Soon-to-be superstar Kyla Charter

By Alexia Cito

Honey Jam is a multicultural, multi-genre, all female artist showcase produced by PhemPhat Entertainment Group; a non-profit organization which provides educational and mentoring opportunities for artists. It also supports and promotes women’s charities like the YWCAs program for women and girls.

Kyla is thrilled to participate in Honey Jam, welcoming this opportunity to grow as a performer. Vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, Kyla Charter is a passionate young artist eager to see where her music takes her. Kyla got her first guitar when she was nine. She has performed at venues throughout Toronto. She has also been a featured artist at charitable gala events across the city.

VG: How did you hear about Honey Jam?
KC: My mom was actually the one who told my sister and I about the audition. I also went to school with Linda Luztono, a great local artist and former Honey Jam performer, so I had heard the name around.

VG: What did you present to the judges?
KC: I played a song called ‘Breakeven’ by The Script. They’re this kind of soulful rock-pop band from Ireland. It was between that and one of my own songs, but I had a really good feeling about that one.

VG: Have you always wanted to perform?

KC: I’ve always wanted to sing, I haven’t always wanted to perform. Singing is such catharsis for me, it’s a really personal way of expressing how I feel, so for a long time doing that in front of a crowd was a scary concept. I remember in the sixth grade I did a talent show for the first time at my school and I was so nervous. I had my head down the entire time and ran off stage as soon as it was done! I’ve since become a lot more comfortable and confident with my singing and myself.

VG: What was it like to experience this with your sister, and to then find out you both qualified?

KC: It was amazing! My sister and I have always been really supportive of each other. She’s my best friend and I really don’t think I would have been as comfortable on stage during the audition if she hadn’t been right there. To find out we both qualified was icing on top of the cake.

VG: Who is your inspiration?
KC: My professional inspirations are people like: Sarah Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Prince, Adele and Hayley Williams. People inspire me who really love music and who make me want to better myself as a musician.  My personal inspirations would have to be first my grandfather who kept the family together with music. He played guitar so there was always one around which is why I picked it up and have been playing ever since. Also my aunts, who are the strongest women I know.

VG:  Do you have any advice for Vervegirls who want to perform?
KC:  My advice is, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If you love to perform that’s absolutely all that matters.

VG: Have you ever taken singing lessons or classical training?

KC: I took a few guitar lessons but nothing substantial. I’ve also done musicals, which has strengthened my voice but never had any formal training.

VG: What was it like growing up in a house of six? Was it a musical household?

KC: At my dad’s house it was hectic to say the least. Qwyn and I tried to make it musical, but it was generally just loud. We all had our activities though, my sisters danced, I played basketball and my brothers played soccer.  My mom moved to Italy when I was 9 and came back every couple of months so when she was here (and basically any other excuse we had) the family would congregate, my grandfather would break out the guitar, and we’d sing anything and everything in four-part harmony. We would go from Guyanese and Jamaican classics, to the Sound of Music.

VG: Are you excited for the August showcase?

KC: I’m SO excited! It’s such an amazing community of people that are involved in Honey Jam and an opportunity I’m unbelievably thankful for. I can’t wait!

Click here for more information about Honey Jam!