Marjorie Huot, a talented artist originally from San Diego who now lives and works in Los Angeles and is known to her expanding legion of fans simply as Kanitha.
Kanitha is a musical prodigy from the West Coast whose life story illustrates the importance of perseverance, self-reflection, and the transformational power of art. While the rest of the world was quarantined, she made the conscious decision to use the time alone as a chance to write. So Kanitha refocused her energy on creating music that would provide comfort, understanding, and connection to others.
Her breakout single “Vices,” written quickly at the height of the epidemic, is indicative of her renewed dedication. Kanitha, who collaborated with producer Mystc, was given the unfinished track and promptly set to work writing lyrics that reflected the spirit of the times.
However, “WGYTAU?” is her pop/R&B hit. (short for “What’s Going on, You, and Us?”) that perfectly sums up the profundity of her lyrics. Playful reflection permeates the song as it delves into the complex complexities of remembering prior connections. It poses important issues about the dynamics of sentimental longing by investigating the potentials of yesteryear and debating whether or not they are worth another go.
Kanitha’s songs are evocative depictions of the ups and downs, as well as the meditative pauses in between, that make up the human experience. Her music is like a mirror, reflecting the listener’s thoughts and feelings in a beautifully crafted soundscape. The power of her music is found in its accessibility.
Kanitha’s music is a heartfelt response to these times of introspection that we find ourselves in. Her songs, conceived in inward reflection, touch on universal themes. Kanitha’s music may have been a kind of escape for her during her time in quarantine, but her talent is so great that it will endure long after this exceptional period has passed.
Give Kanitha a listen if you’re thinking about a prior love or if you’re just seeking some soothing company in these troubled times.
Her music is more than simply soothing; it’s a source of inspiration in a society starved for originality, resiliency, and personal connection.
What kick-started your songwriting journey?
I think what really kickstarted my songwriting journey was growing up being very shy and unconfident about singing. I think it’s a control thing really. I can always change something before finalizing it.
I can keep it to myself and nobody has to know if it was a good or bad song. I cared a lot more about whether or not people believed in me than believing in myself growing up which is why I really took to writing.
Some of my favourite artists growing up are such phenomenal storytellers with their music, I knew I wanted to make the same impact as them even if I wasn’t the person singing the songs.
What’s the most thought-provoking piece you’ve ever written?
There’s a line that was cut from “WGYTAU?” that didn’t work out when we rearranged the song. I decided to pocket the idea for another song so I don’t want to give it away. But I was basically saying that this person knows what my needs are and isn’t providing anything but expects me to believe they’ll follow through.
Where’s your creative sanctuary?
I love writing outside whether it’s at the park, beach, or pool. I love when the sun is beating down on me and I have a journal and pen.
I rely on my Notes or Voice Notes app on my phone for all my ideas that I get at the moment but I love being able to write things out. I feel like my phone can be the biggest distraction.
I like my solitude when I’m trying to spark creativity if I’m not collaborating with others. I feel like my mind is less noisy and not consumed by distractions that way.
What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?
Accepting that not everything I see, hear, or think is exactly what other people see, hear, or think. I care a lot about what other people think but I don’t let it consume me. I know I can easily fill myself with doubt so I have to remind myself that oftentimes, nobody catches the little things that I’m hyper-fixating on.
What is your creative process when making music?
I think it really depends on how the song is created. There are times when I’ll come in with lyrics or a melody in mind and other days when my producer Mystc creates something from scratch and I write to it.
I have days where everything clicks and days where I’m writing a song for months because I don’t know where to go next with the song. When I find myself stuck, I find it easier to take some time off from listening and writing to the track so it’s not in my head.
If I have a melody that I’m not so sure of, I sit on it, try to write another version and try to figure out which one I like better and fits best.
What inspired you to write your latest album/song?
I was dating a guy who, long story short, didn’t like me as much as he was letting on. I was putting in a lot more effort than I needed to and when it ended, it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulder because I didn’t have to count on his word to make me feel like it was worth sticking around for.
I thought we’d never talk to each other again after it ended but then he started liking my photos randomly and hitting me up. A part of me wanted to entertain it but another part of me was like “Why bother? He wants to make an effort now after all the time?”
It’s exciting in theory that maybe things might work out this time but I also need to respect my time and energy too. Where was all this when we were dating?
What are the things you do to help perfect your craft?
Just a lot of practice and trying to learn new skills. Right now I’m trying to get more comfortable playing the piano and learning how to produce on my own.
I’ve taken music lessons throughout high school and college but I feel like I’ve never really applied them to the music I’ve been making so I’m still trying to get comfortable practising and playing an instrument aside from guitar. I want to start playing the music I hear in my head instead of trying to explain it to someone else.
What are your plans for extending your music beyond USA and Europe?
I want to be able to reach people all across the world but I feel like right now, I’m still trying to get to know myself as an artist and figure out what sound I’m putting out. I think the most tangible step for me to broaden my audience is to start collaborating with other artists across the country and the globe.
What’s the highlight of your career so far?
Releasing my first single ‘Vices’. I’ve been telling myself that it’s harder to do something the first time than it is the second time. I think my biggest hurdle has been putting out the first track. I’m looking forward to what’s next from here.
What are future plans for your music and you as a brand?
I want to keep pushing out new music and start performing. I think that’s my next step. I’ve been shying away from performing for too long and I think I’m getting a better idea of who I am as a musician each release.