Photo credit: Thomas Soto
Kayta is a Montreal-based queer artist who rarely sings about love. Her debut single, “KARMA” sonically explores her major influences, ranging from her Slavic roots to jazz to Hispanic music, with hip-hop and R&B capturing her closest inspiration.
“KARMA” bathes its audience in an orange hue, leads us with an carefully paced beat, and keeps us coming back for another listen with Kayta’s tranquilizing vocals. The artist is releasing two more singles within the coming months and hints at bigger projects to come next year. We had a quick chat about what Kayta’s world is like now.
SSG Music: How often do you spend longer periods in writing one song? Is “KARMA” unique in this aspect, or is it your preferred songwriting process?
Kayta: It really depends on each piece. Sometimes, I can write a song in one day, but I prefer to take my time writing lyrics. Being comfortable with them for the rest of my life is really important to me. When I think about the process for “KARMA”, I think it took a bit more time than usual, but it’s because I wanted this song to express many moods and stories.
SSG Music: Can you dive into the most visceral mood you reveal in “KARMA”?
Kayta: I mean, “KARMA” was written on a long period of time so I talk about different topics in almost every verse.
The chorus talks about being vulnerable with somebody. When you start to open up and then withdraw yourself because you’re afraid, you can just start again. Start over the process of confessing and getting closer to a person by opening up.
The 1st verse’s subject is that I hate small talk. I’m just so bad at it because I’m awkward and often I’m in my head instead of being in the present moment. It’s about meeting new people and having a good conversation.
The 2nd verse addresses the fact that I decided to stop talking to a close family member. Like forever, no turning back. I once heard that they forgave me for the purpose of having a better karma. Anyway.
The other verses are about my come back in the music scene. After releasing my song ‘’Fly By’’ in July 2018, I got really sick and I couldn’t sing for at least 3 to 4 months. I don’t know, maybe it was a bit shorter or longer, but it felt like forever. It was so bad there were days I just couldn’t speak. I feel like if I sing about the fact that I’m stronger than ever, I’m going to actually feel that I’m stronger than ever. It made me feel empowered to sing about my come back and the effort I put to get well.
SSG Music: How close and inspired are you by the current Montreal scene?
Kayta: The Montreal scene is quite active and it’s important for me to be supportive of other artists. I’ve collaborated with a couple Montreal artists in the past months and we’ve got some amazing talents. I listen to a lot of local music, keeping in touch with many musicians, rappers and singers. On an inspiration level, we’ve got some amazing artists that remind me that the international scene is not that far, there are great success stories here in Montreal to inspire ourselves from and I want to be a part of these stories.
SSG Music: Outside of musical inspirations, what do you connect with that finds itself through your music?
Kayta: Other than musical inspirations, I’d say that nature inspires me a lot. The many sounds that we can hear being outside and the memories I create when going on a hike or a run, when traveling or spending a weekend at the cottage or just taking a break outside can help me clear my mind. This inspires me a lot and it has a great influence on my writing process. I would also say that I’m a very spiritual person. Watching videos, reading articles and understanding the energies that surround me is almost an everyday thing for me. If you listen to my songs, you’ll probably notice a little bit of that!