Alicia Kayley is an Algonquin/Tahltan artist who resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and quickly makes a name for herself. We caught up with her to speak about her recent cover of Justin Bieber‘s “Mistletoe” as well as a few other things!
Click here to watch the video.
We recently saw a video of you on Facebook singing a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe”. How did this project come together?
I was cycling through some of my old videos, and then I saw an old cover of Mistletoe that I had made a couple years back. This included some African drums and a rattle which was supper exciting but it never because too popular at the time. Then I thought that I could recreate that video in a more fun and vibrant way for the holidays. So I bought some killer holiday hats, my dad got a new lighting set up, and then the red lipstick stole the show.
What was your inspiration to create this video?
I have been hearing from many people recently that they aren’t feeling too excited about the holidays anymore and I know how hard it is for everyone right now. So I decided that I wanted to do my part to bring some Holiday Spirit to the world with a fun song, some funny hats and a whole bunch of laughter. I was so happy to be putting this together with the help of my supportive family and that is exactly what the holiday time is about for my family an I.
This video has been making a positive impact for folks this holiday season, how does that make you feel?
I am so thrilled with all of the positive comments that I’ve been receiving about this video! It was such a fun experience and definitely got my family an I excited for the holidays! I thought that the video turned out pretty well, even with the scotch tape I left on my left antler.
I hope that my video has encouraged other people to post some crazy fun, family filled holiday videos at home! We can all use a hit of that holiday spirit.
Who do you feel are some artists that you draw motivation from?
I’ve looked up to numerous artists over the years. I have studied music from classical, to Jazz, to Hip-hop and many other major genres. Although a common denominator that I have noticed that appeals to me is when artists write about the their own struggles and experiences, and really show their vulnerability in their music. I love all music but I really love it when music truly means something meaningful. Teaching moments, fun moments, healing moments are all such important events to capture. Something that people don’t know about me is that I am classically trained and go to school for operatic studies, so my music taste tends to vary depending on the day. Although if I am going to name names, I really appreciate the music by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Crystal Shawanda, Adele, and Demi Lavato.
We saw that you have been classically trained in opera/R&B, what would you say have been some of your biggest challenges and biggest accomplishments?
Over the years, I have been told by multiple people that I need to pick a genre to dedicate myself to. I went back and forth for the longest time between being a dedicated classically trained vocalist and an R&B/pop vocalist until I finally decided that I don’t need to choose. I am perfectly capable of being invested in both. They are two very contrasting genres and the point really isn’t to be the best at either of them but to enjoy and learn as much as I can about each style and portray those styles how I choose, and just have fun with them – which is why I usually just describe myself as a vocalist of many styles. In terms of accomplishments, I have been so blessed to have had the opportunities to perform all over Canada for performances such as International Women’s Day, APTN concerts, the Grey cup conference etc. For some amazing audiences that have been so supportive.
What’s next for you and your music?
I am currently getting to the end of my Bachelor of Music Degree at Carleton University. I have had such a blast in this program with some insanely supportive teachers such as David MacAdam. I should be starting up some more videos in the near future so that’s exciting, and I have started working with a very successful Indigenous artist’s label so I am super excited for what that is going to bring. Stay tuned and thank you so much for listening to my little musical.
Stay up to date with what’s next in Alicia Kayley’s journey by following her on social media!