Full-disclosure, Kaia and I don’t get to talking about Composing for Film and Television until about 20 minutes into this conversation. We start by discussing the early stages of her career learning clawhammer banjo from the legendary Mitch Podolak, attending various Old-Time music camps in West Virginia, and growing up in Canada’s Folk Festival scene.
Then, in 2018 after 2 years of extensive touring, Kaia suffered a panic attack mid-show and came to the realization that she needed to make a change. After attending some community classes on how to use Ableton, the freedom of self-producing and composing opened up a new world, and she began to explore opportunities in Film and TV, putting her career on a whole new path.
Fast-forward to today, Kaia has just been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for ‘Best Original Song’ for the series 'The Porter'. She is a Juno Award-nominated and Polaris Prize-longlisted songwriter of Grenadian-Canadian heritage. Her voice and deft songcraft have garnered acclaim from CBC, BBC Music and Rolling Stone. Her recent film work includes the CBC/BET+ TV Emmy-nominated series 'The Porter', and she has had a song placed on Global TV’s Mary Kills People. Kaia has toured internationally, including notable performances at NPR Tiny Desk Concerts and Carnegie Hall. In 2021, Kaia took part in the Slaight Music Residency at the Canadian Film Center and released a new single ("Parallels"). She is currently working on a full length album for release in 2023.
Links from the show :
@KaiaKater on all socials
Presented by Folk Music Ontario
Hosted by Rosalyn Dennett
Produced by Kayla Nezon (Folk Music Ontario), Rosalyn Dennett (Folk Music Ontario), Tim Fraser + Tanya Chopp (Murdoch Entertainment)
Recorded by Kayla Nezon, and Jordan Moore of The Pod Cabin
Edited by Jordan Moore of The Pod Cabin
Theme music “Amsterdam” by King Cardiac
Artwork by Jaymie Karn
The ReFolkUs Project is made possible through the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage