Exclusive interview with Katia Cadet
AM: Thank you Katia for taking the time to chat with ADUNAGOW Magazine and its
AM: For those who don’t know you yet, can you present yourself?
KC: My full and real name is Katia Cadet, and I’ve also performed music under the alias “Baby Kat”. I am a singer-songwriter, vocal producer, vocal coach, philanthropist, businesswoman, and I have a great passion for fashion. I was born in Haiti, grew up in Montreal, and today I am between Montreal and New York.
AM: How many languages do you speak? Which ones?
KC: I speak French, English and Creole and I dabble in Spanish and Italian, dabble… I love languages, if I could and devoted myself to it, I’d make it my business to know them all.
AM: Something about you that people will never guess?
KC: I have the bad habit of fixing things like picture frames, mirrors, flyers or cards in public establishments like the bank for example, or even someone’s home, so they can be neat and perfectly straight. I certainly have a degree of OCD.
AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
KC: I read, listen to music, workout, watch movies, and spend time with my family.
AM: When did you start singing? What captivated you to becoming a performing
KC: I don’t remember a time that I didn’t, put it that way. I was compelled to perform because I felt I had something different to offer, that there was a lot of me I wanted to share and besides writing, this powerful connection between an audience and an artist, I wanted to discover for myself. I did and I’m hooked!!
AM: What’s the first song you ever remember hearing that made you want to become a singer?
KC: “The greatest love of all” by Whitney Houston, might not have been the first, I really can’t remember that exactly, but this is one that had a great impact on me.
AM: Can you tell us about your breakthrough to the music moment? When and where did it happen?
KC: It’s hard to say that one thing made it happen, I really believe that a series of near perfect and consecutive events occurred which led to a few unexpected and quite amazing things. One of them being meeting Wyclef Jean and co-writing the hit tune 911 which would lead to my first Grammy nomination. Another big one was getting signed to my current label Heavytone Records, I believe I’m finally home. I guess you can call it destiny.
AM: What style of music do you prefer most and why?
KC: You will never get only one genre out of me, this is where I get greedy, I love all music, really I do , all!!
AM: You’ve worked with a lot of stars musicians. Tells us which ones were
memorable to you?
KC: When you get to work with the best of the best, it all becomes memorable, many of those collaborations have surpassed my dreams. But performing with Whitney Houston at the David Letterman show, performing with Stevie Wonder and Mary J. Blige at the Carnegie Hall, and working on what would have been Michael Jackson’s last album would have to be it.
AM: Can you tell us what artists have influenced you most in your career?
KC: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Ella Fitzgerald, oh Lord so many!!
AM: What can you tell us about your upcoming studio album “BOUNDLESS”? What do you portray in this title? When is it coming out?
KC: “Boundless” really is a culmination of my life experiences, musical influences, and a real love for music and my roots. It’s an album that honors and celebrates Afro-Caribbean Rhythms with a commercial Pop/R&B twist. The inspiration for the concept of “Boundless” stems partly from not wanting to be put in a box as an artist, and it also speaks to the endless human potential, why set limits, boundaries, why? I applied that notion musically all the way. My diverse influences and versatility allow me to write and perform a wide range of styles. I never wanted to again, “limit” myself to just one genre, one language, or one style, I am multi-dimensional and I wanted for my fans to have a complete view of me from the very start. On my album you’ll find sounds of Reggae, Dance Hall, Soca-Dance, Zouk, Kompa and Coupé Décalé all with a strong R&B edge, in French, English, Creole, Italian and Portuguese. It has no barriers, no limit, there’s something for everyone. It’s Pop Urban World if you must put it in a category, it’s simply “Boundless”. I will be proud to introduce my first album to you this coming summer.
AM: I listened to your single “With you.” It’s phenomenal. Should we expect more of this style and more on your upcoming album?
KC: Thank you so much. Expect nothing, but expect everything!!
AM: Is your family musical?
KC: My mom has always sung around the house and most likely would have had a career as a singer or as an actress, if it wasn’t for our big family. And my dad is a singer-songwriter and musician, my siblings are big music lovers, just not performers.
