CBR VIP: Citizen Kay

Posted 1 Dec 2016

Story by CBR Canberra

Citizen Kay’s signature sound has been heard all over Australia and the World. He has been nominated for two ARIA Awards and has performed all over Australia alongside artists such as Illy, Wiz Khalifa, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, Tkay Maidza and Seth Sentry… But who exactly is this music phenomenon?

Originally from Ghana, Citizen Kay moved to Canberra with his family at just 6 years old. Surrounded by music, he grew up with a burning ambition to be part of the music scene, first rapping under the name ‘Kay’.

Citizen Kay’s interest in the art of recording continued to grow as he matured. He began writing and recording his own music and released his debut single YES! in 2013 and his first debut album With the People in 2015.

But even with all the music success, Citizen Kay says living in Canberra has had a big impact on his music and career. “I’ve really come to see CBR as home and am definitely most comfortable when I’m working here,” says Kay. “I love its overall super chilled vibe, the open space here that we take for granted (especially in comparison to say, Sydney).”

Choosing to pursue his music career in Canberra rather than in Sydney or Melbourne is something Citizen Kay thought carefully about. “For so long I (and I’m sure many, many others) had it in my mind that to get somewhere, I had to move to Sydney or Melbourne,” says Kay.

“Maybe at a point in time, that was the case but honestly just about every resource you need can be found here and even if it’s not, with the beauty of the internet you can get what you need pretty damn quickly.”

“The core of the music industry in CBR is really already here & established and is now just about us being persistent and passionate.” That passion for the music industry is one of Citizen Kay’s favourite parts about living and creating in the Capital.

“Everyone is supportive of each other’s art but at the same time always trying to improve on themselves and their own art. The love here is crazy strong!” says Kay. “For me that is the biggest thing that keeps me wanting to stay here.”

For Citizen Kay, Canberra’s creative scene’s future is bright. “CBR is growing so much in its music and arts right now, people are proud to stay here and represent the capital through their art. I’m extremely keen to be a small part in this growth and more importantly to do what I can to help others grow and be confident in what they do.”

“People have eyes on CBR now. There’s amazing music coming out of the Capital,” says Kay.

You can find out more about Citizen Kay on his Facebook page, or find his music on iTunes and Spotify.

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