By Way of Japan: An Interview with New Jersey-Based Singer-Songwriter Kate Sikora
by David Chiu
It is not often that you hear about a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who teaches at a school in Japan. But that’s what characterizes the unique life story of emerging artist Kate Sikora of Boonton, New Jersey so far. One of the highlights from her time in the Land of the Rising Sun happened in 2009 playing the Rookie-A-Go-Go stage at Fuji Rock.
“I didn’t know at the time, but I was the first foreigner to play that particular stage,” she says. “It’s pretty easy to be oblivious of where I stand in the music industry over there because I am, essentially, illiterate in Japanese.”
This young performer has recorded two records so far, Grace in Rotation, which was released in 2005, and her recent six-song EP Aparto. Her experiences in Japan plays a role in her music, which draws on various styles and moods—from stripped-down folk to garagey rock–but has in common a melodic indie pop undercurrent. “I’m inspired by the people, sights, sounds, and smells there,” she says. “I’m still discovering it. Being far from familiarity and nostalgia are themes that come up a lot in my more recent songs.” Continue reading “Features: An interview with Kate Sikora”