Kinnie Starr is difficult to pindown. Her songs range from folk to hip hop to rock to pop. She’s a visual artist and poet. She’s tried her hand at acting, portraying the rise and fall of a Portland rock star in Down and Out with the Dolls. She’s also a producer and has been praised for her work on Digging Roots’ Juno winning album We Are. And she’s a yoga teacher! We’re excited to have the multi-talented Kinnie Starr at this years Planet IndigenUS festival.
Kinnie’s ability to transcend genres is a product of how she got into the business. It wasn’t long ago that she was backpacking around North America as a graffiti artist and teaching herself music by rapping over an acoustic guitar. It was then that she was discovered by an American label searching for the next Alanis Morissette and given a chance for national exposure. While she did not become or want to become a pop icon, this jump-start to her music career gave her the chance to later forge her own path and her own style. In an interview for !earshot in 2010, Kinnie said that she only started playing music in her mid-twenties and that this is what influenced her sound, saying ““It is accurate to describe what I do as raw and feral because I’m not skilled, I’m intuitive. There’s a big difference. There are a lot of very skilled musicians with not a strong internal pulse…Someone like me lacks that skill, but I make up for it instinctually.” Her instincts brought her away from her hip hop roots on her latest album, A Different Day, which uses rock to explore the theme of love and exemplifies Kinnie’s ability to change directions. Check out Kinnie playing the title song from that album at the Vancouver Olympics.
Kinnie Starr has used her music and poetry to foster understanding of the subjects important to her, including art, love, culture and social justice. She is intensely proud of her Aboriginal heritage and recently travelled with Beat Nation to Paris to showcase Hip Hop as Indigenous culture.
Make sure you check out Kinnie Starr during the Planet IndigenUS festival on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 8pm.