Toronto-born musician extraordinaire Kaisha Lee tells the story of moving to Montreal seven years ago, empty-handed, in search of work and fulfillment. Then this past December 31, making the trip back home, taking with her a lifetime of experiences, musical and otherwise.
“I never meant to stay that long, but Montreal just wouldn’t let me go,” she told The CONTACT in a recent telephone interview. “The opportunities just kept opening up for me, one after the other. The city will always be special to me because of how much it helped me grow professionally and as a woman.”
As tough as it was to leave, the 30-something year-old said as soon as she realized that her dad was ailing badly, she knew that she had to be with him and was at his side as the New Year, 2019, emerged.
“The holidays were pretty tough,” she says.
Even so, in the few weeks that Kaisha has been back home, her zest to make, promote and share her music has helped her to quickly find traction in the hard-scrabble city that Toronto has become.
Not surprisingly, the musical go-getter has already landed an agent, has a new single in hand and is ready to share it with audiences across the country.
The song, “My Love is Rare”, released on February 6, is described as a soul ballad that speaks to her life experiences.
“My Love is Rare” is a story of a woman giving her all to a man who craves her all, but doesn’t appreciate or reciprocate,” she states. “This song is a bold and delicate picture of a woman owning her power, knowing what she gives, who she is, and making it known that she deserves better.”
Kaisha says the song with its smooth flowing R&B touch signals a slight detour from what audiences have become accustomed to of late.
“Lately, when people see me, they see reggae,” says the T.O.-born songstress whose parents are from Jamaica. “This is just a way for me to express another side of me and create a new musical resume for this new situation with me back in Toronto.”
With the release of “My Love is Rare” Kaisha says it’s only fair that she has an official launch here in Montreal to share it with her many fans in the city, bringing it to La Vitrola, 4602 St. Laurent Blvd. (Montréal) on February 20.
“It’s an opportunity to share this song with the many fans and supporters that have been part of my stay and growth in Montreal.”
The next day, she takes the show to Ottawa.
In the midst of all that’s going on, including the circumstances that forced her hasty return to Toronto,
Kaisha says music continues to be central to her life.
She still shares her talent, teaching piano vocal training to a growing list of students, as she has been doing since she was 16-years-old.
It all comes natural to Kaisha, considered by many to be a child prodigy, and who completed much of her piano and music training by the time she was 13 years-old.
Her musical journey included performances in different capacities across North America and around the world, beginning as a 15 year-old with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, as well as part of Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale, with which she earned a Gemini Award.
She embarked on a solo career in 2009, and worked with many of the top names on the reggae circuit while maintaining her connections to various other musical styles such as Jazz, R&B and Soul.
Along the way she shared the stage with reggae icons such as Luciano, I-Octane, then in 2015, she released a 17-track album, I-Heart Reggae.
While in Montreal, Kaisha also performed extensively at Le Piano Rouge Lounge and with the city’s top corporate-events band, “1945.”
Looking forward, the lifelong musician says nothing is written in stone so she remains open to where her calling will take her.
“I’m looking forward to finishing my album by June, after that, who knows… Just enjoying making music and sharing it with other people.”
Check Out Kaisha Lee on Feb 19th: Montreal Press Day, Feb. 20th, Montreal Show inside La Vitrola, 4602 St Laurent Blvd. Montréal Qc from 6-8pm.