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"Ever since I could speak I loved to sing."
Phillip Hong
2 April, 2009
Music can be as heartless as a boy group selling merchandise to prepubescent girls around the world with millions of dollars and dinara thrown around in the process. Sometimes, we all tend to forget the point of this art form in general; music is a form of human communication, a passion that is way too unique to translate into riches galore.
With that in mind, Kelita debunks the capitalism that is seen in today's society when it comes to recording tracks and releasing music. With heart and soul in hand, Kelita's duty in life is seen clear from helping fellow humans here and abroad. Performing on the same stage as Reba probably doesn't hurt either.
A wonderfully composed track from Kelita, "Naked Soul", can be found in TEA Volume 13, the latest compilation album from the indie label with Hogtown in mind.
PHIL: How did music come into your life?
KELITA: Ever since I could speak I loved to sing. After finding a very old piano (1847) in an abandoned farm house in Alberta where I grew up, I was drawn to the instrument. I started writing songs when I was eleven after my father took his own life. Music was a way for me to express the pain and heartache I experienced. I consider the ability to create music and sing a special gift from God. I am a deliverer of songs about real life - which in turn have been a source of healing for others, including myself.
PHIL: You have performed alongside names like Reba McEntire and Randy Travis. What do you think got you so far into the limelight?
KELITA: I have been fortunate to have shared some stages with some big names in music. It takes hard work, good timing and artistry to step into the limelight. Marketing and promotion are key. You can have the greatest talent but people have to know about you. Creating positive relationships is extremely important in any business because when there's an opportunity that opens up with those who like and respect you, they will call upon you to do the job.
I once heard it said that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. It couldn't be any truer.
PHIL: Are you one of the kind that puts your heart on your hand? How do you romance the human soul with your music?
KELITA: Yes I am one of those who bears her soul for all to see. For years I lived behind a mask, protecting myself from the shame and wounds from my past. After I reached a turning point of facing the real me and allowing myself the freedom to be vulnerable, I learned that people are attracted to honesty. My music then became very autobiographical. In a sense my music has allowed me to be the voice for the voiceless.
I sing about things that people experience but can never find a way of expressing. That is the beauty of music. It is universal and speaks to the inner most part of our being.
PHIL: Toronto Experimental Artists features a track from you called "Naked Soul". What inspired you to write this track?
KELITA: I was inspired to write Naked Soul after speaking to a friend who's father had sexually abused two of her sisters when they were young children. As now grown women they were discussing their experience and questioning whether their mother was aware and perhaps had turned a blind eye. I was drawn to the position that the mother must have been in - like so many today. I then wrote the song from the point of view that she did know and needed to settle things in her own soul.
PHIL: I hear you're quite the humanitarian, performing at a soup kitchen in Toronto to singing in a woman's prison in Peru, and ending up in Cambodia, performing to young girls torn from its exploitive sex trade. As a person who has experienced a lot, what do you think we should all do to make this world better?
KELITA: We who live here in North America have been given so much. I believe that we all need to find something that we are passionate about- besides ourselves. We have all been given gifts and need to give out of our own vast resources. Mine is music. Someone else might have been given the ability to make large amounts of money so they have the ability to give financially.
I have received the biggest rewards when I have given without looking for anything in return. I also believe that two of the greatest attributes we can strive for are grace and forgiveness.
Phillip Hong is a presenter on Centre Street, our current affairs programme featuring alternative stories and interviews.
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