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Queens Chronicle

Rising star promises an ‘immersive’ concert

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Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2019 10:30 am

Kaia Kater promises that the audience at her upcoming concert at Flushing Town Hall on June 7 can expect an immersive show.

Kater said she will be telling the story of her father’s immigration to Canada from Grenada as a teenager. She said she will be interweaving excerpts of her interview with her father into her songs.

“People can expect a very immersive experience rather than just a random collection of songs,” Kater said. “So, they will all be interrelated and I’ll be there with my trio as well. I’ll have someone on the electric guitar, I’ll be playing acoustic guitar and banjo and we’ll also have an upright bass.”

Kater, 25, born in Montreal, said her music is similar to folk music, with elements of Indian music and jazz. She grew up in a household where folk music was the norm. She noted that she originally played classical music with piano and a little bit of cello when she was younger. Now, her main instrument is the clawhammer banjo.

“I started really listening to songs like folk music, rock music and hip-hop and I realized that so many of these people wrote their own songs and that was amazing to me,” Kater said. “Like the concept that you could create something out of nothing and then have it be yours.”

She added “and so, I started experimenting with songwriting probably when I was 13 or 14 and it kept on being a prominent thing in my life.”

Over the course of her career, she released her first EP, “Old Soul,” in 2013 and followed with her first full-length album, “Sorrow Bound,” in 2015 and then her second album, “Nine Pin,” in 2016. “Nine Pin” won the “Pushing the Boundaries” award at the 12th Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as a Stingray Rising Star award.

“Grenades,” her third album, released in 2018, has also been nominated for a 2019 Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. The album explores her personal history, including her paternal ancestry.

Kater said her songs are inspired by literature, poetry and sometimes, an emotion or turn of phrase. She cites important voices like Norah Jones who helped shape her artistic voice and direction. She also said although she encountered a lot of traditional music during her childhood, songwriting was what motivated her to make music.

Kater is now touring across Canada and the United States for “Grenades.” Later on, she plans to take a short hiatus before going back to developing music.

“I’m probably going to take some time off to do a little more writing and to sort of start to think about my next album,” she said. “So, that will be like in the fall into the winter and into the spring, so that will be about five to six months with other stuff in between. So, it’s going to be good to start thinking about and start writing and developing more music.”

When she is not developing music, Kater said, she enjoys the outdoors, watching lots of movies and TV shows, writing something that is not music, reading and solving a crossword puzzle.

“I’m really excited to be playing in Queens,” she added. “It’s like I will be getting to know this area and it’s going to be great to play here.”

Kaia Kater
When: Fri., June 7, 7 p.m.
Where: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.
Tickets: $16; $10 students; free teens.
(718) 463-7700,

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