Singer, rapper, artist, environmentalist: Kinnie Starr

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This young lady sings her heart out and loves the trees

What a beauty / Robin Gartner

What a beauty / Robin Gartner

Calgary-born Kinnie Starr (yes, that is her real name. I wish my name was as cool as hers), who now lives just outside Vancouver, does an unreal job making the genres of folk, rap, and pop mesh together in near-perfect harmony. Although Starr is also a talented visual artist, she loves singing and song writing even more.

“It’s just been a more vibrant artistic expression than illustration and drawing and stuff: the stuff that I was doing before,” Starr states.

Personally, I think moving from a focus on visual arts to a focus on singing is a ballsy, but sick move, because a) it shows her determination to constantly step outside that norm-conforming box and broaden her arts repertoire, and b) it shows her vast diversity in the arts.

To add to her diverse nature, Starr also advocates for the environment, unlike myself, since I usually never recycle and often litter.

Starr says, “I write about the environment, people, health, and love.”

Aww, so holistic. What a champ. With these themes in her music, she must be friends with David Suzuki. Oh, wait, she actually is!

“I already know David Suzuki,” Starr states. “He is the uncle to my husband, so it’s a long story, but [Suzuki] is kind of family to my partner, so I’ve just been getting to know him a little these last few years.”

How cool is that?! I wish I knew David Suzuki. Well, maybe not, ‘cause I might get slapped due to the mount of pain I’ve inflicted upon our dear mother earth. Anyways, Starr will actually play two shows, one in Ottawa and one Victoria, for Suzuki’s solid little environmentalist Blue Dot Tour.

With her new album From Far Away – which came out on Sept. 30, so you better go listen to it – Starr reaches one of her goals.

“I made the whole record at home…that’s been a goal of mine for a long time,” says Starr. “I think to self-produce, self-record, self-engineer, and play all the instruments…everything was a pretty lofty ambition, and I’ve achieved it.”

Heck yeah that’s a lofty ambition! My goodness gracious. I can only dream of even playing my acoustic guitar semi-decently, let alone playing every single instrument for an album, recording it, and producing it.

In fact, according to her biography, producing and engineering her own album makes her “one of the 5% of female producer/engineers in music worldwide.”

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is something to be proud of. To me, Starr seems like a sincerely talented, brilliant individual.

When I first listened to Starr’s new album, I thought to myself, “How on earth is this young lady going to make folk, rap, and pop come together?”

To my deep and utter shock, Starr meshes these genres together with pure craftsmanship. While some songs, like “Touch the Sky” start out with an acoustic, folk sound, they morph into straight up rap as soon as the killer drum beats drop.

She diversifies her album furthermore by organizing her album in a way that places her slower-paced acoustic songs right beside her faster-paced rap or pop songs.

In my opinion, her raw, pure, unique vocals bring together these diverse genres: her consistently awesome vocals = consistently awesome music no matter what the genre.

In Starr’s own words, to see the schedule for her cross-Canada tour, which starts on Oct. 2, “Check the webpage.” http://kinniestarr.ca/ will show you when and where you can catch a glimpse of this sick artist, including her Oct. 8 tour date, when she will perform in Regina at the Exchange.

Starr is definitely reaching for the stars (ew, I just spewed out so much thick cheesiness that it’s gross) in her music career. And, in my ever so humble, always right opinion, I say she’s already reached those special little stars with her crazy talents and new record.

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