Get to know Kinkora, a fresh new artist out of Melbourne who’s armed with a seriously impressive debut single.
Less than thirty seconds in and we had a smile on our face while listening to ‘Set Me Free’, which feels like a summery new take on those ’90s R&B jams (we’re lookin’ at you ‘Tell Me’ by Groove Theory).
Seriously sexy, seriously impressive.
So of course we had to get to know Kinkora a little more to find out how her musical journey’s led to here.
01. Name : Kinkora.
02. Where are you based? Melbourne.
03. How did you get your start in music? I started writing songs as a kid and teaching myself to sing by listening to and copying my favourite artists. I’d play Alicia Keys, Boys II Men and Lauryn Hill on repeat and then try to mimic the runs that they were doing or the way they were singing. I was super self conscious about it though and never performed or told anyone that I was a songwriter.
Eventually I decided that I couldn’t let fear hold me back and decided to just jump in – I started performing and sharing my music (slowly but surely). Cut to many years later, I’m doing what I love every day and have had the opportunity to perform my music across Aus and the US.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Honest, thoughtful, storyteller, warrior, optimist.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. The foundation of everything I do has always been Motown, R&B and pop but I’ve definitely explored new territory with the new music I have coming out.
For the past few years I have been actively writing songs with different sounds and structures in order to experiment. Through this creative process, I have taken bits and pieces from all over the place to really refine my point of view.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? I took recorder lessons as a three year old – I still remember going to those group classes!
07. Who have been your musical influences? I have always been drawn to women with powerful voices like Etta James, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Tina Arena and Aretha Franklin, but also love singers who command space and convey emotion with a quiet intimacy like Sabrina Claudio, H.E.R and Billie Eilish.
I also love ’90s R&B and Motown as well as pop music – so I’d also add Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Amy Winehouse, Kehlani, Nao, Maggie Rogers… ah the list is kind of endless!
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ (Lauryn Hill) and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ (Elton John).
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? In my car!
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling :
Happy? The Hamilton soundtrack, the Wicked soundtrack, BENEE, Stevie Wonder.
Sad? Labrinth, Amy Winehouse, Matt Corby.
Introspective? Maggie Rogers, H.E.R, Sabrina Claudio.
Exhausted? I’ll just put on a playlist of songs to get me grooving!
11. What was the first album you ever bought? Delta Goodrem’s ‘Innocent Eyes’.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I once sang with Joss Stone at her concert in Melbourne! I made a video asking her if she would sing a song with me and sent it to her – somehow I ended up getting pulled up on stage! I actually completely blacked out from the shock of the experience haha!
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? I have actually worked as a primary teacher for many years – primarily in the space of special needs education. I really love working in this field!
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? I’m currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ for the second time – it is filled with so many wonderful insights on how to improve your relationship with creativity. She just gets the struggles and self doubts that tend to go alongside the creative process, and then manages to find a way to put all these things into perspective.
My attempt at summarising it wouldn’t adequately represent the power of the book – so go read it! I couldn’t recommend it more!!
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? I lived in New York for a year playing music and the night before I left I played a show at Rockwood Music Hall. All the people who had made my experience in New York so special were there and it was just a really fun show.
16. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? I wouldn’t – we’re all on our own unique journey!
17. Tell us about your debut release. ‘Set Me Free’ is about feeling trapped in a relationship – and the release has happened to coincide with the feeling that we all have of feeling a little confined at the moment – so I’m sure lots of people will be able to relate to it in some way!
18. What do your future plans involve? I’m going to be releasing a heap of new music through 2020 and into 2021. I’ve been writing and recording for a couple of years for this project – so I’m really excited to finally be releasing everything!
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/itskinkora/
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/itskinkora/
TWITTER : https://www.twitter.com/itskinkora/
SOUNDCLOUD : https://www.soundcloud.com/kinkora