"Fairytales are more than true...
...Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten," (Neil Gaiman, Coraline epigraph credited to G. K. Chesterton 2002). Armed with a voice, an entourage of instruments, and a faith in the power of story, songstress and self-proclaimed "one woman tribe" Kala Farnham has set out into the world with one vision: To inspire and heal through the transformative power of musical storytelling. Farnham has performed at listening rooms across the country, garnering numerous awards and media attention, including the title of 2019 Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Contest winner, 2017 Rhode Island Songwriters Association Performing Songwriter Contest winner, and alumni of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project. She has shared the stage with the likes of John Gorka, David Roth, Billy McLaughlin, Christine Ohlman, Don McLean, and more. Drawing from a classical education and a professional career in musical theater, Kala presents hallmark reinvention of the folk tradition. Her passion for fairytales, ancient history, and storytelling draws audiences from around the country into reinvented worlds of alternate times and places.
Farnham began taking classical piano at the young age of three, and was gracing stages playing Mozart concertos and Chopin nocturnes by second grade. At age twelve, she began writing her own songs, combining her musical prowess with her childhood passion of writing storybooks. "Writing, for me, became a medium of healing and growth," Kala explains. "Through the melodies, characters, and stories I explored... I was able to reach a place of revelation and solace within my own journey." In high school she established herself as a working musician as a theater accompanist; in college, she furthered her studies in music performance and composition, with a double major in psychology. Two years shy of completing her Bachelors degree, Farnham took a break from her ambitious education to focus full time on music. "Through my art, I learned that we have the power to rewrite and alter the dead ends in our stories. And performing showed me how sharing our stories can invigorate others to realize their own potential, that we all have the power to reinvent our stories. I realized that writing and sharing my story was an integral part of who I am and what I wanted to do with my life."
Farnham's revelation led her to the release of her 2014 album, "Anahata: Wake Up Your Heart", a chronicle of the journey towards authentic self-expression and love. The album earned her a nomination for "Best Americana Album" and "Best Female Americana Vocalist" in RI's Motif Music Awards, and received glowing praise from Bill Copeland Music News for "accomplish[ing] the near impossible goals of having a distinct sounding voice and having something to say", delivered by an "ethereal, gliding vocal timbre... lush with emotion and tonal substance". One year later, the album took her down the East Coast, earning her a spot as a Featured Artist at Folk Alliance International's 2015 SERFA Music Conference.
Farnham's artistic journey led to the inspiration behind the making of her 2016 sophomore album, "Samadhi: Home Is Where You Are", a heartfelt account of adventure and homecoming. Hailed by Bill Copeland Music News as "soulful Americana" in "one of New England’s best voices in one of this year’s best written and best recorded works", the album earned her another nomination for RI's Motif Music Awards "Best Americana Album", as well as an invitation to the prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project.
Outside of her own creative projects, Kala is an advocate for promoting arts and wellness in the community. She is the founder of the monthly Quiet Corner Songwriters meetup; host of the Victoria Station Cafe Songwriter Showcase; a vocal coach and musical theater director, accompanist, and composer (The Bradley Playhouse, Emerson Theater Collaborative, and others); and has donated her time to charity events such as Particle Accelerator Benefit Music Festival for United Services, in memory of Jack Young, Jr., and as a suicide crisis counselor.