I Am Boundless, the latest album from Canada-based singer Katia Cadet, has a total of 18 tracks. If it was up to her, it would have had even more. As the record was being put together, the singer-songwriter found it hard to choose among her favorite tracks. “It really was [difficult] at the beginning,” she explains, “but, I was consoled by being told, ‘There will be more albums, Katia'”.
Katia has these marvelous vocals that she wraps around zouk, konpa and R&B beats. For example, “A Tes Pieds” (At Your Feet), is a pretty uptempo ballad that celebrates total abandonment in love. The singer croons songs in Creole, English, and even Portuguese.
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself.
I am a lover of the arts, from singing, writing, dancing, drawing, painting, to acting, name it, I wish I could do it all. I’m inspired and fascinated by people that are creative, authentic, original, passionate, focused and disciplined in the pursuit of their dream. Singing and writing has been a gift that keeps giving, it’s my passion, my joy, my faithful companion, my therapy, and my refuge. Music is not what I do—it’s who I am—plain and simple. I do have many other points of interest, but music has been the constant—though I might have strayed away from time to time. I’m pretty sure it will remain a very important element of my life forever. I am a deep thinker, a dreamer, but a realist as well, a lover of life and family, a lover of love, unity and peace. They say I’m OCD. I say I’m a perfectionist. I am detail-oriented and meticulous—you know order is important! Okay, I’m mildly OCD! I love to laugh and I’m a big goof. Many people do not expect that. I tend to be highly critical of
myself—sometimes to my detriment—and though I have come to accept that I’m not perfect, being the best version of me possible is my eternal quest.
Kreyolicious: How long did it take you to write, compose and record your new album?
My album is mixed with songs I had written years back, and a few were recorded within the 8 months process it took to assemble and choose the top 12. Then it was a roller-coaster, let’s say life happened! In a nutshell, it took much longer than I wanted, but the experience was unforgettable. I can’t wait till the next album. The many lessons learned will serve me well.
Kreyolicious: Your songwriting has earned your a Grammy nomination. What usually happens when you get a feel for a melody, or when you get an idea for a song?
Wow, it will not be a simple answer. It’s is different every time, many roads lead to it for me. It can be a methodical process where I sit down, think of a subject, a style, a mood and there I am half way through a song. Still I must be very inspired, methodical yes, but never machine like. Sometimes I use an instrumental sent to me by a producer and in that instance, I draw from his inspiration and vision, it’s not my favorite way, but sometimes there is a perfect match. Other times, I sit with either a guitarist or pianist with my melody and lyrics. But there are those songs that come to me from a totally exterior source, a source I call “the music lords”, and these are the moments I patiently wait and live for. In that silent rare moment where I am at my most relaxed state, and if I am still enough, a sweet melody reveals itself to me and I am swiftly whisked away, completely disconnect from the world I know and into a magical place. At that moment I am a vessel, a student, and if I don’t have my recorder handy and able to very quickly seize the opportunity, it vanishes. Just like that, it fades away—little by little—back to its source. The words follow slowly thereafter. These songs are typically done on the spot. It’s a personal special delivery made to little old me. I am amazed with this phenomenon each time. I am a very sensitive person. I am inspired and affected by everything I see and hear, the sound of a baby crying, an expression on someone’s face, a chord or sound from another song, even the birds chirping. They can all trigger a song. Whichever the process, I feel so blessed every time I complete a song.
Kreyolicious: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
There are way too many to mention, we’d be here for days, but if we take artists from the Haitian music scene, I’d love to collaborate with Nickenson Prud’homme, Alan Cave, Mikaben, T-Vice, Carimi, Fabrice Rouzier and so on… I love collaborating both for live performances and writing. I worked on many MJ projects and came close to meeting him twice, a collaboration with him would have been mind blowing.
Kreyolicious: In an interview with Amour Creole magazine, you stated that Michael Jackson is your favorite artist of all time. Between “Stranger in Moscow”, “Speechless”, “Human Nature” and “Who is It?”, which do you think is his absolutely best vocal performance?
Who am I to criticize Michael? Well, let’s start by saying that there is not a vocal performance that has not been his best. I refer to his vocal performances all the time with my students as he his the most clean, rhythmic, genuine, you feel his vulnerability even through his impeccable delivery. His performances translate, you believe every word he sings, he is a genius, he makes everything into a masterpiece and I am not biased. But if I’m forced to and within this selection you provided, I would say “Human Nature” and then “Who Is It?” as a close second.
Kreyolicious: And speaking of vocal performance, how do you keep your vocals in shape?
I sing all the time! I also am a vocal trainer, so I am big on technique and vocal warm-ups and all…I do not smoke or drink hard alcohol. No coffee. I do not do many late nights partying and I try my best to be on a healthy diet, or at least stay away from certain foods that are mucus building. All of that makes for good and ready-to-sing vocal chords.
Kreyolicious: Do you tend to watch what you do and say because you know you have fans watching every second of your life, and your every move and gesture, whether in real life, or on social media?
Kreyolicious: When was the last time you visited Haiti, dear?
In 2007—and shamefully—might I add. I traveled back home for a performance at Rex Theatre and stayed at El Rancho which is where my mom and dad stayed for their honeymoon. I had the best time and did not want to go back to leave. I am way overdue for another trip home and it better be soon. I miss it so much, but then I’d love to stay for a month or even two as opposed to my prior visit of four days.
Kreyolicious: Is exercising something you do regularly…how do you stay in shape?
Absolutely! Long distance running is my thing. I try to get my four miles run in at least four times a week. Then, I grace the gym with my presence as much as I can, do some weight training, and I get on my bike as well.
Kreyolicious: It’s been said that some of the world’s most accomplished women often feel that they are not accomplished at all. How do you deal with times when you feel that you’re not good enough, and you haven’t done enough—if at all?
I’m not sure why we try to be superwomen, but I guess feeling like we come short can have its benefits, it keeps you on your toes and in constant progress. But I really try to look ahead and try not to think about what I have done, it’s more like what I’m doing now, and will accomplish in the future. After all, you’re really measured by what you are doing today right!
Kreyolicious: When you were growing up, how did you deal with insecurities?
Like most people, I grew out of them. With time, you learn to accept yourself the way you are, and if you’re successful with that, you might even get to celebrate it too. With maturity you start not caring about what people think so much. That said, I’m a perfectionist and I’m highly critical of myself, but I’ve learned to let things go and to move on, and while it’s not an easy thing to do, it’s essential. As to the insecurities that lingered, the people in my life who love me and perceive them as assets help me to appreciate them instead. It’s a crazy mind thing.
Kreyolicious: The classic movie actress Rosalind Russell was quoted as having said: “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” What’s your personal definition of beauty?
I completely agree with Miss Russell. I think that beauty is within. Joy and happiness will make you glow is ways no exterior element could. You can be blessed with great looks, but if you are rude and detestable it really doesn’t count. Beauty is kindness, compassion, grace, honesty, class and generosity. I find beauty in people’s eyes, which are the window to someone’s heart and soul. Whenever I say someone’s beautiful, I mostly refer to his or her inner beauty—otherwise I’ll say he or she is pretty or handsome. They are far and few, but there is nothing like a beautiful person.