Caiikie ~ Sexy Turned Up

Caiikie

Caiikie

I met Caiikie Caiiks through her recording label 7 Seas Records, so I didn’t know her very well before I interviewed her. Caiikie, who recently released the single Sexy Turned Up, is delightful. She’s talented, down-to-earth and building community as she builds her career.

Caiikie has such an unusual name that I asked her about it as my first question. I thought it may be Hawaiian. Turns out, her real name is Caitlyn. When she was born, her 1-year-old brother couldn’t say her name and he called her Caiikie (pronounced Cake-ee). Her family and friends picked up on it, and everyone calls her Caiikie and Caiiks.

She currently has three singles available: Love Again, Running Rounds and Sexy Turned Up (which is not yet available on all websites). You can find her music on iTunes, Amazon, her YouTube channel and Caiikie.com.

Caiikie has been performing her entire life and she has the embarrassing family videos to prove it. She began playing piano when she was very young, then added viola and, because she was always singing, took professional voice lessons. At age 11, Caiikie decided to solely focus on her vocals. Throughout high school, Caiikie performed all over the world as part of specialized singing and theater groups. Caiikie continued singing in college. After college, Caiikie moved to New York to pursue her dream in music.

CaiikieYou can tell Caiikie has professional training when you hear her sing. Caiikie does vocal exercises every day and takes care of her voice, because “this is all I’ve got; this is what I’m banking on right now!”

Caiikie’s sound has been influenced by multiple genres of music. Her father was always playing music in the house. She grew up listening to James Taylor, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen (her first concert), Lovin’ Spoonful, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Celine Dion.

As she grew up and started selecting her own music, “I took to the artists who really pushed the boundaries of what I think mainstream performance art is right now. For instance, Rufus Wainwright is very folky, but he pushes the envelope of what a mainstream folk artist is, with his lyrics and the way he performs and his demeanor. Of course, I have to give it up for Lady Gaga. She’s my girl. She and I are best friends; she just doesn’t know it yet. She pushes the envelope, as we all know, and that’s what I hope to do with my music eventually.”

Caiikie uses video and social media to form a community. “I take my fans, my family and people who can’t physically be with me to my studio sessions, my performances and photo shoots. I post them, because I want them to feel like they’re a part of the journey with me. I want them to feel like they have contributed to my successes.”

Caiikie on streetSince Caiikie is based in New York, she plays out in the local music scene at venues for starting artists. She’s been building community offline too, meeting other artists, networking and helping each other out. November has been a great month for Caiikie. At the New York marathon, she sang at mile 19. She also sang the national anthem at the Mets game. She has a lot of bookings in December: Piano’s, Tammany Hall, Pyramid Club and open mike nights. Check Caiikie’s social media accounts for details.

Caiikie connected with her record label when she sent in a video for a demo gig. 7 Seas Records were so impressed with her singing that they decided to work with Caiikie and nurture her talent. She has a fun relationship with them. “They push me out of my comfort zone and out into the world of artistry and music. They help manage all my social media. They have a lot of really great connections.” The main criteria for choosing her record label was “connect with a group of people that are as committed to success as I am.”

When I asked Caiikie her advice for other artists, she shared that every day she reminds herself not to fear her own potential: “Be 100% myself and fearless. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to pick yourself up and follow your dream.”

At the end of the interview, Caiikie thanked me for “letting people get to know the real me. It’s nice to not be on a stage; just be able to sit and express myself.”

Well Caiikie, you are most welcome. Interviewing you has been a pleasure!

Watch our video on the Amused Now YouTube channel:  http://youtu.be/cVZDt3z_FZQ

Amused Now Featured Artist Series

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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now
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