Published on November 23rd, 2016 | by David Morales0
Kadhja Bonet Rereleases Her LP ‘The Visitor’
Kadhja Bonet is a singer and songwriter, reminiscent of a classical era. Her LP “The Visitor” has a sound that is badly missed and yet possess a new and modern style. Her orchestrated jazz with psychedelic undertones is cinematic and endures a larger than life appeal. Not only does Kadhja Bonet have a beautiful voice, but she plays the violin and viola as well as the flute and guitar. She framed and composed every note of “The Visitor” and now she tells The Hype magazine how she managed the production of her LP.
“The production is the song to me. The arrangement is as much as part of the song as the lyrics and melody or the chords”. – Kadhja Bonet
Fat Possum Records and Fresh Selects has come together to rerelease “The Visitor”. With a collaboration of musicians including Te’amir Yohannes Sweeney on drums, as well as Low Leaf, Peter Dyer, Randal Fisher, and Itai Shapira for harp, synth, flute, and bass, Bonet plays half of the instruments herself. The well balanced and modern sound of “The Visitor” leaves her listeners with a classic vibe. Now The Hype magazine hones in, is intrigued and proudly introduces a new and upcoming star in the industry.
How did you come to develop your sound?
I think you try to do you as much as you can and try to peel back layers of what’s not you. It comes from years of writing, defining, examining, discarding and learning from every song. In moving on, I try to keep a few new key things in mind.
Your music is genre defying. Is that intention?
It is intentionally, unintentional. I mean, I do not want to strictly subscribe to a genre, but at the same time, I do not think it does any artist any good to set limitations on what their sound could or couldn’t be. That means, if one song accidentally falls in a genre and is very clearly soul, I’m not going to be like – oh I can’t use this song – it just depends on if I’m feeling it or not. I want to keep myself free to evolve.
You released two singles off your LP “The Visitor” titled Honeycomb and Nobody Other. What can you tell me about them?
The whole LP was released a year ago. When I partnered with Fat Possum and Fresh Selects, they wanted to rerelease the project. So I came together with a couple of bonus tracks and Nobody Other was one of those bonus tracks. Nobody Other was one of the first songs that I ever wrote! I think because it was one of the first songs I ever wrote, I had a lot of hesitation about sharing it. I felt too venerable. I sort of assumed that it wasn’t good enough to share. It was also one of those songs that my friends kept asking me to play. So I thought, if people keep wanting me to play this song, there must be something about it that is resonating. So I thought it would be a good fit for a bonus track. Honeycomb was a song that evolves from a real life experience with a friend that I just needed to put into words.
That bassline is incredible! Did you write it?
Yeah, I did actually! For a lot of my songs, I demo everything out. I’m not a bass player, so a lot of times what I’ll do is demo certain basslines out on the guitar and eventually transfer them to whoever ends up playing bass. So for Honeycomb, the bassline was a big part of the song.
Not only did you write all the songs but you also produced and mastered the entire LP. What can you tell me about the process?
When I first started singing some of the songs and started writing, I began working with a couple producers. At the time, I was too new to being an artist. I don’t think I knew how to produce, so I started to work with these producers and it never worked out. They just didn’t get what I was trying to do. So at a certain point, I was just l like — I have to express this the way I see it and hear it, otherwise I’m just never going to be happy with it. I started making my demos more intricate. At a certain point, they weren’t really demos anymore. They were just the tracks. I started to realize that I had a lot more to offer than I was giving myself credit for. Now I can’t imagine turning over a song to another producer. The production is the song to me. The arrangement is as much as part of the song as the lyrics and melody or the chords. That is what makes performing at this level so hard, because a lot of times I perform more singer/song writer stuff. It’s just like voice and guitar.
What’s next for you?
I’m constantly trying to improve my production and engineering skills and my musical abilities. I just have a bunch of music to get out. I have a lot of music that I can’t wait to share so that I can perform it. I appreciate my fans. At the remedial level that I’m in, it goes a long way in getting me through all the struggles of being an artist day to day. The support really helps me!
Photographer: Sinziana Velicescu