The tricky thing about being young is that you’re expected to have an infinite supply of energy and ambition. Our culture acts as if young adults are immune to generational trauma, endless loops of police brutality on the news, paying rent, depression and heavens knows what else. What intrigues me most about April Kae is that the musician, influencer, activist and podcaster embodies relentlessness. Seeking until she find what she’s looking for, April continues to ride on…
“I’m originally from Austin, Texas. I was born in a small town called Denton, Texas where my parents met because the university of Texas is there. Which is a really great jazz school. I actually went college in Oregon. I went back home to get my life together then I realized I wanted to be in Philly. I visited a friend there and I fell in love with the city. I was also able to start a music club. A HipHop writing club after school. I’m not pretending like I went to the school to save these kids. Hopefully I helped a couple people but if anyone saved anyone it was the vibe of blackness. The black community saved me. I felt more empowered and decided to go back to college to study finance.”
The decision to study economics led April to New York, but even the big city wasn’t loud enough to quench her thirst for creative freedom. After more schooling and travel, April was committed to starting a band. Teaming up with her sister Nikki, Imani Gold was birthed in Portland.
“Growing up in a musical household, singing together and playing music together was always a given. My mom is also music teacher and was the whole time I was growing up. During the holidays she would take my sister and I and her students around caroling to nursing homes. Then she would have twice a year concerts where I would play bass and my sister would help with organizing. Before the band was a thing, that’s what we were doing. That’s who we are.”
The name of the band “Imani Gold” stays true to the sisters bond. Imani not only means faith in Swahili, it’s also Nikki’s middle name. Gold is a representation of the sense malleability and strength of marginalized people. Listening to their single “Ride On” you get a sense of April’s story and inspiration. Ride on has an island vibe but was written with the intention of writing a GREAT country song.
“I actually wrote “Ride On” as an exercise for myself. I wanted to write the most straight forward country song possible. I think it was Miles Davis that said that he liked country music because of the stories. It starts ‘I was born in a small Texas town’. Like how much more classic country can you get than that?”
So whether you’re experiencing April Kae as the lead vocalist of Imani Gold, the influencer showing how beautiful natural body can be or the host of the “I See What You Mean” podcast, brace yourself for a big dose of authenticity and passion.
See official visual for Ride On by Imani Gold
Hear the latest episode of I See What You Mean