By Mitzi Beliveau
I met the famous Kalliah Jackson as everyone that is in the music business knows her locally and beyond. With her bigger than life voice and present on stage to Kalliah Jackson amazing skills of playing the guitar. Kalliah is not only a talented musician and singer but is also very wise beyond her age.
It takes lots of practice and talent to be as good as Kalliah Jackson. I felt honored to be able to hear her live. I got shivers when she sang some songs. A good indication that you are in the present of a grand and precious singer. I choose to let this very talented woman answer some of my questions. As you see below she followed instructions well, even did my part. I did delete a few things and made a few corrections. I don’t think I explained that I was going to share her words, written from her.
Below at the end of this blog story is the links to find out more about Kalliah Jackson. If you want excellent entertainment, hire Kalliah Jackson! Also buy some of Kalliah Jackson music and listen for hours of healing music to your soul.
From Kalliah Jackson heart and soul here are the questions and her answers. Kalliah Jackson did the writing below.
1. When did I start singing, playing the guitar?
I was about a year old when I started singing melodies I was hearing whether it be on the radio, tv, in movies, or just the albums my parents were playing at home.
I got my first guitar when I was twelve. Before then I was playing the piano but I knew acoustic guitar is where I wanted to be, and its when I received my first guitar that my writing expanded from writing poems, to writing music.
2. Does music run in your family?
Music runs deep in my family in many different ways and in many different genres.
My mother was a songwriter especially in her young adult days, autoharp in hand. My father’s mother, my Grandmother, was a music teacher in the Navy. With our indigenous Heritage our music continues also in Traditional singing and Drum Circle.
Definitely the most fun growing up was singing with my singers as the Jackson 3. Jackson Five minus Two just didn’t have the same ring to it. We performed three part harmony with backing music, but our best and favorite was going a cappella.
3. What other bands do I perform in?
Minneapolis, being the amazing music community it is, I perform with many groups including; The Lonesome Losers: A Tribute to Yacht Rock, Joe Flip, Brother Jon Band, Elijah Adam, newly joined Helium for Liftoff, and many more.
My main project is my own group, Kalliah and BlackWater. Known for both our unique cover arrangements and original tunes.
“Being Native owned, Corey Rae White and Myself, we work a lot with our fellow indigenous nations. Corey and I were nominated for a Native American Music Award in 2019 for “Best New Duo” with our song “Dimmer” that addresses addiction.”
With Kalliah and BlackWater, it is our diversity and power slides that make our band so engaging and fun to watch when we perform. And it is our devotion to the Power of Music, that we show through our songwriting and activism, that brings great positive change and unity both in and outside of our indigenous community.
4. For other women/girls starting out singing/playing instruments, what should they know?
Best piece of advice I can give is this. Learn. Take the time to learn, in its entirety, not just about your craft, but the rest of your band as well. Learn how they need to set up, what kind of mics they need, where they go, how to run a soundboard, etc. Doing this not only shows appreciation, but mutual respect. Plus if you learn how everything works not only will you sound better, but the band behind/with you will too.
What’s another four letter word for Band? Team.
5. What do I contribute to my success?
Humility: Not afraid to learn or ask for help, as painful as it is.
Honest Communication: If something doesn’t work or sound right, speak up.
Delegation: Everyone has a voice and will be heard.
Professionalism: There is a right time and place.
Passion: Music Is Life.
Kalliah and Blackwater website
Kalliah Jackson Facebook page