Calgary’s powerhouse vocalist, Kayla Williams, is a rising talent making waves in the world of yacht-pop music. Inspired by the smooth sounds of late ‘70s legendary artists such as TOTO, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, and the Doobie Brothers, the songstress breathes new life into the genre. With her soulful vocals and contemporary production style, she brings a fresh perspective infused with feminine flair.
Williams’ love of playful, lighthearted mid-’70s tunes with their funky hooks, harmonies, and bass-driven grooves inspired her to create her upcoming debut EP, RETRODELIA – a positivity-forward throwback tribute with a twist. Produced by Heath West and JUNO award-winner Spencer Cheyne, Williams’ layered vocals inject old soul wisdom into her music, and her clever lyrics add a poppy punch to each track. With glitter and good vibes in full force, RETRODELIA is sure to catch the ear of music lovers everywhere.
“I wrote these songs in 2020, when times were uncertain for everyone. To ease my burdens and find inspiration, I turned to music from the past, especially my favourites from the yacht-rock world. I love the groovy melodies, hefty bass lines and horn sections of that genre. I ran with that vibe while writing the songs for RETRODELIA, but I added a modern pop energy to the tracks. I was done writing sad songs about how hard life was and wanted to reminisce about an easier time and create music that felt lighthearted, playful and nostalgic.”
Williams’ new single, “You Call Me,” is the dynamic third single from RETRODELIA. It’s an unapologetically sassy anthem that oozes feminine intuition. The song speaks to the all-too-relatable experience of being strung along in the dreaded “situationship” – that familiar sinking feeling when you realize the other person’s interest wanes as quickly as the tide. This empowering track begins with a subtle blend of bass, shaker and vocals and gradually builds into a euphoric pop ballad. Produced by the talented Heath West and JUNO-award winner Spencer Cheyne, “You Call Me” is a magnetic yacht-rock inspired bop with a nostalgic retro charm.
“I really pulled from experience and annoyance to write this song! I’ve been in a few romantic situations where things kicked off with all this hope, but then I realized that the other person wasn’t as committed as I was. This song really hits on the idea that I’ve reached a point where, like I say in the lyrics, ‘You’re all teaser, no show; I deserve more than a promo!’ It’s all about learning your worth and letting go of folks who can’t make the effort.”
Williams’ talent has not gone unnoticed. She won the 2021 Red Deer Emerging Artist award, her music has been featured on TSN, and she was commissioned to write a song for the 2019 Canada Winter Games (performing it to an audience of over 8,000 people). A seasoned musician and 10-year vocal coach, she has performed at many festivals throughout Western Canada. Her soulfully dynamic vocals and fearless femininity have even earned her praise from Beach Boy Brian Wilson himself (“You’ve got the voice!”).
With her undeniably upbeat and feel-good energy, Williams offers a refreshing and modern take on the retro-inspired genre. The glittery yacht-pop revival is here, and Kayla Williams is leading the charge!