“Music, lyrics, and sounds can just bring this type of self-acceptance that we need.” | Feature | Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Kwento is part of a panel discussion on music’s ability to heal, held through the EVERYSEEKER Festival. KRISTA COMEAU photo
Music As Healing: A Zoom Panel feat. Kwento, NAT Chantel, Lindsay Dobbin, Rebecca Fairless, Bianca Palmer and Danielle Jakubiak
Thu June 11, 7pm

From creation to application, Halifax singer-songwriter Kwento sees music as a way to heal, restore and overcome.

Tonight at 7pm, she will be a part of a Zoom panel discussing the healing properties of music and sound, hosted by EVERYSEEKER Festival. She will appear alongside host Danielle Jakubiak and fellow panelists Rebecca Fairless, NAT Chantel, Bianca Palmer and Lindsay Dobbin.

For Kwento (you may remember her from when she performed under the name Kirsten Olivia), the use of music in healing is multi-dimensional—and is an active part of her lyrical process.

(That lyrical process also creates songs that are utterly addictive earworms, like her recent singles “Lv” and “Brkfst.” While plans for a new full-length have been stalled by COVID, fans of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill and Ari Lennox will find a new favourite in Kwento’s music.)

“It’s like being able to let my soul speak in such a way that I can listen back and understand her. I can listen and say ‘oh, I know what I feel now because I’ve articulated it’, or others around me hear my words and they feel normal,” says Kwento. “Music, lyrics, and sounds can just bring this type of self-acceptance that we need.”

While she facilitates her own healing and introspection through her lyricism, Kwento says that this is something that all creators are capable of doing through their art: “If you are a creator, then you need healing,” she says. “When you have the ability to make something out of nothing, you are magic and it’s hard to be magic in this world. It can be a crime depending on who you ask.”

As well as a way to heal, she also sees music as a path to restoration, explaining that through the rhythm of their chants, protesters are able to band together and begin to heal: “We’re already doing it,” she says. “When we scream ‘No justice, no peace,’ that’s a song. You have this world of people chanting a whole song and feeling this sense of togetherness. Why? Because the creation of things also restores things. We created something, and that creation restores.”

“Music soothes the soul. We don’t even have to put energy into it. Just listen to music that makes you feel good,” says Kwento. “I think it’s something that we should all tune into.”