Kaiya Cade

Film Composition, Musicology, & Editorial 


BA UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO - English Literature, Music History & Culture, Philosophy

Celebrated by the CBC and well-received by Canadian music festivals including Pop Montreal and NXNE, Kaiya Cade (full name Kaiya Cade Smith Blackburn) has been actively involved in the music industry since her role as the lead vocalist/guitarist and composer of CADE. With CADE, a dream-folk quintet, Kaiya was awarded FACTOR (Funding Assisting Canadian Talent on Recording) funding, played inter-provincial tours, and supported artists such as Noah Gundersen. Taking her musical interest to academia, Kaiya completed an undergraduate degree with distinction at the University of Toronto in Music History & Culture, Philosophy, and English. Her postgraduate work consists of a Master's Degree in Musicology at McGill University in Montreal, QC. With this degree her focus is on African American musical expression & religion, as well as the gender politics of the Freak-Folk tradition.

The musical awareness and critical ear Kaiya has developed has evolved into a passion for film composition. Creating ethereal and haunting sonic landscapes, Kaiya combines synthetic sound with the acoustic instrumentation of piano, guitar, strings, sound bowls, and percussion, and finishes the musical environment with her characteristic vocal overlaying. She continues to work out of Toronto, Montreal, and London, UK. Her pieces have been featured in the Ryerson University Film Festival, and at the London (UK) Film School.

Currently completing her Musicology MA, Kaiya has contributed various socio-political and theoretical analyses of popular music to the field. Her focus on the gender politics of the Freak-Folk musical tradition, and on the relationship between African American Christianity and musical expression has brought about various musicological treatises. She is now pursuing editorial work within this field and in the wider spheres of music journalism and broadcasting. 



Her music blew us away. It’s simultaneously sophisticated, ethereal and raw with emotion. She calls it ‘misty folk’ ... but we call it top notch.
— Rob Mowat (Producer, "Fresh Air," CBC Radio One)