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Cirque Du Soleil
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Patricia Barber
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Time Line
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Julius Curcio
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Alligator Shoes
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Rising Stars [Issue #20]
Sonya Kitchell: Words Came Back To Me
By Jason Sklar
Words Came Back To Me (CD Velour)

Next time you stop by a Starbucks to get your java fix, you might want to pick up the tonal tenderness offered by Sonya Kitchell’s Words Came Back To Me. This jazz-trained 16-year old (yes, 16) sings on the wavelength of Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, uttering lyrics that affect those far beyond her years while keeping the tenacity of youth. Kitchell’s songwriting is not your average teenage angst. Much of it blossoms from her upbringing by two arts-oriented parents in rural Massachusetts. “My parents instilled an appreciation for the visual side of life that I try to portray in my music, but with lyrics,” she says. Growing up, Kitchell listened to a cornucopia of artists ranging from Miles Davis to Joni Mitchell; from Bach to Bob Marley. Her sophisticated tastes reflect her deep-seated desire to compose songs that are emotionally rich for all ages. “I want to allow others to laugh and cry - to let them know that someone wants to care for them and does,” Kitchell remarks. Her yearning and melancholy spirit balance life’s sorrow and joy by returning to themes surrounding the simplicity of life’s beauty.

Often on the road, Kitchell slips in schooling via e-mail and tutors. But Kitchell says she draws some of her greatest learning through “backstage education.” Whether it is learning that lemons cause phlegm to help clear one’s throat or being mindful of washing hands due to all the shaking, Kitchell is able to weave these practices into her daily routine.

On the writing front, the timeless compositions of The Beatles have helped her internalize the importance of having a sense of humor - one offset by a deeper understanding of issues and emotion. Kitchell cites “Blackbird” as just one example of a song that stands the test of time. “Lyrics can be really simple and to the point or really abstract and allow us to draw from them what we need to,” she says. “Some are ballads. Others are rockers. Songs are good as long as you can tell the person who was writing was completely invested in it from their heart and soul.”

Kitchell’s touring schedule takes her out of her woodsy element and places her in cities big and small. She is a firm believer that a person is a product of his or her surroundings. “I write differently depending on where I am,” she says. That said, she counters that an environment can also be a product of those who occupy it. For this reason, Kitchell writes so that people can take from her songs what they need. “Songs come up on me as opposed to me coming up with one. I just get the feeling it’s gonna come out,” she exhorts. “I try to write in a way so that it’s not too nobody-will-be-able-to-relate.”

Just as the peacefulness of her hometown serves as a place where she can process everything, Words Came Back To Me just might end up helping you gain a tad more mental clarity as well.

Words Came Back To Me

Words Came Back To Me Sonya Kitchell Words Came Back To Me

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