The thrill of music first visited Kristia in rural British Columbia as a very young girl through her father’s record collection. She soaked up the sounds of Gerry Rafferty, the Alan Parsons Project, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel and plucked out some of her own melodies on her plastic Mickey Mouse guitar as she fell in love with the vibrant colors of ‘60s and ‘70s folk. Soon after, her parents gifted her a guitar and some classical lessons, and she honed her skills on the instrument while discovering her voice in children’s choir and singing in bands. Ever an “old soul,” she began collecting antiques at age ten and gravitated towards the haunting voices, poetic narratives and lush arrangements of music by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Loreena McKennitt and Lhasa de Sela. As a teenager she channeled the deep dimensions of her own emotions into original songs and set her mind on becoming a solo songwriter at 18.
Kristia’s love of both solo work and collaborations has led her to a number of inventive projects and performances over the years. She has appeared on albums with groups such as Dal-Dil-Vog, and her original work has been featured on a number of compilations, including The Fulcrum Project’s Stand Compilation, Grrls with Guitars Volume 3 (alongside Coco Love Alcorn, Po* Girl and Christa Couture) the Mighty Speck Records Compilation and a number of holiday albums. Kristia has showcased at Music West, the Western Canadian Music Awards and Canadian Music Week and has performed at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, The Orpheum and The Vogue Theatre. She was also named Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2006 Vancouver Island Music Awards.
Her most recent album, The Whiplash Curve (2014) is a tribute to her interest in characters from eras past and presents a musical collection of stories about artists, soldiers, kept women and merchant sailors. The album was produced by the Grammy-nominated, Juno Award-winning Joby Baker (Cowboy Junkies, Alex Cuba) and recorded at the famous Baker Studios in Victoria. Kristia was joined by musicians Richard Moody, Adrian Dolan (The Bills), Quinn Bachand, von Loewen and Tony Di Gregorio. Shortly after the release, Kristia was diagnosed with breast cancer. To express her personal experiences with treatment, she turned the song “Oh My Heart,” about resilience and transcending fear, into a video project, created in collaboration with Hemstock Films. The video showcases the work of world-renowned dancer Joel Hanna and is a tribute to Artemis, goddess of the hunt and reliever of women’s diseases and aims to find beauty in a very altered body to give strength to other young cancer fighters. “Oh My Heart” was released in October 2015 in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In Fall 2016, Kristia will head back into the studio with Baker to work on another EP of songs that delve into fresh stories, melodies, rhythms and her newfound sense of vulnerability and light post cancer. She will also be performing a series of local shows in the Vancouver Island area as well as online live-streamed concerts. The Whiplash Curve is available now.
- written by Julia Rogers