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 harmonies 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 some of these songs in 2020, when times were uncertain for everyone. To ease my burdens and find inspiration, I turned to music from my childhood, especially my favourites from the yacht-rock world. It’s purely feel-good music that uplifts me every time I listen. I ran with that vibe while writing the songs for RETRODELIA, but put it through a pop filter. 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, “In Your Paradise,” is the first release from RETRODELIA. The song is about people who possess an innate magnetic charm that draws others into their world. The track’s full horn section and catchy hook will have listeners singing along in no time, and the upbeat vibe of the song offers an escape to a simpler, feel-good time. “I specifically wanted to create a retro sounding but modern pop song, heavily influenced by the yacht-rock genre. Purposefully a little cheesy, but really fun and catchy! I want listeners to be pulled in and ask themselves, “what is yacht-pop and why do I like it so much!?””
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!