top of page

10 Questions with Colleen Kitchen

This time, we get to know Colleen Kitchen. The track "Back Porch People" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists. Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists: 𝟭. Where are you from and what are your hobbies? I am originally from the USA midwest but I have lived on both coasts, Europe, and Mexico. My hobby is visual art, and sometimes it is copacetic with music. I am especially fond of making partially 3-D fish and animals out of junk such as tin cans and bottlecaps in a modified steampunk style. 𝟮. How did your get into music? I've done music one way or another since I can remember. Piano lessons as a kid, picking up guitar and other instruments on my own, some formal vocal training, and jamming with friends. I have been in over a dozen bands, from traditional Celtic, to eclectic pop, to R & B, eventually leading my own four piece Latin Brazilian jazz cover band "Chuva Boa." (Chuva Boa has an album on Spotify if you're interested.) All that worked until it didn't. When you write original songs that are not formulaic and don't conform to the latest trend, AND it's in the middle of a pandemic, most of your musical colleagues evaporate. But being first a bandleader, and now a solo artist has forced me to deal with many aspects of the biz I never worried about before. I am happiest when I'm learning new things, and so it suits me. 𝟯. Who are your biggest influences? Being classically trained in piano, of course i was trained in the dead white men repertoire, and of those, Debussy and Chopin (who anticipated and helped shape jazz) are my favorites. Then we have the jazzers, of course: Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk are faves. As for singers, I look to Ella. In the romance languages singers department I am very influenced by Gal Costa, Flora Purim, and Violeta Parra. I also count Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick, Joan Baez, Gretchen Parlato, Dar Williams and Brandi Carlile among my early influences. For harmonies I'm mad about the Beach Boys and CSNY I especially like Joni & Joan, because they wrote on a lot of topics, and not just "love," which IMO is overdone.

4. What are your goals in the music industry? I would like to have one track as a household name in its niche. A good candidate might be one of my more recent releases, titled "Fungi." Perhaps I can dominate the "Foraging for edible mushrooms" niche. It's such a small niche it's hard to find. And from there to world domination, buahahaha. My other goal is to get my production chops up to my own standard, so I can be totally autonomous and just hire the best people if I need them. 5. If you could choose a location to perform at, what would it be? I'd love to be invited to take the stage at Smalls jazz club in New York City. Jazz and Americana/Folk both work best in smaller, more intimate settings. Something people don't talk about much is all the musical compromises one has to make in order to have music that works well in a huge arena venue, which I have absolutely NO desire to do. 6. What is your all-time favorite song? I still adore "Carry On" by CSNY. I get goosebumps when the a capella section comes around. 7. Most embarrassing moment? I was playing a pretty prestigious gig on uilleann pipes, a holdover from my time in Ireland, in an orchestra that thought rather highly of themselves. As a specialty instrument I only had a few bars of music to play but I was super exposed. I burst into my big solo just fine, then the pipes exploded and by the time I had jammed everything back together it was too late, and the flute player had covered my line. That was, however, also my highest paid gig ever on a per note basis, since I had so few notes anyway and I only played less than half of them, and we were paid union scale, which is based on time and not on notes played. I'm sure my stock tanked with those orchestra people, but generally, I had nothing to lose with them anyway, so except for that horrible feeling of mortification right when it happened, it didn't make much difference to me. And the audience had no idea anything was even wrong. Over the years I have developed a certain emotional detachment and amnesia about all gigs once they are over, since beating yourself up about a bad gig serves no purpose whatsoever. Just take the steps necessary to assure the bad thing doesn't repeat and get on with your life. 8. Proudest accomplishment? I should probably be proud of the high prestige appearances in the past, like the Oregon Bach Festival or some of the high profile West Coast tours we did when one of my ex bands was touring, but to be honest, I'm much more proud that I finally got everything together to arrange, produce, and release totally original music totally on my own with zero emotional support, in a variety of styles, and there's a lot more in the queue. 9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best? I eat weeds. I have been incorporating purslane, young amaranth, muellin, dandelion, and miners' lettuce for a long time. Lemon balm is technically a cultivar but it grows like a weed at my place. In the spring of 2020 I also discovered nipplewort, a weed I had previously pulled, but it actually has use as a salad green and you can make a salve out of it. I always knew the wild plantains were edible but only recently tried them. 𝟭𝟬. What is your dream collaboration? I would love to collaborate with Ivan Lins and Rosa Passos. They are both fabulous musicians and great writers, and still actively working. A lot of the other Brazilian greats have passed, and a collab with them would not be possible. Having said that, I'm quite happy to be collaborating with my Brazilian friend who lives in the UK. We plan on releasing a collab this year under my name.

Stream "Back Porch People" now and follow their socials Twitter: @tixrus Instagram: @colleenkitchenmusic Please share this post and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

53 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page