MORRISBURG – Singer/songwriter Kinnie Starr, who will be at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, May 13, at 7 p.m., for one concert only, has dazzled critics and audiences across North America.
The Globe and Mail described hers as a “raw and feral talent” while the New Yorker called her “edgy and enchanting.”
Kinnie Starr is a powerhouse of musical talent, a visual artist, an author, an actor, a company president, a yoga alliance instructor and an activist.
She brings raw passion and energy to what she does and she has no fears about pushing boundaries in her music, which has ranged through genres from hip hop to dance.
In a recent interview with The Leader, she put it this way:
“I’m a rule-breaker, so I watch closely at all times to understand what is happening in the world. You can’t break the rules if you don’t know what the rules are.”
Starr made her “debut” in 1996 with her album Tidy, which mixed rock, punk, pop and hip-hop. The spoken word is a kind of Kinnie Starr trademark.
“I have eight albums out in total,” she said. “Most of them are a collision of sounds because I am interested in all styles. I’m not trained as a musician and never went to school or studied (music). I’m intuitive. A Different Day (released 2010) is the only album I have made that is strictly guitar.”
Starr has twice performed at Canada’s National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, been nominated for a Juno as best new artist, and produced We Are…by Digging Roots, which won the Juno for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2010.
In 2011, Kinnie Starr was honoured as a Pioneer in Canadian Hip Hop Culture by ManifesTo festival.
“I write mostly about what interests me. Society, the environment, love-ing. I’m a producer first and foremost actually. I’ve been producing since I started making music.”
In 2014, critic Mackenzie Herd, discussing Starr’s album, From Far Away, called her a “Renaissance woman, a singer, writer, musician and engineer (who) recorded and played every note on the record.”
Starr’s ability to approach and explore different themes in sometimes unconventional ways has led to her touring with Lilith Fair, and playing the character Reggie in Down and Out with the Dolls, a Kurt Voss movie. She also appeared as a guest on the Rachel Maddox Show. Her songs have been featured in productions like the L-Word, Thirteen and Fashion Television Canada.
“I even made a film about women and production and authorship in the music industry,” Starr explained. “There is a massive gender gap even in 2017. The film is called Play Your Gender, and we have screened in Australia, as well as in Vancouver and Hamilton. I am very interested in gender politics.”
The artist has weathered some hard challenges in her life and artistic career. “I was in a car accident two years ago that has completely derailed my life. I can’t play instruments any more.”
A serious brain injury may have imposed some limitations on her music, but in no way has it limited her spirit.
“Brain injuries are very interesting and challenging. (My injury) has made me very grateful that I work in electronic music as a foundation, because I am able to still tap that strength. It’s also made me realize how lucky I am.”
In 2015, she collaborated with Haida Raid to make a humourous yet powerful animated video about the urgent need to protect our water. It won Best Music Video at Toronto’s ImagineNative festival.
A true Renaissance artist, and a talented one, Kinnie Starr will delight audiences at her May 13 concert at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage.
Opening for Kinnie Starr will be Ottawa singer/songwriter Tara Holloway, returning to the Stage as a young musician who now has a growing artistic reputation among audiences and critics alike.
Holloway’s voice can “stop you dead in your tracks.” She is a powerful singer and writer who has released an acclaimed album, Little Ghosts. Her music ranges from blues to folk: her songs are “fearlessly soulful.”
Tickets for Kinnie Starr in concert, Saturday, May 13, at Upper Canada Playhouse, with Tara Holloway opening are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door. Concert time is 7 p.m.