Friday, June 9, 2023
Kaia draws on her diverse influences in Quebec, the Caribbean, and Appalachia, bringing them together to present an exciting musical direction. Known for her prowess as a songwriter and tradition bearer who performs with “the skill of a folk-circuit veteran” (Rolling Stone), Grenadian-Canadian artist took a decidedly different direction for Grenades. What started out as a search to discover the roots of her identity became a physical and emotional exploration of history, in particular her paternal ancestry, and has led to bold new heights of imagination and creative expression.
She grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to the Canadian folk music scene; the other the years she spent soaking up Appalachian music in West Virginia. Her father grew up in Grenada, fleeing to Canada in 1986 as part of a youth speaker program, after the U.S. invasion.
Starting her career early, Kaia released her first EP Old Soul (2013) when she was just out of high school. Since then, she’s gone on to release two more albums, Sorrow Bound (2015) and Nine Pin (2016). Her most recent album weaves between hard-hitting songs that touch on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement and more personal narratives speaking to life and love in the digital age. Nine Pin won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Stingray Rising Star Award, and sent Kaia on an 18-month touring journey from Ireland to Iowa, including stops at The Kennedy Center, Hillside Festival and London's O2 Shepherd's Bush.
In 2021, Kaia took part in the Slaight Music Residency at the Canadian Film Center, released a new single ("Parallels") in October, and composed original music for the CBC/BET+ TV series entitled 'The Porter'. She is currently working on a full length album for release in 2023.