Singer-songwriter Kita Alexander talks motherhood, grief, and how the Australian music industry is making room for mamas.
By Mama Disrupt®
Singer-songwriter Kita Alexander has been through a lot.
The mama of 2 – their names are Vali and Rumi – has been performing since she was just a teenager. She was still only 19 when her debut single My Own Way was released in 2015, but already she had been forced to deal with grief, after losing her sister 2 years prior. As her career was taking off, Kita’s now-husband, professional surfer Owen Wright, suffered a traumatic brain injury during a competition in Hawaii. He had to learn how to walk, talk, and surf again.
Kita says that it is making music that got her through. “Without song writing and journaling, all my heavy feelings and thoughts would just stay trapped inside forever.”
But motherhood has been a whole new challenge for Kita, and one that she’s embraced wholeheartedly. While it’s meant she’s had to tighten up her creative process and set some boundaries, she says “my kids and my husband are my biggest achievements of my life.”
Here we chat to the creative powerhouse about the work juggle, her creative process, and why she thinks “no matter how good of a parent you are your kids will probably still end up in therapy.” Did we mention we love her?
“No one in the industry knew how to support me, and what I needed in order to remain creative.”
How has motherhood changed your creative process?
My creative process is so much more streamlined now. I don’t have nearly as much time as I used to, so when I have my designated days for song writing planned out, I know I have to make it work. Each song has to be the best I can write, because I don’t have all the time in the world to write anymore.
Did motherhood make you more or less creative?
The haze of new motherhood definitely stifles my creativity. Especially when all you think about day in day out, is poop, milk, sleep times and trying to find time to shower. I find as soon as my kids are on a sleep routine and sleeping through the night specifically, my brain has more room for other fun things. That’s at usually the 1 year mark.
How do you manage song writing with kids around?
I thought I could manage song writing whilst having the kids. I’d often try to work while the kids slept or while they were playing on the floor. It only ever made me frustrated and upset because I’d only ever get to pen a verse or half a song before they woke up or needed me again. So now I have specific days away from the house where I can write and focus without any interruptions.
Does creating help you to process your grief?
Creating is really the only way I process grief in my life. It’s taken me a while to realise it, but without song writing and journaling, all my heavy feelings and thoughts would just stay trapped inside forever.
What’s harder: going from 0-1 or 1-2 kids?
0-1 for sure was the hardest for me. It’s a whirlwind, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into and you never know if you’re doing it right or not. With my second I feel more confident and definitely more relaxed.
There has been a lot of discussion about motherhood in the music industry. Is it changing?
Yes it is totally changing! Almost 6 years ago when I had my first, it was extremely hard in Australia. No musicians I knew were having kids or in my boat at all. No one in the industry knew how to support me, and what I needed in order to remain creative. But now, I’ve got a handful of friends who are pregnant or who have just recently had babies. It’s so incredible! It means the industry’s people will start knowing how to work with mothers who are artists.
Do you bring your kids on tour with you?
I don’t know about bringing them on tour with me. The lifestyle is hard, travelling every other day, with long nights. But they’ll for sure come to a couple of shows. My eldest really wants to see me on stage!
How do you carve out time for your work?
Oh, I’ve just figured this one out. When I’m at home with the kids, doing emails and day to day work is possible during my youngest’s sleep during the day. Mornings are for my sleep and night time is my me time, sauna and reading!
What’s your parenting philosophy?
You can always learn and always grow, but no matter how good of a parent you are your kids will probably still end up in therapy. So do your best every single day, and know that if you’re trying, then that’s the most important thing!
What’s your favourite thing about motherhood?
My favourite thing is watching them grow into their own little people. I love their cuddles in the morning and their laugh when they’re truly happy. I love cuddling them when they’re sad or sick. I love breastfeeding. I just love every single moment of it. My kids and my husband are my biggest achievements of my life, they’re my number one.
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