In my early teenage years, I remember my parents speaking about the accomplishments of their peers. They also spoke about the lessons they learned from their parents, grandparents and other older relatives. “In years past”, they would expound, “people were able to do so much more with less at their disposal”. My parents would tell me how things were made so much better in years past, and how much they feared what would happen in the future. Yes, that was the key part of most of the statements: pondering life in the future for children and grandchildren. Inevitably, this concern is shared by every adult with children at some time in life. However, the thought process involves more than concern, it involves a basic doubt of the abilities of the young. Of course, each generation does grow into adulthood and does more than just survives; they accomplish greater things than their predecessors in many cases. It must be a human trait to express doubt when it comes to our young ones. I realize this because I too, look at my children and nieces and nephews and wonder about the bleakness of their future. On what is such doubt based? Certainly not intelligence, because our young ones have garnered the capacity to learn and grow with the advances of technology. Even within the arts our young ones continue to exhibit creativity. Perhaps our doubt stems from concern over morality or the choices that will face them individually. Our concern rises not from the ability of our young, but how they choose to use such abilities. I’m concerned, but my parents were concerned about my generation as well.
These thoughts about concern for the future of our young ones made me think back to earlier this year, February 2015. I published a post that centered on our young, up and coming musical artists. I featured young burgeoning superstar eighteen year old Becky G. After discussing her success and talent at her young age, one of the comments caught my attention. The reader stated that “she is almost 18 years old and was born in 1997, it seems to me 1997 was just couple years ago, when did the years go by so fast.” After taking in his comment I finally thought of a way to respond. I said, “True. I’m just waiting for the first artist I cover born after year 2000.”
As I typed that response I laughed. Certainly that day would come if I continued to publish Weekly Music Commentary. I didn’t think I would see that day before the end of the year. Yet, today is the day I will feature an artist born after year 2000. A true millennial baby. More interesting is the story of how she arrived in our musical senses. Today our featured artist is Kaya Stewart.
You never heard of Kaya Stewart? Don’t feel too bad because she is very new to the music industry. Here is a small introduction. Kaya Stewart was born in London, England but was raised in Los Angeles, California along with her half-brothers, Sam and Django. She also has a sister Indya. Her mother is a French photographer named Anoushka and her father is songwriter-producer-musician David A. Stewart. The same one that was a part of the very popular musical duo The Eurythmics.
No doubt Kaya Stewart grew up in a musical household as her dad has worked many years in the music industry. She has said that she is greatly inspired by her father’s friend Annie Lennox. Annie was a former partner in The Eurythmics and mentored Kaya. That’s not a bad start for someone yet to celebrate a sixteenth birthday. It has provided the foundation for young Kaya Stewart to develop into her own person and artist.
I took the time to listen to the entire EP In love with a boy. The songs are well-crafted and that makes the entire EP a very appropriate initial release. Her debut single of the same name along with the video present an artist who appears older than a mere fifteen years old. Professionally, Kaya sounds ready to break big internationally. Her music is somewhat similar to the music produced by her dad and Annie Lennox, but she is definitely performing unique songs. Even though her new album is being produced by her father, I’m sure he plans to allow Kaya room for her own expression. She may never totally escape the long musical shadow of her father, but I think time will allow Kaya Stewart to further showcase her own musical voice.
As with most artists, Kaya Stewart’s ability to have a long musical career will depend mostly on her live performances. Last week she took advantage of a great opportunity and performed at the Kids Rock Fashion Show during the Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week. This type of exposure is perfect for the young newcomer looking to join the ranks of other young artists ready for stardom.
I wonder if Dave Stewart has concerns about his daughter Kaya’s future. If he does he’s not the first or last parent to worry about a child’s future. I’m sure his concern is balanced with pride as he views her successful early start into the world of music. As for the rest of us we can also watch, listen and enjoy the songs of Kaya Stewart and other young artists make their way to the music charts. From this moment on when introduced to an artist born after the year 2000, understand that next generation has arrived!
* photo by Marcus Cooper