she hides behind all these facades and dreams a lot to get by in life. But she needn’t hide; she’s awesome, because she wears a lion on her head.
Who were some of the other local creative people involved with producing your EP?
I have so many friends who have such creative souls that have helped me along the way … to name them all would be as crazy as, but they know who they are and know how appreciative I am of them.
But the main creative man behind the production of my EP was Jordan Millar, a Sydney local who is also a musician. He played on, produced and mastered my EP, along with many of his own. He was so rad to work with, such an enthusiastic guy and genuinely eager to help me out. I’m so happy with the end product. I can’t wait to work with him again. He also just released an album titled Cold Lights On Curious Minds, so you should all go have a listen!
If you were given an iTunes or music voucher as a gift, which artists’ tracks would you most likely decide to download (and why)?
Oh man, it’s not my ideal present being given vouchers for things; I’m honestly the worst decision maker you’d ever meet. I’d prefer someone give me an album or CD; I love stumbling across new artists. But if I did receive one, I’d probably hold onto it until Adam Gnade’s new album was released. He’s a poet who speaks over music; it is so, so dreamy, you could just dissolve into another world.
Where are some of your regular gigs locally?
I play quite a bit around town. Every second Saturday you’ll find me at the Beach House and everywhere else in between. I keep my Facebook page up to date with where I’m playing so if you want to know, go there!
What’s next on the agenda for you musically – what are your goals?
Well, my band and I just played at a private festival in Forster with Jack River, Lisa Mitchell and Georgia Fair, which was wicked. I’m also going to be playing at an event in Sydney mid April to help save the Kimberleys, which will be rad. My goal is definitely to play at as many festivals as I can, build up a fan base and meet and help as many creative souls as I can.
Where can people go to download your music or contact you?
You can download a couple of free songs on Triple J Unearthed online; just search for KITA. You can also buy my album on iTunes and stay in touch/contact with me on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kitamusic
I also have a little competition going for everyone who reads this article. To win one of ten CDs, like my Facebook page, then share my album cover picture. The winners will be announced on my Facebook page on 20 April. Good Luck !
Interview by Jo Atkins.
To watch KITA’s new video clipvisit youtube.com Search: Kita LionOr use a QR code reader to visit the video on your Smartphone or iPad.
This article can be found in issue 89 of Greater Port Macquarie Focus