Elkins, WV (Banjo)
Originally from Montréal, Quebec, Kaia Kater, 22, is currently a Religion & Philosophy Major at David and Elkins College, located in West Virginia. Kaia is also on scholarship to the Appalachian Ensemble, an elite Stringband and Percussive Dance student group. She has been playing the Clawhammer Banjo for 10 years now, and is influenced by a wide-range of artists including, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Dom Flemons, Ernie Carpenter, Lauryn Hill, Mighty Sparrow, D’ Angelo, Tommy Jarrell, Daniel Koulack, Chris Coole, The Roots, Kendrick Lamar, and Ola Belle Reed. Kendrick Lamar also happens to be the one musician, alive or dead, that Kaia would like to meet. She explains,“not only is he a lyrical genius, but he can also write the most beautiful hooks. His material has had the ability to make people listen. I admire him very much.”
Advice that Kaia would give younger musicians is, “try to remember that deep unfiltered emotion (joy, love, outlet for anger) with which [you] started playing or songwriting in the first place. Trying to remember the reason why I play, write, or sing has helped me a lot.” A talent that Kaia wishes she had is being a world chess player. In other musicians, she most values curiosity, humility, bravery (with artistic material), and definitely the ability to laugh at yourself. Kaia is most looking forward to meeting new friends, being challenged, inspired, and growing in every possible direction at AMS.
Check out Kaia’s original tune Southern Girl below:
Be sure to check out Kaia and all of the AMS musicians at the Lucas Theatre on April 8 at the Stringband Spectacular!
Stay tuned to meet more AMS musicians!