Kaleidokitty is an eclectic producer whose debut album Postcards from the Apocalypse will be released in January 2021. They took some time to speak to us about their inspirations, creativity and the future.
PW – Hello. How’s it going?
It is a bit of an odd time for everyone, I think. We’re in the middle of massive shifts politically and socially while dealing with a global pandemic. I’ve been trying to make the most of my time by focusing on school, music, and loved ones, but it can be a challenge to stay centered in times like these so I’ve been focusing a lot on my spiritual development so I can (hopefully) face anything.
PW – Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I’m a music producer and visual artist based in Huntsville, AL who creates audio voyages designed to take listeners on a genuine trip straight to the middle of the mind’s eye and far beyond.
PW – Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
Lately, I’ve been especially inspired by Erykah Badu, Sade, Junglepussy, The Mars Volta, Junkie XL, Thom Yorke, DjRUM, Hiatus Kaiyote, Sun Ra, Mac Quayle, and my partner Murkish.
PW – What attracted you to the style of music you make?
For me, it’s just about tapping into the music that flows within me, whether that’s a drum and bass groove or something I can’t quite put a label on, which is most of the time I make tunes. I do like to bring warmth, psychedelic influences, and lush cinematic landscapes to my tracks though. If it sounds good to my ears, it’s a go!
PW – What is your typical creative process?
I don’t have a typical creative process other than setting the mood with lights and incense before I make tunes. I sometimes create from places of inspiration and focus. Sometimes I create from pain and frustration. I just have a need to express myself musically regardless of how I feel.
PW – You’re associated with Harmony Haven. Like a lot of Wave collectives, there’s a strong focus on community and collaboration. Why do you think this is?
Firstly, I’d like to dispel the notion that Harmony Haven is a wave collective. We’re more wave-associated. We’ve undoubtedly received a majority of our support from the wave community, which we appreciate, but it’s an oversimplification that implies all we’re bringing to the table is wave.
I’ve been a part of Harmony Haven from the very beginning – I even helped name it. I love this community with my entire being because it represents boundless expression, mutual support and endless opportunities for collaboration. This is by no accident. I know the wonderful diverse group of people make Harmony Haven what it is!
PW – Can you give us some insights into the inspirations and themes tied into Postcards from the Apocalypse?
Postcards from the Apocalypse is the documentation of Kaleidokitty’s travels through space and time and the lessons they learn along the way. The album starts with a hopeful declaration that urges you to push past your fears and embrace love on “Time to Pretend”, then descends into themes of disillusionment, nostalgia, and misplaced expectations on the synthpop sensation “Another Reason”. “Orange Apparition” is a monument to loneliness and communicates inner turmoil at feeling disconnected from the Source.
On “The Constellations In Your Eyes” I attempt to convey the feeling of being enveloped in a love that transcends dimensions. I talk to my inner child/Kaleidokitten and address past traumas while pondering the power of compassion on “Pull My Trigger”. As the album progresses, Kaleidokitty starts to descend into a sort of lunacy marked by trust issues, feeling the weight of their own expectations, and dissociation.
It then takes a more hopeful turn during the latter part of Postcards as Kaleidokitty traverses the galaxies free from their previous illusions, exploring with a newfound liberation. Postcards ends in a climactic spell on “Metamorphosis” that I crafted with the intent to inspire freedom from self-doubt.
PW – You describe yourself as an afro-futurist. Can you explain what this means and how it applies to your music?
A loose definition of Afro-futurism is an aesthetic that is at the intersection of sci-fi, fantasy, and history which looks to explore the Black experience, especially that of the Black diaspora. Afro-futurism is at the root of why Kaleidokitty exists. Kaleidokitty travels the cosmos in search of new worlds and during these adventures finds themselves. I experience life as a weird queer Black non-binary person in the southern United States, but I’m also a 1st generation American after immigrating here in my childhood.
One of the defining and inspiring aspects of Afro-futurism is the world-building aspect of it, the reimagining of life as it could be. Through my music and visuals, I build cosmic landscapes where I can explore the breadth of my experiences with utter abandon while manifesting hope.
PW – You recently shared a very positive Discord comment about your track “Honestly”. What was your reaction to this and why do you think your music connects with people in this way?
I was really moved by someone saying my song and voice were the ones they’ve been hearing in their head their whole life because 1) that’s such a beautiful thing to say and 2) I never thought I would be reaching such young people with my music. “Honestly” is a declaration of living life on your own terms regardless of self-doubt, so I think it’s a jam anyone can get behind.
PW – What sort of themes/ideas are you interested in exploring in the future?
I’m interested in exploring my Nandi heritage more in my music. I’ve been doing so in an art series I’m working on, but it would be nice to have music to accompany those pieces. I see this as a lifelong exploration. I’m really grateful to have my parents as references for knowledge, though. They’ve lived through colonization and its collapse, an attempted coup, and I’m looking forward to tapping into their experiences to build my musical interpretation of Kenya across the ages.
PW- Do you ever struggle with doubts or concerns about your career? And how do you work through them if you do?
I’m studying to become a nurse right now so I have limited time to dedicate to my artistic pursuits, so whenever I have the time it’s usually spent enjoying the experience of making art rather than doubting myself. For the times when the doubts do creep in though, I assess what’s causing the insecurity. I try to remind myself of who I am. Maybe I pull out my tarot deck or go to my garden. Maybe I talk to a friend, stretch my body, or work on making a project better. I’ve been thinking a lot about how fleeting life is and how I want to make the most of every moment. I can’t do that if I’m a prisoner of my doubts.
PW – How has COVID impacted you and your work?
I’m fortunate to have not been too negatively impacted by COVID. Since I’m studying nursing it’s motivated me to want to get out in the field ASAP since so many people are suffering. It’s also increased the passion I have for what I’m studying.
Pertaining to my art, this pandemic has granted me more time at home than ever before so my ability to focus on art has increased.
PW- What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to continue sharing my art and connecting with other people who often find their heads in the clouds imagining (and working towards) a better future. I want to build community and inspire people to be themselves. I want to continue to be my ancestor’s wildest dreams.
PW – Are there any other artists you think people should check out?
I would love for people to check out Mikami Taku who did such an amazing job on the cover art for Postcards. Astrokidsart, the wiz behind my music videos, is someone to watch. Mnemosyne mixed and mastered “To the Stars” and is a massively talented human so go give him some love. My boo Murkish inspired me at every level of this album to keep pushing and helped a lot with the mixdowns. This wouldn’t have happened without him. I’d also like to shout out Kokomaya, Unit 333, Seraph, Veech, Retach, and Xenosono.
PW- And final question. Actually it’s more of an invitation. Feel free to use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to.
Just be on the lookout for more Kaleidokitty! I have three music videos in the works for this album that you know are going to be freaky fresh. I also have some singles I’ve been dying to release that’ll be out after Postcards from the Apocalypse. Much love!
You can find Kaleidokitty here: