Kayla Briët’s otherworldly music is both an act of reclaiming her Indigenous heritage and a way of finding her own place in the universe. In her unique performances, Kayla sings, plays the keyboard, guitar and the guzheng zither, a traditional a Chinese instrument; all this while live looping the various components of her music. During her performances, she often has one hand playing the guzheng zither and the other playing her keyboard simultaneously. Kayla’s talents extend beyond music, and she also creates work as a filmmaker and virtual reality artist.
Kayla Briët is a 21 year old composer, filmmaker and virtual reality artist of Prairie Band Potawatomi/Neshnabe, Chinese, and Dutch-Indonesian decent. Kayla's work explores themes of identity in the multiple mediums of storytelling she engages. From a young age, Kayla became fascinated with creating soundscapes and draws from elements of traditional folk, electronic, synth pop, and cinematic worlds; singing tales of love, loss, and finding home. Through intimate live performances, she shares stories using voice, keyboard, guitar, guzheng zither (a traditional Chinese instrument), and live looping.
Her Prairie Band Potawatomi/Neshnabe, Chinese, and Dutch-Indonesian roots deeply inspire her in both music & film. Her award-winning short documentary, Smoke That Travels (trailer featured below), immerses viewers in her native Prairie Band Potawatomi heritage and explores fears that her culture may someday be forgotten. Kayla composed the music for the film and it has screened and won awards at over 45 festivals internationally, including Sundance, MoMA NYC, The US Embassy, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC where the film is now archived. In 2017, Kayla was invited to give her first TED talk as a 2017 TED Fellow. Currently, she's scoring independent films, directing experimental projects in 360 & VR, and producing her EP to debut this year, in 2018.