Toronto Tuesdays: Silk Kaya (Eternia)

There is just SO MUCH I could say about my beautiful friend, Silky, but I’ll boil it down to the few things that are most important to me: she’s authentic, sensitive, and has a vibrant and impactful faith. Her whole being exudes warmth and love — she’s a rare kind of person who makes you feel like you’re the only important thing in the world when she’s with you. And she’s absolutely the least judgemental and most inclusive person I know. I love this woman entirely, and I’m so glad she’s here today!

Welcome, Silk!

What’s your favourite creative medium? What draws you to expressing yourself this way?

The written word. Specifically blue ink, medium ball point, and blank pages of a spiral hard cover notebook with no lines. But I’ll write on anything with pretty much anything if I have to 🙂 

I’ve always been able to tap into my feelings and intuition and the spirit of a matter easier through writing. I guess that’s why I’m drawn to it. That, and it’s always been like breathing to me. 

Why is creating important to you?

Creating was always a part of who I am since as early as I can remember, a natural thing that flowed in and out of me without conscious effort or intention. But it wasn’t until my 30s when I abruptly stopped creating that I learned the hard way it’s also what I NEED to do to process difficult experiences, remain grounded and emotionally healthy, and to stay plugged into the Divine. When I stop creating, I wither away. 

What, or who, is your greatest creative influence?

My mother most likely. She was always furiously writing away, papers sprawling everywhere and taking over her bedroom. I think she needed to write to remain sane and process feelings as well. She also read aloud to us from a young age the greats: C.S. Lewis, George A. McDonald, Tolkien, the Bible. This is where my love of words and grasp of written language and expression came from.  She was a classically trained pianist and played daily, as well as was involved in music worship at our church. So we were too. 

As a teenager Hip Hop became home. Early 90s acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Roots, Digable Planets, Latifah, Salt n Pepa, the Fugees, Organized Konfusion, Jeru the Damaja… countless acts spoke to me and I realized I could speak to others in the same form and fashion, easily actually. Nina Simone,  Maya Angelou (her autobiographies!) and Lauryn Hill made my soul soar. More recently, MuMu Fresh is ridiculously dope. I loved witnessing spoken word poets at the Nuyorican Cafe in NYC in the 90s. They moved me beyond words, although I’m not a spoken word poet myself, the parallels are there between spoken word and hip hop. 

What is your favourite time of day to create?

It’s changed over the seasons of my life. Used to be nighttime now its day time and preferably earlier the better, when I’m more alert, as I don’t feel that creative when I’m exhausted. Two littles under 3 will do that to ya.

Which of your creations is your personal favourite, and why?

That’s tough. They’re like children aren’t they? I don’t know if I am supposed to have favorites. Each album, each song, brings back a flood of memories. They are time capsules for me of what was going on  in my head, heart and life. 

But I’d have to say I’m most proud of my most recent album “FREE” because it was created over the course of many trials: losing the main producer, gaining a new one, being pregnant (twice!), giving birth, moving 5x and subsequent loss of all my community, a pandemic, a cancer diagnosis, death in the family and pretty intense emotional, physical, mental and spiritual discomfort. It was recorded over countless different mics, in different homes and different countries with different engineers and sometimes no engineer. Most of it had to be done digitally thru emails and texts. Just the way I dislike most doing a record. 

So … yah. I think it’s a miracle I / we even pulled it together, and even more of a miracle it’s as cohesive – sonically and thematically – as it is. I think it sounds beautiful and whole, and I’m proud of every moment on the project. 

How do you deal with creative slumps?

I go insane ? Lol.

No but seriously, that’s what happens. 

On the flipside I’ve learned to give myself grace when I’m not creating, because I know there is a season for everything and it’s like riding a bicycle … I can just jump back on and fly. 

Who are you beyond your art? Give us three insider facts about you.

Ha! Love this question. Ok. 

1. I was pretty much born in a thrift store, and it’s been my happy/decompress place ever since. 

2. I’ve really struggled with the transition to becoming a wife and mother (of 2) from being an independent woman and artist, even though it’s something I always prayed for and wanted and I have the best husband ever. It’s just been … such a 180’ permeating all spheres of my life, and felt like such shifting ground under my feet. It’s left my head spinning. 

3. I feel confident that I know Hip Hop culture, and I know God (to the small extent that a human can experience God). Beyond those two things, I feel like a newbie or amateur and admittedly don’t know much about much. So don’t ask me? Lol.

What’s one of the best – or most memorable – questions you’ve ever been asked, and how did you answer it?

Man, if only I had a good memory! Lol. 

I like the question “what would you tell your younger self?”

And I would tell her that her intuition is a gift from God and please listen to it. Always. That she doesn’t have to have a reason nor does she need to justify it to anyone. 

Shit, I’d tell myself that now. 

Also I’d probably tell her that if someone makes you feel small or lesser than, you shouldn’t be dating them, hanging around them, working with them, or giving them the time of day. 

What’s something you’re excited about right now?

I’m excited to visit my Auntie in the Yukon in August and then embark on an RV trip down the West Coast with my husband and our two boys (age 3 and 8 months). We’ve never RV’d before.  We figure it’s either going to be the best ever or the worst idea ever (cooped up with those kids at that age in a moving vehicle) but only one way to find out, right ? 😉 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about you and/or your work?

The new album “FREE” produced by Rel McCoy is out on all streaming platforms now, and available for purchase on vinyl here. 

As usual I love everything about this and you! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts ♥️

Thank you for supporting local, independent artists. Bless you Claudia for this platform!

If you’d like to know more about Silk, you can find her here: 

Eternia

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