In 2007 'Kaleena' was a 16 year old rising RnB singer with a video featured on Much Music and an album of original songs. At 18 she became severely ill and for three years was left with barely enough energy to go about her days. Bed ridden and disillusioned she let her dreams of music go. After healing she embarked on a life-changing trip to Europe; in her first week everything she had was stolen and she found herself sleeping on the streets. There she met a group of street musicians who inspired her to try music again. On her return she taught herself to play guitar and began busking, writing songs and developing her sound as Kalyna Rakel. Since then she has released 4 albums of original music, performed across Europe, Canada and the United States and been featured in festivals and on radio stations all across the world.
On June 15th 2016 Kalyna released her latest album The Other Side. A brooding, atmospheric journey, the songs tell stories of finding hope in the darkest of times and learning to love yourself and those around you. The album has been featured on CBC’s Here and Now, The Signal and Metro Morning where host Matt Galloway called Kalyna Rakel one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian music.
Kalyna is currently hard at work on her next album and playing with her quintet. She also works regularly with philanthropic causes in Toronto, including The Matthew House (www.matthewhouse.ca), peace activist Emmanuel Jal and a recent commission to write a song raising awareness of the 1932 Ukrainian genocide.
Photo by Scott Lalonde