Naama Kates - singer-songwriter/pianist
"KING FOR THE DAY" NOW AVAILABLE - ORDER NOW AMAZON OR ITUNES
“Kates delivers her disarmingly self-revelatory observations in a blessedly uncontrived vocal style... Whatever "alternative" may or may not denote, Kates' highly accessible brand of pop cabaret ultimately is music of insight, surprise and pure delight.” - John Payne (Bluefat, LA Weekly)
“King for the Day” is really a quirky take on classical jazz. Namma Kates’ knows just how to play her spoken word poetics against her lush and mischievous vocal style, to cause a little friction.” – Alan Cross
"King For The Day" continues where Kates left off on "The Unexamined Life… it's one of the must-have albums of the year, regardless of what type of music you listen to. Jason Tanamour (Yahoo! News, Zoiks!)
It’s been a good year for singer-songwriter/pianist Naama Kates. Her debut album “Unexamined Life” was so well received by critics and fans she’s already finished a follow up. Her sophomore full-length album “King for the Day” was released on March 12, 2013.
From sublime to sardonic, weary to whimsical, on “King for the Day” Kates turns out avant-pop songs using an alternative balance of classical, blues and jazz, seemingly effortless lush vocals and poetic lyrics layered with edgy humor.
Grammy nominated producer Scott Fraser (Kronos Quartet) recorded, engineered and mastered “King for the Day” which features Mike Richardson on trombone, John Carfi on bass and Rich West on drums.
Kates’ arrangements, and the fact that all of the songs on KftD were recorded with her new quartet in single takes, gives the album a cinematic flow that makes the listener feel they are enjoying a series of mini films. The songs are scenarios viewed from multiple angles of life filled with unexpected storms and tarnished silver linings.
Highlighted songs include: The title track, “King for the Day” which answers the question - “Oh wouldn’t it be grand to be king for the day, everyday? … Now time to imagine the time when they take it away. Cue the chorus empathically sing: It’ll all be okay.” “Happy Homes” is a radio ready tune that celebrates the irony of being okay with everything falling a part around us. And, “Airplanes” muses on a peaceful early morning flight and the clarity that comes with being removed from it all.
During the production of "Unexamined Life" Kates began writing songs for her self-produced follow-up. Her usual writing process is on the piano, alone in her apartment, getting the songs down as they come. But that summer she was seeking solace and found it in Ken Burns' epic "Jazz" documentary. She identified with its subjects’ struggle and their romanticized journey as told by Burns. She watched all 20-odd hours on repeat, and let it play in the background while she was writing. This led her to want to try a different approach when producing “King for the Day” - just a few great musicians writing their own parts, with room for improvisations, all contributing creatively.
Kates has a background in acting including roles in the hit TV series "NCIS" and the indie films, "My Normal," "The 10 Commandments of Chloe” (which she co-produced and for which she won several best actress awards), as well and the upcoming "Eden," which won "Best Picture" at SXSW and the Gotham Awards.
Kates grew up in the suburbs in the Midwest and New England, where she studied classical piano and ballet and then moved to New York City at 17. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in 2009 she bought a keyboard and began writing songs. The result was her first album “The Unexamined Life” which included the stand-out tracks “Before You Lose It” and “In The Twilight."