Kita P is a singer and songwriter bringing her “Blind Vibe” through her melodic blend in range and rhythm. She performs all over New York City with a guitar in hand. In 2015 she launched her monthly series Kita P Music Sessions brought to you by Urban Version Media. The series spotlights bassists and guitarists, showing the musicians behind the music. She was recently featured on BRIC TV’s B-Side with her band Black Licorice. She now has a new music video for the single, “History,” available online everywhere.
What is your inspiration and why?
I am more so inspired by all the people that have poured into me. I have a lot of support in music and life. The people who have offered advice, financial and emotional support, partnership, and more…I am inspired by them because they give and support at times when their world is in chaos, but they still show up. I can’t say that I always do that. So I feel it is important not just for me to continue but for all those who have poured into me large or small.
In music and art specifically, I am inspired by Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Me’shell Ndegeocello, and Janko Nilovic. They all had or have a very unapologetic way of delivering a song, minus Anita’s song “I Apologize.” They all have their own unique stamp on the sonics and visuals they create. Lastly, Ndegeocello’s whole persona is super dope and a bit mysterious ,which is the draw, outside of her authenticity. She’s unapologetically a queer woman of color.
Why is music important to the queer community?
Music that has lyrics that speak close to the heart like Ndegeocello’s “Bitter or Devil’s Halo” [is important to our community].
What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
More than anything, I hope that people can have a genuine experience from what I share. I also want to use my art and creations to somehow benefit the next generation—particularly black youth, youth of color, and queer youth of color—assisting in education reform, restorative justice, and mental health crisis.
Did music play an integral role in your coming out? If yes, how so?
Not at all because there weren’t any openly gay artists, especially black artists, that I looked up to. My mom had the same two cassettes on rotation in her car for basically a decade: Regina Belle and Jaheim. I took some things from them vocally. But really my family raised me on the radio station 1400 The Touch, which was straight R&B. I spent hours trying to mimic the runs and melismas of Luther, Whitney, Avant, Keke, Donell Jones, and Anita Baker. I also tried to mimic Sarah Vaughan. But what really blew my mind was my introduction in middle school to hip hop via OutKast. It was R&B but many other things meshed into one. Once hearing [that] that sound was possible, it made me realize the sounds in my head can translate.
Given challenges facing our country and community, in your opinion, what is most needed for the queer community now? How can the music scene advance that goal?
The challenges I see are more within the umbrella of the queer community that need a visible, working effort for resolve. The big item is the separation within the community. This isn’t the most articulated but our transgender brothers and sisters are, for some reason, a point of contention. I am not sure what the resolve should be, but there needs to be an open conversation between people who identify as lesbian and gay and those who identify as transgender. It can be the start of healing within.
Anything else you want us to know?
Every chance I get I want to thank my mom Leconia Ingram. Truly the best mom for me.
On another note, I am performing the opening night of the 2018 Empire State Music & Arts Festival on August 9 at Bowery Electric in lower Manhattan with my band Black Licorice.