Who The Folk?! Lea Kalisch

A singer, musician, actress, dancer, occasional rapper, Lea Kalisch is not letting herself be defined by one type of art of genre of music. Lea, who is in the process of relocating to Minneapolis, has an incredible background in sports and music that has helped give her the discipline to take on all she’s trying to take on. We talk about Lea’s Swiss upbringing, her new hip-hop video, what genres of music she’s into, and her recent move to Minneapolis on this week’s Who The Folk Podcast.

You can read an excerpt below, but for the whole interview (which you are really going to want to hear), please listen or subscribe to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher, with more to come later soon. Please subscribe, rate, and review. Check out the show page where you can catch up on previous episodes. And of course, if you have suggestions of others who would be great subjects, let us know!

You are an almost-full-time Minnesotan. Is that fair to say?

That is very kind of you to frame it that way. I want to be full time Minnesotan. I’m still juggling New York and here, so I hope to move slowly move and transition and have less New York more Minneapolis. But you can’t just leave your whole life If you’re an artist and then just drop yourself in a new planet. But I’ve actually spent quite some time here I was the whole summer I spent here and then I was in Switzerland for a while because of visa things. And now I’m back.

What was the visa issue?

I’m Swiss, and I just got my artist visa because you know, this country, it’s not so easy these days to just be here. So it was a long process so that’s why I was gone for most of the fall. I had to wait for my visa but I got it end of December and now I can work here legally. Which is nice because I wasn’t able to do that all summer. It was really hard because for the first time I felt like an immigrant in this country because before I was a student last five years, and I was able to do a limited amount of work.

So you mentioned you’re an artist, you mentioned a one-woman show, a music video. What is your art?

My art is many things. Okay. Lately very Jewish oriented. Us wasn’t not always the case. I guess living in New York has made me more Jewish. Very Jewish. Or maybe I’ve always been Jewish, but it reconnected me to my Judaism. So my art is basically there’s nothing I don’t really do. I rap, I sing, I dance, I act, I write my own music. I studied musical theatre. I play piano. I do Yiddish theatre. I sing with a spiritual folk rock band. So basically a lot of things.

That’s quite an array of activities.

Yeah, that’s the challenge because I’m like on three different tracks at the same time.

Do you have a hard time letting yourself be defined by one genre of music?

I’m like, a smoothie, like I love every flavor, and I want to do them all. You know, it’s all about branding and being that one thing that people know what you are.

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