Rising Stars [Issue
Words Came Back To Me By
Words Came Back To Me
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.
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. Kitchells 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 lifes
sorrow and joy by returning to themes surrounding the simplicity of lifes
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 ones 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.
Kitchells 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 its gonna come out, she exhorts.
I try to write in a way so that its 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