Gearing up for her debut album release, Kat Duma explores her latest single “Real Life”, working with Kristie Muller and future live shows.
Between the tranquil complexities of her lyrics and her ethereal production, throughout her music, Kat Duma transports listeners to a hypnotic space. With a decade-spanning education in classical music before transitioning into the electronic scene, Kat spent her early years travelling around Toronto performing in various orchestras. With a hunger to expand her musical horizons, the artist later took an interest in the shapeshifting elements of industrial music and has gone on to adapt her latest sound.
Previously sharing stages with artists such as Yves Tumor and Tirzah, Kat is quickly making a name for herself as an artist bound by no genre and continues to build up a discography of elevating hits. Between 2020 to now, Kat has unveiled a sequence of intimate songs that perfectly summarise her genre-defying soundscape. Working towards the release of her debut album, lead single “Real Life” is the first taster of the project, and explores the conflicting thoughts we attach to what we see as ‘real life’. Accompanied by a music video shot by Kristie Muller, throughout this track Kristie represents the ‘Groundhog Day’ effect of our day-to-day routines, as the video mimics repetitive motions on loop.
We spoke to the artist about crafting her sound, DJing, and what to expect on her forthcoming album ‘Real Life’.
You recently dropped a new single titled “Real Life”. Can you talk to me about the meaning behind this track and its title?
I find that the term ‘real life’ can mean so many things and also nothing, but that’s what’s so interesting about language. “Real Life” to me is a kaleidoscope of associations and one facet of that is finding a sense of mystery in the banal.
“Real Life” is accompanied with a music video that shares looping and distorted visuals and has a very DIY approach, was it self-shot? What sparked the creative vision for this video?
It was shot by Kristie Muller, a very talented photographer and videographer. We had a rough idea of what we would shoot before we started, but in my opinion, what makes Kristie’s work so impactful is her unique ability to draw meaning out of almost transitionary moments. I think it’s in these moments that you’re your true self, and people connect to that much more than something posed.
Your sound is described to be industrial club music with hints of folk and pop, how would you explain your music and creative vision in your own words?
It’s interesting when put together like that, but honestly, I just make what I feel. I hate to bring up the pandemic, but it really changed certain habits in my life, and with that came a shift in the art and music I was drawn to. My output is reflective of my experiences so if that means changing certain sounds, I have to go with what feels right. That being said, I think everything I’ve ever listened to shares an ethos and/or certain sonic characteristics, regardless of genre.
You’re a very talented DJ and artist, can you tell us how you kickstarted your music career? What drew you to DJing and making and releasing your own music?
Thank you. I’ve been playing music since the age of five and I’ve had a lot of musical experiences that could fold into what’s considered a ‘music career’ but I feel that in the past few years, I have been able to harness something that truly feels like me. I don’t think I’ve ever been a traditional DJ in that I’ve always preferred a gallery setting or a radio format, where I’m able to explore different genres. My DJ career was sparked by my love of music and desire to share what I like with my friends.
This April you’re scheduled to share your forthcoming, debut album ‘Real Life’. I read that the album touches upon the balance between the material world and the unattainable. Can you explore this further?
In my work, I’m always toying with the idea that something more mystical is just out of reach. I shared a photo a while ago that said something like ‘between this world and the world beyond is a window, not a wall’, and I like to think of it that way too. People talk about a ‘woman’s intuition’ or feeling a certain vibe, and I feel like all of that is our way of understanding something that exists beyond what’s materially in front of us. The second single, “Fated”, explores this idea in more depth.
The album also features a revisioned version of your 2020 single “System”. What inspired you to revisit this song and add it into the album?
I’ve always connected to this song and still do. I felt that it fit with everything else, conceptually and sonically. The new version doesn’t stray too far from the original but I knew a re-recording of the vocals and a few other elements would bring new texture to the sound, especially when listening in sequence with the album.
‘Real Life’ is your first full-length project. What does this album represent to you? Do you have any significant thoughts or feelings surrounding it, in the run-up to its release?
I have so many thoughts and feelings about it. It means the world to me to finally be able to present a full body of work. It’s also scary sharing so much, especially considering my previous releases were only singles or short EPs, but I feel ready. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it, even when the challenges seemed insurmountable.
Throughout your career, you’ve shared stages with Yves Tumor and Tirzah. Are there any artists in particular that you would love to support and/or collaborate with this year?
I would love to collaborate with a classical producer or someone who makes more traditional-sounding music. I’ve been listening to a lot of eastern traditional choral music, and to me, some of those harmonies sound close to perfection. Other artists I’ve been listening to a lot are Andrew Wasylyk, CS + Kreme, CTM, Ojerime and Allison Lorenzen.
Alongside the release of your new album, what does 2023 have in store for Kat Duma?
Coming up next week, I have a show with Bria, her voice is incredible and her ‘Cuntry Covers Vol.1’ EP series has been on repeat. Beyond that, we’ll just have to see. I will definitely be doing more shows, now with an incredible full band and writing new music. There’s already so much I’d love to share. Stay tuned.