Musician Calla Kinglit sits for a photo with her guitar in Whitehorse on March 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Yukon’s Calla Kinglit releases her first album

‘When it’s real it’s better than what could ever be in your head because it’s actually there’

The first time Calla Kinglit recorded what would become the title track of her debut CD she was sitting in a cement house with a tin roof about two days down a dirt road in one of Cameroon’s rainforests.

“The little house had bars on the windows and a bunch of deadbolts along the back door and the crickets are screaming in the background of the track,” she said.

Though the crickets didn’t make it into the final cut, Kinglit’s first album was a chance for her to experiment with sounds in the recording studio and create the kind of “cinematic dark folk” she hopes will connect with listeners.

“I hope that people enjoy it and that people who are listening to it feel a connection to some element of it — whether it’s a song or a lyric or a theme,” she said.

After years of work, the album Dreamer’s Sea is being released April 5 with a CD release concert at the Yukon Arts Centre.

Kinglit said finishing her first album feels “surreal.”

“When it’s real it’s better than what could ever be in your head because it’s actually there.”

The 27-year-old said the album includes songs that were written when she was living in Cameroon as a researcher in 2011 and more recent pieces written while living in Whitehorse where she moved in 2013 to follow her family.

“In terms of the overall album, they’re all songs about a journey, whether it’s an internal journey or a physical outward journey so I feel like that ties it together.”

The majority of the album was recorded in Whitehorse, with the help of Jordy Walker who is its producer and the recording engineer.

Klingit said she’d been struggling to try and do all the work putting the album together herself but “failed, utterly failed” before the two started working together in 2016.

“It was a very long year before that of my trying to do it on my own but ultimately recognizing that it’s more fun to do it with people,” she said.

“Every person that we brought into the creative process has brought in things that I would never had thought of on my own or been able to manifest.”

Early on, Kinglit said she tried to create all the sounds on the album using only acoustic instruments. In some cases that meant taking a contact microphone stuck to a guitar and using that to create a percussive sound. Or striking a mandolin with a hammer to create another instrument altogether.

Though she would eventually decide to ease up on that rule, many of the sounds stuck around. The mandolin trick is a part of the song “God River Waltz.”

“We also invited musicians from Whitehorse to come into the studio and play and then also had a couple of musicians from Montreal and Toronto go into studios there or record at home and send us tracks,” she said.

“We didn’t give them a part to play. We said, ‘here’s the song, what do you hear?’ and then we would receive something back and work with it in the studio.”

Kinglit said some of the songs she will perform at this week’s show will be done as they appear on the album and others will be different arrangements.

“With all of the songs I recorded, I perform versions that are sometimes the same and sometimes completely different,” she said.

“It’s partially because it’s just more fun that way and partially because what we did in the studio is very unique to the tools, and instruments and time that we had around us.”

Even before she had a full length album to her credit, Kinglit has had success as one of the up-and-coming artists to watch.

She placed second in the 2015 Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Program, a nationwide competition with a field of over 300 entries from Canadian musicians.

She also performed at the Canada Walk of Fame inductee ceremony and artist showcase that year.

She has received mentorship from Canada’s Music Incubator.

But Klingit doesn’t appear fazed by any pressure that might be coming with her early success.

“I haven’t thought of it in those terms before, but I’ve had a lot of encouragement up until this point and I hadn’t even put out what at this point is my favourite/best piece of work. Also my kind of only work,” she said.

“So I’m excited because I finally get to share something that I’m very pleased with and proud of.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

ArtsMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 case confirmed in rural Yukon community

An exposure notification has been issued for Andrea’s Restaurant in Watson Lake

Food trucks gather on Steele Street between Front and Second for the annual Street Eats Festival in Whitehorse on August 12, 2019. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)
May 1 could mark the start of the 2021 food truck season

Lottery for downtown sites set for April 28

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 16, 2021.… Continue reading

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is taking on the first all-woman expedition to Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team among mountaineers heading to Kluane National Park

One team will be exploring Mt. Logan while a second all-woman team aims for Mt. Lucania summit

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Most Read