As a drummer I learned a long time ago that to truly measure an act you have to consider all of its members and not just the “star” performer who is “out front.” In other words, quite often the supporting cast is just as important as the main actor–sans the accolades and attention–and without such professionals many featured performers might not be where they are today. Therefore, I learned early on to pay attention to everyone on the stage and not just to simply follow the beam of the spotlight to take in the entire show.
Having said that I really enjoy finding those outstanding musicians that surround and support the featured performer as quite often their story and talent is such a gem that their discovery is nothing short of exhilarating. L.A.’s own Kitten Kuroi is one of these musicians.
Kuroi, a Cal State-Fullerton graduate, is a terrific and multi-talented vocalist and songwriter. She is also a makeup artist, vegan, and activist for many worthy causes. Kitten, a naturally beautiful woman, could probably foster a career of some sorts on her appearance alone. However, the woman is a multi-talented vocalist, which–when coupled with her dancing abilities–makes her a riveting performer whose captivating style commands attention much like the iconic Zelma Davis did in her outstanding visual performance in C + C Music Factory’s 1990 smash hit, Everybody Dance Now, (except that Kuroi could have also sung the part as well as dance to it). Kuroi’s work with Elvis Costello corroborates this premise.
Editor’s Note: In the 1990 hit Zelma Davis was credited for the visual performance in the song’s video however, the track was actually sung by crooner Martha Wash.
However, despite outward appearances don’t let Kuroi fool you; she is a hardcore and seasoned musician whose talents have not gone unnoticed by national performers. Indeed, just ask Elvis Costello, Englebert Humperdinck, AJ Hobbs, Natasha Bedingfield, Rickey Minor (Whitney Houston), Jon B, Frenchie Davis, Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Pixie Lott, Darren Criss (GLEE!), LeAnn Rimes, Forrest Whittaker, Andy Samberg, Chris Isaak, Queen Latifah, and Ashley Roberts of the Pussy Cat Dolls, just to name a few.
Editor’s Note: For Kitten’s tour information please visit her website here. She is currently on tour with Elvis Costello.
In addition to all that Kuroi is driven….very driven. She is perpetually touring and working. In fact, her work ethic and respect for her chosen profession is what I find to be her most redeeming quality. Check out her social media and you will find a talented, no-nonsense, determined, and dedicated young musician whom you just know is going to succeed.
I also appreciate her musical diversity as Kuroi can effortlessly toggle between jazz to R & B and everything else in between. I can see this performer in many places. For example, I could have envisioned her singing Noelle Scaggs’ part opposite Michael Fitzpatrick in the smash hit The Walker (Fitz And The Tantrums). I also could see her following in the footsteps of other contemporary R & B artists such as Ledisi, K. Michelle, and Janelle Monae.
And there’s more; Kuroi is good to her fans. She’s interactive and she gives them attention and nowadays that’s a must for any performer.
In the end, I have a lot of respect for the likes of Kitten Kuroi and others like her. I would even go so far as to say I admire her. She has all the right qualities–youth, talent, discipline, drive, and ambition–and in my estimation she intends to maximize each of them in the pursuit of her career and that’s the way it should be. Keep an eye on Ms. Kuroi; she’s going places….lots of them.
Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor