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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Canadian Singer-Songwriter Mia Kelly Releases New Single 'Kitchissippi' From Upcoming Debut Album

At just 19, singer-songwriter Mia Kelly has taken the Canadian music scene by storm with her compelling stage presence and powerful vocals. Hailing from Gatineau, QC the exceptionally talented Folk/Roots artist blends both English and French songs in her music.

Her effortlessly expansive voice, which she has honed since the age of ten, has been praised by Ottawa Life Magazine as being a "living, palpable force of nature". A born performer who shines on stage, Mia has captivated audiences at numerous music festivals across Canada, including the Summerfolk Festival and Blue Skies Festival, and just performed at RBC Ottawa's Bluesfest.

Described as emotionally mature and refreshingly honest, Mia's sophisticated songwriting showcases her remarkable ability to unravel complicated themes and feelings. Garnering over 200,000 streams on Spotify, her thought-provoking music has been acknowledged by the SOCAN Foundation along with international music competitions. Mia's work has also been featured in national outlets, including Châtelaine, CTV Morning Live, and CBC Ottawa Morning. After the release of her first EP “Cardboard Box" in 2019, Mia was named one of Ottawa Citizen's top ten local artists to watch. In advance of her first album release later this summer, Mia is releasing her brand new single, "Kitchissippi", a stripped-down song about finding comfort in the Ottawa River during difficult times! Collaborating with producer Jim Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, The Tragically Hip) and mastered by Grammy-nominated Phillip Shaw Bova (Lido Pimienta, Bahamas), Mia is set to release her debut album "Garden Through The War" this summer. Featuring Olivier Fairfield (Leif Vollebekk, Andy Shauf) on drums in company with Mia herself on guitar and piano, "Garden Through The War" boldly delves into themes of resilience and growth amidst adversity. Drawing from the songwriter’s personal experiences, Mia Kelly’s "Kitchissippi" is an intimate and delicate ballad dedicated to the Ottawa River using its original name in Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Algonquin-Anishinaabeg, the host nation of this region. Located just steps away from her home in Gatineau, QC, the river has played a central role in Mia’s life and upbringing as a source of comfort and relaxation over the years. From learning how to swim for the first time to picnicking by the water with close friends, the river is ingrained in Mia's happiest memories.

During the pandemic, Mia sought solace in the form of river surfing, a lesser known variation of surfing which became an outlet for her to dispel her frustrations and negative emotions. In the midst of her daily practice of surfing the Ottawa River, Mia was spontaneously inspired to compose a song in its name. Encapsulating her meaningful relationship with the stream, the song personifies the river as an elderly, wise woman who listens to and alleviates her troubles. Beautifully crafted to evoke imagery of late night confessions by the moon, the stripped-down lullaby blends Mia’s clear and soothing vocals with the slow strumming of an acoustic guitar. The track also incorporates a recording of the Kitchissippi river trickling by to convey an ambience of comfort and serenity - one that Mia finds every day in that exact sound. “It’s about how the river has been a place of healing and comfort in a loud, crazy world.” - Mia Kelly Backed by her performance on guitar or piano and accompanied by foot percussion, Kelly’s foot-stomping sing-a-longs are anchored by her powerful voice that emanates with raw emotion. Her infectious energy captivates you as she shares her heartfelt stories & banter. Stylistically inspired by artists such as Shakey Graves, Matt Holubowski and Adrienne Lenker, Kelly turns to the leadership of women such as Allison Russell and Irish Mythen, says Mia, “Women who have fought for spaces in the music industry, who have overcome hurdles that I do not face, who make the music industry fairer and a more inclusive place…those are the people who truly inspire me.”


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