“Not only was it the first song I’ve ever written and released, it was also very personal to me. I got a bit overwhelmed at some points, but people have been giving me so much love for it, which is awesome.”
For most people, moving back and forth between any two places is a mean feat. For 19-year-old singer-songwriter Kaiit, it was a key part of her childhood. Between Australia and Papua New Guinea up until her late primary school years, Kaiit’s family finally decided to settle in Melbourne. She credits her heritage; however, as a major artistic influence.
“I feel my [Papua New Guinean] heritage has helped me visually, more than musically,” Kaiit tells The Real Songwriters of Melbourne.
“The ability to represent youth and young people like me who aren’t usually on TV or in videos is really important to me.”
Kaiit believes her parents are also hugely influential in her artistry and creativity, both being artists themselves.
“Whilst [we were] in Papua New Guinea, they were both teaching at a performing arts university, which I thought was pretty cool!” she says.
This may suggest why Kaiit describes herself as primarily artistic also, even more so than musical.
“I never really studied music, apart from as an elective in school. I left high school in year 10 and started going to TAFE, where I was doing beauty, fashion and hairdressing- just trying to find out what I did and didn’t like.”
Kaiit’s cultural background, as well personality, is deeply reflected in her music. Her debut single Natural Woman, is a prime example of this. The music video was released earlier this year, and already has nearly 130 000 views on Facebook.
“The thought of the video being seen by so many people, already, is just unreal. It was really hard at first and I was getting really anxious over it, because not only was it the first song I’ve ever written and released, it was also very personal to me. I got a bit overwhelmed at some points, but people have been giving me so much love for it, which is awesome.”
The creative aspect of the video is also noted, with Kaiit admitting that it was filmed in a particularly freestyle manner.
“It started off with me and the director, Claudia,” Kaiit tells RSOM. “We were going about it by looking at the style of the song and looking at all the lyrics as a whole. We then copped a vibe of the song and what it should represent. We got this fun and feel-good vibe from it, so it was all very freestyle- especially within the actual filming. We had ideas about how we wanted the shots to look set out, but everything was created as it came.”
Despite only recently releasing her first single, Kaiit has been writing songs for as long as she can remember. She confesses; however, that up until now she never really viewed it as ‘song writing,’ as opposed to a diary-style form.
“I was always doing random songs in primary school and high school. I had this little girl group in primary school, called Princess Unicorn, and we wrote things together. We’d write about things that happened or we were going through. It often rhymed. It was how we expressed ourselves.”
Kaiit has come a long way since her Princess Unicorn days, however.
“I used to rearrange beats and write songs off of that. It can be tricky when you haven’t even listened to a beat yet. I might make a melody in my head and roll with that otherwise. I usually get inspired by the wording of things. Even just when listening to a beat, I’ll write something down straight away.”
To continue honing in her song writing skills and developing herself as an artist, Kaiit was involved in the ‘Dig Deep’ hip-hop mentoring program at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. Successfully helping her to find her feet, the program means a lot to Kaiit, who now helps run it.
“It gave me a new finding for music,” Kaiit explains. “They gave me so much support through opportunities to record my music and perform at so many different things. I took it all in my stride and now I’m able to continue to do what I love.”
With the recent music video, an upcoming single and an upcoming show, Kaiit is definitely one to watch.
“I just finished recording and mixing the next single. And we filmed the music video for that last week. That’s going to be a huge deal too.”
Kaiit will be launching her single Natural Woman at the Gasometer Hotel on Friday August 11. You can find more information here.
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra