The Astonishing Nelly Kate

by | Dec 13, 2011 | MUSIC

In her music, Nelly Kate examines the most organic of sounds that surround all of us. The sounds of cluttered dryers clanging in basements and the high pitches of tea kettles would seem right at home on her new album, Ish Ish. As a self-contained artist, Kate approaches her compositions in multitudes of layers. While the use of looping mechanisms in contemporary music isn’t uncommon, Kate’s creations feel otherworldly. A harmony will continue to lift itself higher as she builds another part right in front of a live audience. One handclap will turn into various rhythms that intertwine to resonate across a sonic landscape.

When she recently graced the stage of The Listening Room, very few people in the audience knew what to expect. She descended towards the stage carrying only a set of drumsticks. With the eventual accompaniment of several pedals, a keyboard, a guitar and her haunting voice, there was no questioning her ability to win over an audience.


In her music, Nelly Kate examines the most organic of sounds that surround all of us. The sounds of cluttered dryers clanging in basements and the high pitches of tea kettles would seem right at home on her new album, Ish Ish. As a self-contained artist, Kate approaches her compositions in multitudes of layers. While the use of looping mechanisms in contemporary music isn’t uncommon, Kate’s creations feel otherworldly. A harmony will continue to lift itself higher as she builds another part right in front of a live audience. One handclap will turn into various rhythms that intertwine to resonate across a sonic landscape.

When she recently graced the stage of The Listening Room, very few people in the audience knew what to expect. She descended towards the stage carrying only a set of drumsticks. With the eventual accompaniment of several pedals, a keyboard, a guitar and her haunting voice, there was no questioning her ability to win over an audience.

Kate has been working on Ish Ish for a bit of time now. Her dream is to be able to record the album on four-track analog tape. To make this dream a reality, she decided to start a Kickstarter to raise funds for the project. Kate has developed several stunning and creative rewards for donors who contribute particular amounts. Everything from exclusive screenprints to Kate spending an evening as your personal, private chef is up for grabs.

Richmond music is certainly something that deserves to be nurtured and supported. There are always unspoken heroes that deserve to have their dreams becoming realistic opportunities. Kickstarter allows the opportunity for creative minds like Kate to bring these thoughts to fruition and reward her contributors at the same time.

If you feel inclined to make a donation, please visit Nelly Kate’s Kickstarter page for Ish Ish HERE (donations must be received by Friday, December 23 at 5 PM). While you’re there, check out a recent single by Kate entitled “Blue Badges,” and discover more of the story behind one of Richmond’s new musical champions.

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.




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