The Local 913: Kai Roberts

 
00:00

Pittsburgh rapper Kai Roberts found some musical inspiration from a very young age.

"I grew up in a musical family. My mom would sing around the house, she was kind of shy, so she didn’t sing at church or anything. My dad had a lot of endeavors. In my elementary years, he was a DJ. Me and my brother would help him out with his DJ gigs. In elementary school, I started playing instruments like the clarinet. In middle school I started playing saxophone. My dad would DJ hip-hop shows. That kind of sparked my interest. In ninth grade, I just started making beats.” 

Roberts is known for confronting his serious issues with anxiety on his debut album Carnegie Café in 2013. While attending Carnegie Mellon, he dealt with panic attacks on a regular basis. Now, he’s turned his experience into a live music and public speaking engagements presented to college students around the country.  

“It’s a platform for me to tell my story, but to share my music as well. When I go to these colleges it’s kind of like a traditional performance in the sense of its song, dialogue, song. The dialogue is a little bit longer. It’s a full story, it’s very very personal. Its things that I don’t say too publicly, but in the safety of the venue, that’s where I share that. It’s been wild; I went back to Carnegie Mellon. I think that was one of my best speaking engagements, it was so personal. It was a very connected show. People were getting emotional. There was one girl dealing with depression and opening up to me after the show, she was getting teary-eyed a little bit. It’s been really fulfilling in a sense that it’s bringing people’s emotions together.”

More on Kai Roberts is at his website.

 

Local Music

Local 913, Episode 87: Emerson Jay

For the last few weeks of 2016, we’re revisiting WYEP’s Top 5 local releases of the year. This week we focus on #5 from Emerson Jay, who released their EP Louie in 2016.

The Local 913 Live: Winners of the 2016 Dos Equis Singer-Songwriter Contest

The winners of the Dos Equis Singer-Songwriter competition, Nathan Rosswog, Melody Molinaro & Aris Paul - perform at WYEP's local music happy hour on November 16, 2016.

Local 913, Episode 86: Bill Deasy

Bill Deasy returns with a solo album after a successful reunion with his band The Gathering Field in 2014.

Local 913, Episode 85: Sleep Experiements

The ambient dream-pop band Sleep Experiments began in 2008 as a project between friends who had previously been playing solo music

Local 913, Episode 84: Ben Shannon

Local singer/songwriter Ben Shannon’s beginnings actually did not start in in Pittsburgh

Local 913, Episode 83: The Commonheart

Clinton Clegg and Shawn McGregor, who were formerly in the band Back Stabbing Good People, formed a new band: The Commonheart.

The Local 913 Live: Emerson Jay

Emerson Jay perform at WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on October 27, 2016.

Local 913, Episode 82: Brooke Annibale

In 2015 Pittsburgh singer songwriter Brooke Annibale released her fourth album, The Simple Fear. On the strength of her evocative and intimate songs and performance Annibale was named WYEP’s Local artist of the year. In 2016, four songs from the album were remixed by...

Local 913, Episode 81: Jakob's Ferry Stragglers

Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are a high-energy string band music that take influence from old-time, bluegrass, country, jazz, rockabilly and swing styles that have been making the festival rounds for the last few years.

Local 913, Episode 80: Diego

Diego Byrnes, whose stage name is just Diego, grew up outside of Pittsburgh in Evansburg, PA, but his family has roots far beyond Western Pennsylvania.

Local 913, Episode 79: Grand Piano

Grand Piano have been a prominent member of the Pittsburgh music base since 2011.

Local 913, Episode 78: As Ladders

The Pittsburgh band As Ladders has been releasing a handful of songs over the course of the last year as a way to get their sound on tape. Frontman Mike Berginc talked about where they made their recordings:

Local 913, Episode 77: Avi Diamond

...

The Local 913 Live: The Buckle Downs

The Buckle Downs perform at WYEP's local music happy hour on September 15th, 2016.

Local 913, Episode 76: Ferdinand The Bull

Nick Snyder, front man for the Pittsburgh band Ferdinand The Bull, grew up being encouraged to play music:

Local 913, Episode 75: Dan Bubien

Aliquippa native Dan Bubien began writing songs after a high school sports injury left him laid up.

Local 913, Episode 74: Sol Persona

Originally from Saxonburg, PA, Karter Schachner, who records under the name “Sol Persona,” began his interest in music at a young age in school beginning with the trombone to joining a rock band in high school.

Local 913, Episode 73: Emerson Jay

The indie-electronic group, Emerson Jay,  just released their lastest EP LOUIE, which stands for Love Offers Understanding In Everything.

The Local 913 Live: As Ladders

As Ladders perform at WYEP's local music happy hour on August 19, 2016.

Local 913, Episode 72: The Black Six

Camden Leeds, front man for the rock band The Black Six, accidentally found himself in the city 19 years ago after attending the Art Institute in Pittsburgh.

Local 913, Episode 71: Bindley Hardware Co.

About a year ago, Pittsburgh native Jon Bindley formed the band Bindley Hardware Co. borrowing the name from some family history.

Local 913, Episode 70: Metacara

The electronic-duo, Metacara, made up of Kyla Sauber and Vince Nania originally were part of a different band.

Local 913, Episode 69: The Hang Lows

Pittsburgh’s The Hang Lows have performed and recorded a brand of 3rd-wave-ska for about six years.

The Local 913 Live: Gregg Welty

Gregg Welty performs at WYEP's local music happy hour on July 21st, 2016

...

Local 913, Episode 68: Moemaw Naedon

Rapper Moemaw Naedon, whose real name is Ryan, grew up in Butler County with two major interests: hip hop and everything Sci-Fi.

Pages