Kadija Kamara is a singer, songwriter and producer based in London who has featured on a variety of club tracks as well as working on her own brand of what she calls Alternative Soul, recently releasing her debut EP Changes, which I reviewed here. I caught up with Kadija for a chat about the reactions to her EP, her production process and studio setup and the piece of gear she couldn’t live without…
Oh Drat: It’s been a month since Changes came out – what’s been the best thing that’s come out of getting the EP actually out there?
Kadija Kamara: It’s just the relief at first, there was a lot of apprehension and stuff, last year I was supposed to drop an EP and that never happened, so when it dropped I was really relieved! I’ve had a lot of positive feedback too, a lot of people have said that it sounds quite fresh, which is good, because I feel like a lot of music that’s on the radio at the moment sounds kinda the same – when a song starts it’s difficult to know whether it’s going to be a singer on the track or a rapper or just a dance track… but I’ve had people hit me up to say it sounds fresh, and they’d love me to perform and so on, so it’s had a positive knock on effect.
I feel like a lot of music that’s on the radio at the moment sounds kinda the same
OD: Excellent. It’s interesting that you spoke about the sameyness of a lot of music, because you can definitely hear a variety of influences in your music, and then you have this ‘alternative soul’ moniker. Is that just about the way that you’ve taken influences from various types of sources?
KK: Yes, very much so, I’d say. Going through listings on iTunes or whatever you see Alternative Pop, Alternative Rock, and I noticed there wasn’t an Alternative Soul and I just thought why, because there are so many different types of soul. I love soul but I didn’t want to just put myself in one category, so I thought Alternative Soul best describes my music – and a lot of people say to me ‘so what’s alternative soul, then?’ because nothing’s been categorised as it before. I listen to Jazz, Rock, I like my pop, country, folk, and I love it. The way I see it, great music is great music, and there’s something that draws me to all those styles. Just being thrown in as ‘soul’ kinda limits your target audience, and I don’t want to be limited. And so… alternative soul!
OD: Now in your introductory video you were down at a record fair… does getting your fingers dusty looking through vinyls give you inspiration?
KK: Vinyl? Oh, definitely. I’ve got loads of vinyl at home, and lots I’ve inherited from my parents as well, and… well vinyl represents vintage as well, and vintage represents quality. I want people to think quality when they hear my music and I would love to have my own vinyl, but vinyl is SO expensive! I think it’s making a comeback, I’ve had a few people at shows ask me if my EP is coming out on vinyl – it doesn’t sell as deeply as CD and MP3 though, so I think if I do I’d probably do a limited edition.