The first time I saw Kytami perform was at Rifflandia in 2015, when my friend Deriek of the band Spaceboots told me, "Come check out Kytami, I'm performing with her." I knew little but that she played the violin. But being myself, I absolutely love going into shows with no expectations. I met up with a few friends, and in an absolutely packed venue, we collectively pushed ourselves to the very front of the crowd, leaned up against the protective rails, and I eagerly waited for the show to start.
I was fucking blown away. Sometimes when I go to shows, I stand back and observe, and other times I find myself completely lost in the music - and that was the case for the first time I saw Kytami perform. I went insane, dancing my ass off and losing myself completely for the hour-long set. I knew I would see her again and again. And I have.
From Tall Tree to Lucky Bar to Rock the Shores I've seen Kytami perform at every opportunity in front of me. She has never disappointed, always throwing every bit of energy she has into her performances. Phonik Ops always makes sure to announce and remind the crowd that 'the harder we go, the harder she goes' - and it's true. Kytami feeds off of the energy of the audience, and we're sure to never let her down either.
Friday's show at Sugar was to celebrate the release of her long anticipated album, Renegade, which has since become a soundtrack to my daily life. Between The Jackal and Listen Up, one of those two tracks has disintegrated my awful stock stereo system in my car, and still every time I turn it up as loud as it goes.
Having just returned from a West coast tour with the legendary Datsik, I was amazed at how much energy this performance still held - Kytami is showing absolutely no signs of stopping. Despite constant bouncing, dancing, jumping, all the while flawlessly playing her violin, Kyla shows zero exhaustion, clad in her show gear which this time included a fucking jacket in a nightclub. How that girl does it is beyond me, but she manages to hype up the crowd every single time.
The beauty of watching Kytami perform is not restricted to the size of the location. I've seen her perform at festivals for an audience of a few thousand, to in a nightclub for a few hundred. The consistency of the performance remains the same, and when she tells the crowd to jump, we jump. Sugar Nightclub was absolutely shaking on Friday night, and I thought the building was going to collapse. But, we partied on. Let the walls come down.
Between Kytami and Phonik Ops, these two on their own are mixing two different styles of music - a mix of Branden's drum and bass/electronica elements, and adding the classical violin sound expertly mastered by Kyla, who herself has years of history and experience with drum and bass. But with the guest performers, this duo takes it up another notch further - performing with Deriek 'Dirty D' Simon from Spaceboots, who adds a hip-hop sound, working to both help hype the crowd, and adding his vocals. And then to add to it further, Gino Trash stepped out on stage with his guitar to give a gritty punk-rock accompaniment to a few tracks. So here you have an amalgamation of four performers, and four very different genres of music, flawlessly synchronized together to create a sound that by all means shouldn't be considered possible, but with everybody playing their own part, effortlessly shows that the love of music holds no restrictions.
The journey of these musicians is far from over. Having already toured multiple cities and festivals across Canada and the US, no doubt with the release of the Renegade album, these musicians will soon be hitting the road again soon - who knows where Kytami will go this summer? I'm willing to bet that we'll start seeing festival announcements soon with Kytami & crew on the lineup. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, be sure to check out her Facebook page for clips of videos from previous shows, as well as tour updates and show announcements.
And also check out her new album! Find it on -