You can never tell where Kallitechnis will go next.
Rooted in club culture and R&B, her music is a pot pourri of different influences, different collaborators.
Hitting London last year for a special Clash Live show she unveiled a plethora of new tracks, and lit up backstage with her creative aura.
New single 'Hone$ty' owes a debt to her time in the UK capital, with Kallitechnis locating a new space to work in.
Continually surging into fresh areas, her work defies and exceeds expectations at every turn.
'Hone$ty' is online now, so Clash caught up with Kallitechnis to discuss her journey so far...
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As a multi-talented artist working across a variety of mediums, how does this benefit your means of expression, and how does this influence and impact the music you make?
Exploring expression with a variety of mediums is first and foremost LIBERATING. In my experience, allowing yourself to feel through something beyond verbal language speaks to the most inner parts of your being, the ones that bear no words, the ones that are laden with intuition and emotion.
The use of words in regards to expression can sometimes leave us feeling unsatisfied, or misunderstood, because we can’t capture a sentiment through verbal language alone. Mediums like painting, drawing, and dancing have allowed me to release parts of myself I could’ve only learned about while going through the motion - and when I say motion, I mean it literally and physically.
There’s something incredibly therapeutic and revelatory about allowing your body to guide expression, rather than being in your head all the time. That’s something I struggle with as a notorious over-thinker. Above all, I think these other mediums have allowed my music to exist less in the confines of my own head, and to act more as a wholistic experience, more of an overall feeling, rather than just something conceptual.
Is this creative diversity a reflection at all of the music scene in Montreal?
I don’t know if creative diversity is a reflection of Montreal, although the music scene is continuously thriving here. I think it has more to do with my background in art and music, and my upbringing.
As a child, I was put into classical ballet, and began singing duets with my mom at the age of three. I watched every musical you can think of, and became enthralled with old movie stars. Except they weren’t JUST movie stars. Stars of the ’50s and ’60s were my first exposure to music/dance, and they presented my first idea of what an artist should be. Most of them were triple-threats.
And so, I developed this notion that a true artist was someone who could delve into a number of mediums and showcase talent/expression in a number of different ways.
From the clipped beats of 'Come Up' to the dreamy sway of 'Diamond Baby' to the confident strut of 'Hone$ty', how do you think your music has progressed over the last three years?
I think it’s only getting more refined. If my music was a sculpture, I’d say that with time, I’m carving out more detail into it, and it’s becoming more lifelike. With opportunity, I’m acquiring better tools, so the artwork naturally transforms into a more finalized form. That being said, I don’t think music really has an ultimate form. I think the craft can always be polished, and there’s always something to learn. I’m just happy that since ‘Come Up’ and with every release that’s followed, I’ve noticed an improvement in my writing and melodic phrasing.
Similarly, how do you think you've developed as a person in that time?
I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I deal with stress and critique. I’ve learned that although my hypersensitivity may have a place in my life, it has no place in my business. I’ve learned to become a better listener, and I’ve learned that no matter how hard it may be to admit, one does not proceed through life independently, and that it’s okay to rely on people you trust.
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What was it you identified with in 'Hone$ty' that led to you covering it?
I liked the concept behind it. I’m definitely a proponent of pouring your heart out and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with the ones you love. I identified with the sincerity of the lyrics, and the anticipation behind the questions being asked in the song, wondering if the person you love will meet you half-way and reciprocate the sentiment.
It's an empowering song in its self-confidence; is this a characteristic you hope to encourage and inspire in your music?
Most definitely. I think our best selves are confident in nature, and I think I’ve already tried to inspire that through my music with songs like 'body&soul'.
Your music is generally filled with honest self-expression; are you ever worried about giving too much away?
I think that ship sailed the minute I decided to share music with the world!
Your choice of collaborators attests to an inquisitive and progressive mind; what qualities do you look for in new collaborators?
Humility, passion, patience, and curiosity.
Having previously worked with London artist Intalekt, are your aware of international scenes, and what is it you hope to draw from new landscapes?
I love linking with artists from other countries. It further confirms the universality of music, let alone my own, which I think is extremely powerful, and moreover, incredibly flattering! I’m very much aware of international scenes, and I’d be an utter fool to not want to learn about realities beyond my own. I had the pleasure of catching a glimpse of an underground hip-hop/soul scene in London this past month. I left the event in awe of the raw talent of the room, and of the number of artists who made the music coming out of them as tangible as the floor we were standing on.
This particular scene, the “dust” as they called themselves, may not have the exposure their talents merit, but they have soul that any artist in any musical community would love to replicate. What I hope to draw from new landscapes are things you can’t note down or take home with you.
What I hope to draw from new landscapes is a hunger in the soul that leads a person to create in the first place; it’s an unmatched energy one can only experience through a sense of earnestness and honesty with one’s self. What I hope to draw from new landscapes is something I already have in me wherever I go. What I hope to draw from new landscapes is the inspiration to extract that unmatched energy from within and put it into my own craft.
While your name translates as 'master of craft', you admit to still being a learner. What have you enjoyed most about the journey so far, and what are you still most keen to learn?
What I’ve most enjoyed about the journey so far was realizing there’s no such thing as a mistake or a wrong move. An artist’s trajectory isn’t linear, and you do more damage trying to control everything, rather than simply existing and taking every moment as an opportunity to adjust your practice. I’m very much looking forward to learning how to produce my own music, from start to finish.
Co-producing with my collaborators is a lot of fun, but I’m excited about the sense of fulfillment that’ll come from producing something completely on my own, without having to explain a direction or an idea to someone else.
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'Hone$ty' is out now.
Photography: Igal Perets
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