At just 23 years of age, Naarm singer and artist Kaiit (she/they/he) is one of the most exciting talents to grace the Australian music scene and bless our ears with her sweet and honeyed vocals.
Not only did Kaiit'sfirst single Natural Woman go viral, but she wasalso named one the best rappers under 25 by Red Bull Music, sharing the list with artists Joey Bad A$$ and Chance the Rapper. Not to mention she is currently co-signed by two Neo-Soul Queens, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. No biggie.
Here, we team up with Sailor Jerry and sit down with the ARIA Music Award winnerto chat about her refreshing all in approach to life, her passion for 1920s makeup, fave tattoo artists, and how she plans to celebrate this summer.
I definitely believe my musical journey began in my mothers womb. My parents taught at an on-campus arts university in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. I remember my mum telling me that we lived right next to the jazz department and, well it makes a lot of sense.I think a combination of that and the movies I grew up watching in PNG like Malcom X and Bugsy Malone also contributed.
Reminding myself that Im more than just a singer. I feel like when you're constantly being boxed into things from being a singer to being a neo-soul singer, to being a female singer,you almost start to feel like thats all you should do and can do. Its not.Im ever-evolving, I have so many creative visions I want to bring to life beyond singing, my way. I have so many job titles and I want to continue to honour them and myself. A big thing to help with that is communication and expressing yourselfnow thats a whole other essay...
When Jill Scott andErykah Badu shared and appreciated my work,it was out of nowhere. They are musical inspirations to me and straight-up legends in music, period. It's an affirmation for the path I'm going down, Mama Jilly reposting itthat was a thankful moment.
You can support musicians by listening to our music, featuring us on playlists, buying our merch, taking a second to send some positive vibes, sharing our content, not asking for free labour and, hopefully soon, buying tickets to our shows!
Everybody has in one way or another been inspired by Indigenous people, period! From tattoos to piercings, right down to football thats played in this country.How could I not be inspired?Its in my blood.
Ive been getting a lot of inspiration lately with jewellery pieces, specifically dog and pig teeth necklaces from PNG. They leave me in awe looking at the crafting that went into making them. I feel so special when I wear them too, more than any designer brand could do for me. Dogteeth and pigtusks are used in my village to help you travel through spiritual realms and sing to the spirits as well as seen as being of high monetary value.
Thank you! Lately, Ive been inspired by 1920senergy, my plant babies in my room, my visions that spark new ideas and of course watch all my amazingly creativefriends and peers.
I plan on continuing to remind myself of the lessons Ive learnt over this whole lockdown. Honestly, I also just cant wait to sing with my band for people again, I think we all need some live music.
I'm so thankful for her expressions, thankful that she allowed herself to share them with the world and me. I think Amy and all of the amazing musicians that she worked with created such a beautiful mix of classic and timelessnessyet the sound is still so relevant now. The balancing act these sounds made are something I'm definitely trying to master too. Her life was beautiful but also such a sad ending. It is a reminder to me that it's also a too familiar story for many that work in the industry and to keep mental health a priority. Thankful for all of her, she will always be an inspiration to me.
I love them all... its so hard to choose. Apart from my traditional piece, I would say even though it's the smallest and most simple, I love my mosquito tattoo. When I was younger, living in PNG, I got malaria a good couple of timesmy sister was actually born with malaria. But also, they just love my blood.
Hands down my new favourite studio is Crucible Tattoo Co in Kensington. I was tattooed there last byMil Rose Tattoo. Most of my tattoos have been done by men and in male-dominated spaces, so going into Crucible was like a whole other experience. It's run by gender non-conforming angels. It's also the first studio I've walked into and they asked me for my pronounsas well, which felt so lovely. While choosing the design details, they made me feel very safe to express everything I was feeling and changing. Reflecting on it, it's kinda crazy that in past experiences I had felt less inclined to express myself, even though these art pieces will be on you forever. A clear message to always express yourself freely to your tattoo artists, you won't hurt their feelings, this is their job!
Definitely keen, my last tattoo was right before the latest lockdown happened. Very excited to get another once we all can. I tend to get three or four tattoos each time, so I will most likely get a bunch of new things. But one of them will be a gramophone, which is something I've always wanted.
One of my most special tattoos would be my adjoining chest and neckpiece that was traditionally done by Julia Mageau Gray. All tapped in, no electric gun. The planning of the tattoo design is all felt out on the day through expressing life stories and being guided by the spirits.
My beautiful mum was there as my support that day and she captured a couple of photos and videos. When looking back at them, I noticed this natural little grin on my face during the tattooing, almost like I enjoyed the pain (laughs). I mean, it didnt tickle but every place that she was tapping into just felt so right.
Keep being gentle to yourself, for those in lockdown, and those starting to come out. Enjoy food that makes you feel happy, maybe try ordering from a small local or family restaurant and tread lightly on these sacred Indigenous lands.
Image credit: Ian Laidlaw
Arm yourself with a bold and smooth Sailor Jerry cocktail, paired perfectly with all your summer adventures. Its finally time to get back out there, live large and support all those who need it most right now.
Editors note: This article is sponsored by Sailor Jerry and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
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