Living in an artist loft community has its perks. It is particularly appealing when music plays a major part in your life. Moving to New York was an accident as a result of a one-way flight, passion for the city and stubborn behavior. Three days before my "suggested departure", I was offered a slot in a converted box factory (this hipster just can't stay away); a building renowned for inhabiting some of New York's most talented musicians.
My housemate, Howard was the first to mention the talents of our neighbor and his friend, Sonya Kitchell. Sonya's name was rarely mentioned without the words "talented", "stunning" or "breathtaking" quickly following.
This musician + neighbor was an elusive mystery whose music I had yet to hear. This month, I finally had the pleasure of watching Sonya perform live. The venue was small and intimate and the company was embracing and warm. As soon as she graced the mic, it was as if the room stood still; her voice was commanding and comforting, lyrics profound and heartfelt. I could not help but feel that I was experiencing Laura Marling's American counterpart.
Her talents have afforded her opportunities with Herbie Hancock, Damien Rice, Susan Tedeschi and David Letterman just to sweep the surface. She is working on new material, in the meantime she recently started to explore a new sound, with the inception of new band &Co. Kitchell may be young in age, but her voice is reminiscent of an old soul.
Howard and Sonya have been two of my favorite musical discoveries since moving to New York. For loft-mates, that's not too bad.