As a child, Kadhja Bonet‘s Christmas holiday tradition was to spend the whole festive season taking refuge under her bed, or in her closet. Growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome, the continuous Christmas clamour just made her want to shut out the world until December’s end.
It wasn’t until recently (owing largely to a Yuletide-loving partner) that she took it upon herself to try and carve out a space for herself in the world of holiday music and culture. This most unexpected journey to reclaim the Christmas season culminated in two new creations: a holiday radio play called Apocalypsemas Now, and remarkable new EP, entitled California Holiday.
Kadhja’s visionary musical artistry is built upon her unique gifts as a singer and songwriter, as well as her stunning synthesis of folk, soul, pop, jazz and psychedelia. She’s released a string of greatly-acclaimed albums, EPs, and singles, plus collaborations with an eclectic array of artists, from Anderson .Paak to Bonobo to Khruangbin. And with her spell-binding voice and genre-defying musical sensibility, she’s certainly unlocked some fresh new holiday magic with her powerful latest outing, out on Ninja Tune in December, 2022.
In this episode of the Hidden Track podcast, Kadhja Bonet discusses the surprising path that led her to make a holiday album, the melancholy and contradictions often found at the heart of great Christmas music, how we use holidays as a way to mark the passage of time in our lives, a few of her favourite off-the-beaten-path Yuletide tunes… and of course, Charlie Brown!
The Hidden Track podcast is presented by Bent Stick Brewing‘s Hidden Track Citra Lager.