- Smooth Jazz Network
Kea: Behind the Beats
Updated: May 4, 2022
Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week, an extended interview with Kea.
Tell us about your new single “Holla If You Hear Me”.
Holla if you hear me, is a cry from the black Americans out of pain and anger. The song touches on circumstances, such as low salaries and violence. Our children innocently watch adult situations and language displayed in animation that we thought would be safe for their viewing, leading them to ask questions that are too mature for their young minds or replicate the behaviors.
It is in lieu of the violent George Floyd incident. We're tired of inequality, social injustice, racism, police brutality, and we're desperately crying out for the change of mankind.
You come from a musical family. Tell us about how you became interested in music and performing.
As a child, music frequently filled our household. During those early years, my mother was a stay at home mom. She would often play soul music, which my older siblings and I would sing and dance. We weren’t your typical black household, though. My mother opened our world to other artists such as Hall & Oats, Doobie Brothers, Ambrosia, Spandau Ballet, Seals & Crofts, etc.
Other aspects that enhanced my love of music included my father, who played guitar and performed at weddings and special events. I fondly remember my dad singing with us, teaching us how to harmonize. I cannot forget my favorite music teacher in elementary school, who encouraged me. The affection for my community and its culture has also inspired me through the years, which I find rewarding. Finally, in the late 2000’s I hired a vocal coach and enrolled in a music program.
Encouraged by my vocal coach(the late, Elayne Kitay), I created a repertoire, and shortly after, I sat in with bands at local jam sessions to learn as much as I could. Months later, I started booking appearances and hiring musicians to accompany me. I’ve performed for various venues ranging from corporate and private parties to summer festivals for over a decade now.
In addition to being a beautifully talented singer, you’re also a song writer… How did that come about for you?
I created my first song with my sister when I was nine. I developed a love for writing scripts, stories, and anything else that piqued my interest, including poetry. However, poetry became an obsession of mine, and I started converting them into songs. To help me with the process, I purchased a recorder to tape my originals and made a journal of my songs for safekeeping.
How did you find your way to us here in “Smooth Jazz” radio?
A fellow artist/saxophonist told me, so I decided to check it out.
Tell us about some of the artists you would love to collaborate with… Living or not….
My number one artist to collaborate with would be Marvin Gaye! The other would be Al Jarreau. Finally, the incomparable El Debarge.
With no real touring and live performances happening, how have you been using the various online platforms to share your music?
I am a huge fan of Instagram, so I use that platform quite often. I'm slowly but surely building a growing audience on YouTube and use Facebook as well.
Goals for 2021?
My goals for 2021 are to finish and release my EP titled, "Relationships”. I'm also working on another project! As well as some collaborations!
Learn more at www.musicbykea.com