Proof of the artist: a profile of the musician Pepper Kit | Fun

When local singer-songwriter Pepper Kit opened Koot’s main stage for British singer Frank Turner last Saturday, it was a moment of confirmation.

In the end, having so many people coming to me and sharing how impactful my music has been for them, that’s really the whole point of what I’m doing,Kit said.

Pepper Kit meets English singer-songwriter Frank Turner at Koot’s on Saturday 30th July. Picture of Chris Avessuk.

It was also the culmination of a journey she, unwittingly at the time, had undertaken four years earlier. It’s a journey with an unlikely story, a story that embodies the healing power of music and its ability to inspire and connect people in separate worlds.


Until about four years ago, Pepper Kit, 40, did nothing in music. She was, and still is, Katie Judge, wife and mother of three. Her story arc revolved around growing her family. “I practically did nothing with music for like 12 years after college. My kids were young and I was busy raising them. […] I took my ukulele seriously in the fall of 2018 and that’s when things really started for me, “he explained.

It was that decision to pick up her instrument and reactivate the music with intention and heart that led her down this path. It was a no-brainer for the 2018 death of indie rocker and Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, who took his own life at the age of 36. Citing Hutchison and Frightened Rabbit both as his favorite band and greatest musical inspiration, Hutchison’s death was that of Pepe, “surprisingly devastating “. He left a void, a void that he tried to fill with music.

The effects of Hutchison’s death were not only deeply felt, but they were far-reaching. Among the many inspired by Hutchison’s music was Frank Turner. It was here, in the process of his own recovery, while searching online forums for like-minded fans who were also mourning Hutchison, where Pepper discovered Frank Turner’s cover tribute to the 2008 release of Frightened Rabbit, Modern leper.

And so, the structure of this story is cast: two musicians, separate living worlds, united by their love for music and by the musician who inspired them both.

The Press Pepperkit 4.jpg

Photo by Chris Avessuk.


Before I met Pepper Kit, I met her eyes: these penetrating saltwater blues that were watching me from an Instagram photo pinned to her @pepperkitmusic account. It was a photographic portrait and the cover of their new EP, Unknownwhich comes out Friday 29 July.

Scrolling through her profile, the expressive quality of Kit’s eyes and the way they communicated a range of emotions ranging from joy and confidence to vulnerability and question was indelibly astonishing. My time as a photographer over the past 15 years has trained me to be proficient in how the eyes communicate. And later, when I got the chance to listen to Kit’s music, I discovered the same emotional feelings expressed in her music.

Understanding Kit’s music requires the listener to find what inspires her. In truth, you can’t understand Kit’s music without knowing her story.

Pepper Kit grew up in Sacramento, California. It was a house with a piano, a piano he was classically trained on. Even though Kit didn’t approach the piano with great ardor, he certainly learned from it. It was the foundation of his understanding of music theory and his ability to read and then write music.

“I think singing has always been in my blood, and I’ve always connected with that. I just didn’t really connect with the piano, probably because I was learning classic songs and not ones I could sing with. So, the two were disconnected. to be more connected with the music after picking up the ukulele, and then the guitar. I have a lot more control over what I play and sing, so there’s more passion behind it. I can really get lost when I play, and it’s a feeling unbelievable, “he explained.

In addition to the piano, Kit grew up in what she describes as a “very authoritarian and very conservative” Christian family. It was the home of extreme ideology, fanaticism and the marginalization of women. She inflicted childhood trauma on her that left her with emotional scars that she still bears. Yet it is from here, under the weight of that trauma, that Pepper found her voice. It is a voice that addresses those traumas head-on through the intertwining of meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies and whose purpose is both “connection” and “healing”. This is the heart of Kit’s music, a genre that she classifies as Sad Girl Pop Rock.

I saw a little girl at the farmers market the other day, this blonde little girl who looked exactly like me as a child. So, I’m watching this little girl singing this song which is the lyrics I wrote in the second verse of ‘Fall’, a song I wrote as an adult for myself as a child, “Kit said.

“Oh, if I could tell you the truth

She is braver and kinder than she knows

Perfectly, perfectly, more perfect than you know. ‘

Pepper Kit’s new EP, Unknown, is an exploration of 5 tracks of music and themes ranging from catchy pop to lyrics to reclaim your own trauma. And speaking to Pepper about her EP, she spoke with love and intention, but also with a deep appreciation for the work of producer Brock Dittus and mixing engineer James Glaves put on her EP to help her realize her self-promise: “If I’m to do it, I have to do it right. ”

Visit for more information which includes all links available on the online platforms that will debut on Stranger on July 29, 2022.

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