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Table Talk w/Amythyst Kiah

Whether serving up her genuinely dark, soul shattering vocal range, commanding the audience with her incredible stage prowess, or demonstrating true diva leadership next to her eclectic bandmates (banjos all damn day…yes), Chattanooga born folk songstress Amythyst Kiah has certainly proven herself a true force to be reckoned with in the music industry. 

It also doesn’t hurt–well, maybe a little as her raw, real vocals will get you in more ways than one–that the stunning Ms. Amythyst regularly tours the United Kingdom, where’s she performed at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Celtic Connections, and the SummerTyne Americana Festival…just to name a few.

Stateside, she has slayed the stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and has also opened for the legendary Indigo Girls…so, now are you paying attention?

You most definitely should as Amythyst‘s star has only just begun to rise and shine bright. However, one place she hasn’t taken over is Philly…and that’s all about to change as she’s just about to take a hold of the stage of The Locks at Sona tomorrow night. 

But before she breaks all of our hearts with her truly unique, pearl clutching sound, Ms. Kiah was kind enough to take a seat at the table where she broke mugs about her artistic influences, spilled words of wisdom to future entertainers, and dished out what her fans can expect from her show in the City of Brotherly Love this weekend. 

Listen up. 

First up on our little spill, break some mugs for everyone on that moment in life where you knew you wanted to be a performer…. Well, it’s hard to pick a moment! I’ve always wanted to play music, but as far when I decided to be a performer, it was when I started playing with the East Tennessee State University Old Time Pride Band. It led to some solo gig opportunities, and through much encouragement from my professors and my father, I decided to pursue studying folk music and performing full time. Now several years after graduating, I’m able to make this a viable career, which is truly a wonderful dream realized!

Who are some of your biggest artistic influences? My biggest influences are Tori Amos, Radiohead, Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton, and Precious Bryant.

I always say that influence and inspiration are indeed…all around us. What are some special places where you look for inspiration in this crazy world?  Aside from watching live music performances and listening to music, meditation has been playing a huge role in my creative approach and my receptivity to new information and experiences. I am also a fan of reading non-fiction books and films about culture, technology, and philosophy. In the form of fiction, sci-fi is probably my favorite genre.

On to that stage life, what are some things you do to sort of chill out and prep yourself before each show?I usually drink Throat Coat tea with honey, lemon, and ginger if that’s around and spend some quiet time to myself.
Very important to spill about here…..what advice would you give to any young dude or diva out there who just decided right this very sexy second that a career in music is what they wanted to pursue? It’s important to know and love yourself first, have a vision or at least start thinking about one, and have people in your corner that believe in what you’re doing. It takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, be prepared to learn about the business side of music. It’s more than just creating and performing. If you decide to be an independent artist, you have to start thinking like an entrepreneur. You have to take care of yourself, protect your work, and know your worth and the worth of the people around you on your team.
Lastly, what can your fans expect from your show at Locks at Sona this weekend? My fans can expect a set of sad songs and a little bit of dark humor. I am looking forward to my debut in Philly!
For much more with the fabulous Ms. Amythyst, check out her official Spotify page right here, and then grab your tickets to see her on at The Locks at Sona this Saturday night right here