The Ap­ple of Knys­na’s eye

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Nuus | News - Ya­seen Gaf­far

Ka­rien Bar­nard (25), o­ri­gi­nal­ly from R­hee­nen­dal in Knys­na, is ma­king hu­ge sound­wa­ves in the Mot­her Ci­ty – wit­hout f­or­get­ting her ho­me­town.

Bet­ter kno­wn as Kay Faith, she’s not your ty­pi­cal sound pro­du­cer and au­dio en­gi­neer – but so­meo­ne who is bre­a­king ste­re­oty­pes and re­a­ching for the stars at the sa­me ti­me.

The for­mer Knys­na P­ri­ma­ry S­chool le­ar­ner was na­med in Ap­ple Mu­sic’s New Ar­tist S­pot­lig­ht for Ja­nu­a­ry 2018 fol­lo­wing her de­but re­le­a­se, In Good Faith.

Ap­ple Mu­sic is one of the lar­ge­st stre­a­ming plat­forms in the wor­ld. E­ach month the e­di­tors at Ap­ple Mu­sic pick out the wor­ld’s hot­test e­mer­ging ta­lent.

For Kay, though, it was des­tiny cal­ling, and no mat­ter w­he­re she look­ed, she would be dra­wn in­to the in­du­stry li­ke quick­sand.

“I grew up in a very di­ver­se en­vi­ron­ment. My fat­her is a far­mer in Knys­na, and I be­ca­me friends with farm­wor­kers. Gro­wing up I ne­ver saw ra­ce – e­ver­yo­ne was the sa­me no mat­ter w­hat co­lour they we­re,” she said, spea­king to the Knys­na-P­lett He­rald from her Ca­pe To­wn ho­me.

Her un­wa­ve­ring at­ti­tu­de to­wards o­pen­ness would in the y­e­ars that fol­lo­wed al­low her to so­ak up all ty­pes of mu­sic that the wor­ld had to of­fer.

“My brot­her is 10 y­e­ars ol­der than me and he would of­ten play mu­sic in the car, e­ver­y­thing ran­ging from The Be­ach Boys to Mis­sy El­li­ot. I knew then how much I lo­ved mu­sic,” she re­calls. “But w­hen I lis­te­ned to hip-hop, well that’s w­hen I was con­vin­ced that this would be my fu­tu­re.”

Kay mo­ved to Oudts­hoorn at the age of 11 and the­re­af­ter to Ca­pe To­wn, w­he­re she pur­su­ed stu­dies as a mu­sic pro­du­cer and au­dio en­gi­neer, at the Ca­pe Au­dio Col­le­ge.

“I was for­tu­na­te to fill in for a mu­sic pro­du­cer w­hi­le I was doing my in­terns­hip. Mos Def ar­ri­ved in the coun­try and was re­cor­ding at the Ca­pe Au­dio Col­le­ge. I was tas­ked, by sheer chan­ce, to re­cord the vo­cals and for me it was the most me­mo­ra­ble mo­ment of my li­fe. He is one of the most well kno­wn and re­spected hip-hop ar­tis­ts in the wor­ld, and he­re I was re­cor­ding his vo­cals. This mo­ti­va­ted me to fol­low my d­re­ams and fo­cus on hip-hop mu­sic”.

She said that the ex­pe­rien­ce was sur­re­al, and that nig­ht she lay in bed, u­na­ble to sleep, thin­king a­bout w­hat had just hap­pe­ned.

Kay says that now she does e­ver­y­thing from mix­ing and mas­te­ring mu­sic to pro­du­cing, son­g­wri­ting and com­po­sing.

“T­he­re are al­ways chal­len­ges, so­meti­mes it’s e­a­sy and so­meti­mes it’s hard. But I’ve been re­al­ly wel­co­med in the in­du­stry. I don’t fit the ty­pi­cal pro­fi­le of a hip-hop mu­sic pro­du­cer, but I’m dif­fe­rent and the guys lo­ve it.”

Kay says she mis­ses Knys­na de­ar­ly, as her fa­mi­ly and friends are all still in the a­rea.

As soon as she re­le­a­sed her de­but, she ca­me to Knys­na to get her first tat­too.

“The tat­too was re­al­ly im­por­tant to me, li­ke a big de­ci­si­on, so I wan­ted to get it do­ne in Knys­na, my ho­me­town. I went to Black Lo­tus tat­too stu­dio, w­he­re Me­gan Hull tat­tooed ‘In Good Faith’ a­cross my shoul­der, and I lo­ve it!”

Kay says her mes­sa­ge to the com­mu­ni­ty is that alt­hough it’s a s­mall to­wn, we can do re­al­ly big t­hings and re­ach for our go­als.

“The pe­op­le of Knys­na are a­ma­zing and t­he­re’s ta­lent e­ver­y­w­he­re. We ha­ve al­re­a­dy pro­ved that we can be as good as the be­st in the wor­ld, so with that at­ti­tu­de, I be­lie­ve t­he­re’s still a lot of gre­at t­hings to co­me out of Knys­na.”

P­ho­tos: Sup­p­lied

Ka­rien Bar­nard, aka Kay Faith, was se­lected as Ap­ple Mu­sic’s New Ar­tist S­pot­lig­ht for Ja­nu­a­ry 2018.

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