If the soul of a fifties jazz impresario got trapped inside of an avant-garde and R&B-obsessed pop siren, the music might feel something like that of Kate Kay Es.
Raised in Adelaide, Australia and based in Brooklyn, the singer, songwriter, producer, pianist, and saxophonist uncovers the missing link between Miles Davis, Whitney Houston, and Joni Mitchell on her independent self-titled debut EP which is set for release in May 2018.
The artist’s multi-faceted magic really comes to life on stage as she steps out from behind the piano, solos on the sax, and sings with powerhouse passion.
Born to a saxophonist father and feminist mother, her story encompasses family dinners where the work of Basquiat, Picasso, Simone De Beauvoir, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock dominated the conversation. By the age of five, the budding musician had already started saxophone lessons (outside of belting along to Whitney’s The Bodyguard Soundtrack daily). Armed with a cassette recorder a few years later, she began her journey as a songwriter tracking songs on the piano and voice for emotional catharsis. After performing in countless bands throughout high school, she gained admission to the world-renowned Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
Upon graduating, she moved to New York. Embedding herself within Brooklyn’s art scene, she quickly developed a reputation as a go-to multi-instrumentalist in 2014. Soon, she wound up on stage with everyone from Jamie Foxx, Macklemore, Joss Stone, Mavis Staples to Ghostface Killah and James Morrison in addition to writing with Laura Mvula.
Most recently, she went on the road with Kesha sharing her keyboard and vocal talents on the Rainbow Tour. She is set to perform at the Grammy’s with Kesha on January 28th.
However, the spotlight loudly beckoned Kate as a solo artist.
Throughout 2016, she worked on what would become her debut self-titled EP between regular gigging around the city. After test driving and honing many initial ideas on stage, Kate introduced the six-track EP with the airy electronics, vast beats, and subtle, yet simmering vocals of “Working,”which quickly generated over 200K Spotify streams in a few months’ time. Premiered by Dujour, the follow-up single “Love Too Hard” swings from Motown-style crooning into a cathedral-size refrain—“Maybe I love too hard”—punctuated by handclaps, guitar, and a march of drums.