Kaki King - Biography

By Marcus Kagler

Kaki King has become world renowned for her instrumental classical guitar pieces highlighted by an inventive slap playing style. Highly regarded as a critical darling King’s eclectic style began to slip into the mainstream after she appeared on albums by the Foo Fighters and Tegan and Sarah followed closely by her soiree into Hollywood with her music appearing in the films Into The Wild and  her original playing style featured heavily in August Rush. As a native of Atlanta, Georgia the burgeoning musician was born in 1978 to a musical household. Although she was a trained guitarist from an early age, King thought her future lay in drummer for various Britpop inspired bands. After relocating to New York City to attend university King began playing instrumental guitar pieces at open mic nights while making a little extra cash busking in subway stations. Upon catching the ear of the Velour label, King released her debut full length, Everybody Loves You (2003). Primarily comprised of instrumental pieces that focused on her Michael Hedges inspired playing style, the album established King as a highly original talent with a cult fanbase following in tow.

King’s major label debut Legs To Make Us Longer (Sony 2004) enhanced her sound by featuring upright bass, drums, strings and King taking up vocal duties on a few tracks. The album didn’t do much to increase her fanbase, however, and King returned to the smaller Velour label. After making a guest appearance on the acoustic side of Foo Fighters double album, In Your Honor (2005 RCA), King joined forces with producer and Tortoise virtuoso John McEntire for her third full length, Until We Felt Red (2006 Velour). Mixing electronic flourishes, inspired guitar picking, and post rock song structures into her signature sound Until We Felt Red also moved her shy vocals to the front of the mix with inspired results. After making a guest appearance on Tegan and Sarah’s The Con (2007 Vapor), King spent the rest of 2007 sporadically recording a follow up while lending her talent to the film August Rush, where her hands doubled for those of actor Freddy Highmore during cutaway scenes of the actor playing a guitar in King’s distinctive style. Her songs also appeared on the soundtrack while the tracks “Frame” and “Doing The Wrong Thing” graced Sean Penn’s award winning film Into The Wild. King’s fourth full length, Dreaming Of Revenge (2008 Velour) was a split affair with half the tracks featuring vocals while the other half maintained her signature instrumental sound.

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