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.