Kytami fuses violin with electronica genres
There has been magic between Kyla Uyede — also known as Kytami — and the violin since she was three years old.
Her mother enrolled her in violin lessons at the Vancouver Academy of Music at a young age, and while many may not remember being three years old, that day stands out in Uyede’s memory.
“I remember walking into the building with my mom, and my teacher. I know now that there must have been something magical at work there,” she said.
For more than 15 years the Academy was a second home for Uyede where she learned and studied the ins and outs of classical violin.
Eventually as she entered her teens, her interests changed and she packed up and moved to Whistler.
“I got into snowboarding and more athletic things. I gave it up for almost five years. I didn’t play at all,” she said.
But word had spread around Whistler of her hidden talent and local musicians began approaching her to take the stage with them.
“They talked me into it and the next thing I knew I was going on these mini tours and playing at these events around town,” said Uyede.
“One of those guitar players that I started playing with and I landed a pretty regular gig at an Irish pub and that turned into four nights a week. It was crazy. I was playing five hours a day. Everything just snowballed. It was not like I even made the conscious decision to do it, it just happened. It just found me again.”
She had no Celtic fiddle experience but she found herself jamming with musicians with collections of hundreds of Irish songs under their belt.
“It really got me relaxed and into jamming, which was new for me as well,” she said.
In 2002, Uyede released her first album, Conflation, which was a dramatic turn from her classical roots and the Celtic music she had been playing.
“I was really into hip hop at the time and electronica and was going to drum and bass nights. I wanted to make that kind of music,” she said.
Uyede doesn’t think she sold many copies but still hears when she’s on the road that people have that original album.
While Uyede was playing in bands around Vancouver she was approached by Tarun Nayar.
“I was working with another band called Third Eye Tribe and playing in this really obscure indie rock band. I think it was 2006, I was playing at this dance party and doing my own set when Tarun from Delhi 2 Dublin saw me play. He approached me and asked me to write a couple songs with him,” she said.
Those became the first two songs for Delhi 2 Dublin and was the beginning of a four year career for Uyede with the group.
“It was so good for my confidence,” she said. “What was happening was exactly the direction I wanted to go; getting on bigger stages and getting in front of bigger audiences. My confidence grew with my vocal abilities. It was a great experience. I loved it.”
But in December 2010 in Dubai, Uyede played her last set with Delhi 2 Dublin and threw herself into a solo project.
“I look at it now kind of like a relationship,” she said about her departure from the group. “Sometimes long term relationships you sort of just grow apart. I think that’s what happened. I have very strong musical idea and maybe they weren’t really jelling with what their musical ideas were.
“It’s been nice to really take 100 per cent control and really try and get out and write what’s inside my soul,” she said. “Now that I’ve done that I’m so proud and I put a lot of my resources into it.”
Uyede’s new album goes back to what she drew on in her first album: hip hop and drum and bass.
“It’s going to be a really lively show,” she said. “It’s going to be more me and I’m doing a bit of rapping and singing and fiddling. There will be more bass. More of a hip hop influence and drum and bass than with Delhi 2 Dublin.”
All songs produced by Steven Mek, except 'vs.' produced by The Phonograff
Recorded and mixed at The Safehouse, Vancouver/Toronto by Steven Mek
Mastered By Roger Swan
Album artwork by Natalie L Street