KAYA KULU

Hometown: BROOKLYN, NY
Passion: MUSIC/PERFORMING ARTS
Instagram: @misskayakulu

What is the current passion you are pursuing?

I am fearlessly pursuing music/performing arts. When I tell people this, they often tell me to pick one thing and I always say ,”Nah. It’s all for me and all in me.” I would rather not be boxed into one lane when I know I can and have succeeded in multiple.

Anything in particular that sparked your drive to pursue these passions?

I have naturally been singing and dancing all my life, I knew that this was for me in sixth grade.  I auditioned for the musical ‘The Wiz’ and I of course auditioned for Dorothy because I have big main character energy. I got the role and was extremely glad to put on a show. I quickly learned that rehearsals were no joke and was still excited to share my talents and learn from others.

The reward and the realization for me was when I had my opening night performance and was able to keep the people entertained and tug at their emotions. By the end of the show, I had the audience moved to tears.  I thought to myself, “Well if I can make people connect that way by playing a character and singing songs that I didn’t write, imagine what I could do with music that I write. Imagine what I could do being myself.” From there, nobody could tell me I wasn’t meant to do it. I’ve been at it since then writing songs, still performing in musicals, etc.

Can you describe an instance or a situation when you faced significant fear or doubt in your life in which you successfully came out on the other side?

In 2015, I joined a music collective called Vanguard Development Project. It started off very fun but then took too many unexpected turns. Granted, it did start me traveling cross country to share music with others, but it was such a scary time because I’d write music, discuss musical/performance ideas,  record  and then discuss signing off on split sheets for whatever and sadly some of those songs never got to see the light of day and if they did they were placed on other musicians in the collective without my consent with no fair percentages given for writing or melody creation. It was very shady and weird. It definitely made me second guess if I should be singing at all. I thought I should just be a writer or work behind the scenes. I began to talk myself out of making music and also let some of the other people into the group talk me out of it as well. I decided that I should quit and not have a solo career for myself that I would only be good as a helper. When the group disbanded in 2018, I thought welp, that’s it. What pushed me to continue was the fact that I had continued before this. I had been through many storms before and still put out music, still done a performance and each time I did, I grew. I was able to make someone believe in themselves which then helped me believe in myself.

Thanks to me continuing, I’m now gearing up to release my first single on August 6th. I am extremely excited!

What is your overall mindset/mantra in pursuing your passion despite fear or obstacles that come your way?

I still have times where I find myself feeling crazy or second guessing my path but I know that I’m able to shift the times and shift the energy just by opening my mouth to sing a note or just by being present in a room. This is almost always more than enough to keep pushing me forward.

“Ownership is everything. Own your mind, mind your own.” – Nipsey Hussle 

“Standing back from situations gives you the perfect view, you see the snakes in the grass and you wait on they ass.”  – Jay-Z 

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”  – Jackie Robinson


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