AM: Do you get nervous before a performance?
KC: I was crippled the first time, or the first few times I stepped on stage, it was horrifying!!! I thought I might not have been made for it. Now I get the healthy normal jitters, and I use it for fuel.
AM: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
KC: Preparation is everything!! Be a great student of music, learn your instrument, it does wonders for your confidence. It is hard work and resilience that will get you there.
AM: What do you like most about your profession?
KC: Performing, writing!! It’s my therapy, I get to have the best outlet to express my inner most intimate thoughts, it’s a beautiful thing. To do what you love and be able to make a living with it is incredible, it does not get any better that.
AM: What do you like least?
KC: The financial uncertainty that comes with it at times… It’s hard to predict like big waves that take time to get use to riding, it’s up and down…
AM: How has becoming an artist changed your life? How have you changed?
KC: I have simply not, I’m still the down to earth, head on my shoulders, hard-working girl I always was.
AM: What are you listening to lately?
KC: Who can avoid Adele? But seriously, world music takes the cake these days…
AM: What song of yours are you most proud of? Why?
KC: “Lan mo devan’m” because it is purely from my heart and it brought together some of the most talented musicians I’d been waiting & wanting to work with for a long time. Anthony Cedras (co-writer, keys, guitar, horn, voice), Manny Laine (drums), Robert Aarron (keys, horn), Paulo Coelho (guitar), Ramon Bruiyn (bass), Tiga Jean-Baptiste (conga). They along with Majestic studios, all gave their hearts and donated their time to produce this song benefiting Haiti after the devastating January 12th 2010 earthquake. It’s a very meaningful song to me.
AM: Are there any songs you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t?
AM: Do you censor yourself? Have you ever written anything and then decided it was “too much?”
AM: What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
KC: I’d be in fashion, I’d paint, I’d run some business.
AM: Other than people you’re with now, if you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your “Dream Band?”
KC: Sade’s band & Kassav’s band.
AM: You look gorgeous for a singer. Have you ever been approached from someone in the Film business?
KC: Thank you. I’ve actually have, but my focus is music, for now…
AM: Will you consider a career in acting if you had a chance?
KC: Not a full on career but I’d like it if the role was perfect for me.
AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it?
KC: The AIDS pandemic which Kill millions of people and orphans, and gender based crimes that are committed. Educating the masses with more grass roots based projects to reach more of the population and providing adequate health services.
AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change?
KC: I would keep the traditions and values and might want to change certain mentally on various issues through education.
AM: Have you ever visited Africa? If so, where?
KC: Not yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.
AM: What’s your favorite summer vacation?
KC: Great South African friend of mine, and co-writer Anthony Cedras which also happens to be Paul Simon’s Musical director told, me that I had to visit Cape town, South Africa. It’s on my to do list.
AM: What do you think of African music? Dance? Food?
KC: Love it, love it, I’ve yet to discover the variety!!!
[THE MIC IS YOURS]
AM: Looking at who you’ve become now, how much do you have before you become who you want to be? Or, are you there already?
KC: I don’t believe that I’ve peeked, it is a journey that keeps unfolding and I’m all in for the ride.
AM: What will you say to your younger self if you could go back in time?
KC: You should take yourself more seriously, have more discipline, and stop procrastinating.
AM: How hard do you push yourself?
KC: Today, I charge like a bull.
AM: When are you completely satisfied with your work?
AM: What’s the magic formula for success?
KC: Keep writing, keep releasing your music, it does no good if kept in your head, or in your computer, you have to get it out there, it serves no purpose if not shared, the rest takes care of itself.
AM: Any words of wisdom for all our aspiring singers out there?
KC: As I mentioned previously, hark work and resilience are key. Believe in yourself and do not hesitate to pursue your dreams. Dream big, the bigger the dream the better!!! Make sure you are well studied and prepared, and do not let anything or anyone get in your way or discourage you. You can make anything into a profession, if you love it and work hard, you’ll be successful at it and that’s no lie. But be smart, cover your bases, make sure you have something to fall back on.
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Thank you Katia for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.