Kinnie Starr discusses her music as social activism

Canadian singer, graphic artist, and activist, Kinnie Star, is set to release her newest album, From Far Away, on September 30. Over the past two decades, Kinnie has shaped a rewarding career that revolves around her many passions. Her new album reflects these; it’s a fusion of rap, poetry, folk music, and lyrics about the earth, our technological dependency, and the growing issues surrounding our global water supply.

Kinnie, a former graffiti and stencil artist, got her start in music after volunteering at a local event — she simply asked for a chance to perform, which led to some great connections and opportunities she could’ve never imagined.

Since then, her style has stayed true to who she is as an artist, unwavering in the face of pop music that tends to promote homogeneous ideals. Social change and environmental rights are top priorities to Kinnie, both in her life and in her music.

For her, the integral role of technology in so many aspects our lives leads to a sickness of disconnection — a sickness that she acknowledges she isn’t above.  A strong believer that people need to get outside more, and rely on technology less, Kinnie says that her favourite song on the upcoming album is “Summer Day.” She describes it as a song about “being young in a time before people were stuck on computers and cell phones,” saying, “It’s a song about the good times before we were robots.”

The environment has always been a priority in Kinnie’s life, and she hopes those who listen to her music take away some newfound respect for nature, as well. She urges people to become more informed in regards to the environmental issues that surround them, through “studying, reading, and learning.” She says, “[People should] learn about aquifers, learn about underground water, the names of the rivers and lakes. Watch the salmon spawn, and look at the mushrooms.” The study of all of these things can “open your mind,” according to Kinnie. We just need to pay attention to these often overlooked pieces of the world around us.

Kinnie hopes that listeners of the album will also take away from it the idea that they should feel free to think for themselves, and that they shouldn’t hesitate to question authority. She proudly states, “I do music to facilitate social change.”

This fall, Kinnie will take her new music out on a cross-Canada headlining tour. She will also join David Suzuki on his Blue Dot Tour for two select dates in Victoria and Ottawa. She expressed that she is excited and honoured to join so many other environmental activists, and people who wish to create lasting and positive changes.