"Czech Republican-Canadian Singer-Songwriter transcends musical and cultural boundaries with her highly anticipated second album, Diplomatic Dream" - Marisa Iacobucci, writer
Czech Republican-Canadian singer-songwriter Yitka Karlik was born in the city of Zlin in the Czech Republic, a city of greenery, surrounded by mountains and full of evergreen forests. Raised in a creative family and influenced by the traditional folklore music of the region, music and the arts played a major role in Karlik’s young and impressionable life and continued to influence her to play and write her own music later on in life. Her mother was a poet when she was younger, both her parents came from musical and artistic families and her older brother, a commercial artist, also plays blues guitar and the harmonica. When she was 13, her brother bought her a guitar, showed her three basic guitar chords and the rest is history. She taught herself how to play guitar by practising all day and night and by watching her brother, who was listening to classic bands and artists such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Queen and Bob Dylan, play guitar. Musically, she was influenced by all of the classic bands her brother was listening to as well as ABBA and Boney M, but Karlik also listened to all of the popular music coming out of her country and other European countries and to Czech folk musicians such as Lenka Filipova, Karel Zich, Hana Ulrychova and many others. She began singing in school choirs and competitions, played in the home town bands Horoscope and Premier when she was only 16 and couple of years later moved to Prague, where she went to school beside working and joined other bands to performe live. Yitka emigrated to Canada in 1991 where she was about to experience tougher times.
When Karlik arrived in Canada, she taught herself English, put herself through school and worked to support her young family. She went through some difficult times, but music always seemed to get her through the worst of them. Inspired by her personal experiences and by other people around her writing songs, she began playing live music with other musicians and finally found the strength and courage to record her first CD, Contradiction, which was nominated for a Hamilton Music Award in 2007. A blend of pop, folksy and worldly sounds and highly influenced by the music of Leonard Cohen, it featured 12 of Karlik’s original songs and was produced by Danny Z of Blue Tilt Studio in Hamilton.
Karlik continued to explore her rich and untraditional musical heritage on her second album, Diplomatic Dream, released in 2010, Nominated for Hamilton Music Awards World Recording of The Year in 2011, which blurs the lines of musical classification and ventures into old and new sound territories. Diplomatic Dream is named after a catchy reggae-themed song on the album which is about not being able to get someone or something out of your mind. It features 11 of Karlik’s original songs and one cover, Karlik’s rendition of Marianne Faithfull’s “Broken English” The album was produced, mixed and engineered by Hamilton’s Danny Z of Blue Tilt Studio who also plays percussion and keyboards on some of the tracks and mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray at AcouTech Studio in Camarillo, California. The album was co-produced by Karlik who sings on all of the tracks and plays the 12 string guitar and keyboard on the song, “You Can Buy a Summer”. Karlik was joined by musicians Steve Negus formally from Saga (drums), Joe Mavety (electric guitar on “Broken English” and one of the original co-writers of the song), Peter Sisk (upright bass), Ray Poirier (bass guitar) and Sandi Stirling (keyboards).
Although most people would classify Karlik’s music as folk music, Karlik has her own name for it, folklore/folk/blues, soulful music from her heart. She writes songs about love, passion, happiness, loneliness and sadness. Vocally, she has been compared to Marianne Faithfull and Nico (Christa Päffgen) and musically, you can hear the strong ABBA influence in her songs.
When she’s not writing songs or in the studio, Yitka plays live shows in and around the Hamilton area and is already thinking about a third album.
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