Kaline Akinkugbe is a classically trained pianist, singer, songwriter, and aspiring film composer. At the foundation of all her musicianship is soul music. As a child, her mother taught her to play the piano and her father introduced her to Jazz. From then on, Kaline has been deeply immersed in the world of music.

She became aware of her talent when she wrote her first song and began taking vocal lessons at the age of thirteen. After finishing her A-levels, Kaline decided to follow her parents’ suggestion and take the more traditional route of studying economics at University instead of her passion, music. After graduating from Imperial College, London, she made the decision—with the support of her family—to pursue a music career.

Kaline attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where she recently graduated with a major in musical scoring. At Berklee, she explored a more contemporary sound, melding her classical training with Jazz and Soul influences. Artists like Stevie Wonder, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jill Scott, Lagbaja, and Michael Jackson influence her music and inspire her writing. She is still developing her unique sound by exploring different genres and bringing in her Nigerian heritage, sometimes incorporating Yoruba into her compositions. Kaline’s rich tone, classical influences, bluesy melodies, and Diana Ross-inspired hairdo set her apart from other artists in the industry.

For Kaline, music education is important because it gave her the opportunity and confidence to find her own style. Her advice for young people who are looking to follow a similar path is “don’t succumb to what is going on the industry.” She encourages new artists to “find their own sound.”

Kaline was the 2012 winner of the Songs for Social Change songwriting competition at Berklee College of Music with her song ‘Stand Up and Fight.’ The song was inspired by a story she read in a Nigerian newspaper about domestic violence. She is adamant about using her music and her voice to inspire and empower people. As she continues to grow as a musician and find her sound, we can continue to look forward to great music on her journey to self-discovery.

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