April Kae is a Los Angeles-based edgy bassist, singer, and activist who is quickly making a name for herself as a powerhouse musician and social change advocate.
Originally from Austin, Texas, April grew up in a musically talented family, immersed in the sounds of Motown legends like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, who shaped her passion for bass guitar and soulful expression. As she grew up, April got involved in the punk scene as a young activist. As a queer, Black artist, April's commitment to social change has been a driving force behind her music, earning her the attention and respect of major artists, brands, and publications.
SZA, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Zoe Kravitz, Questlove, Chaka Khan, and Flea have all shown love to April’s work.
We caught up with April about life, music, and plans for the future...When was it that you realized you wanted to pursue a career in music? At what point in your life?
Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up in Austin, Texas, it seemed like there were guitars lying around everywhere, including a few old ones in my mom's apartment. When I was about 10 years old, I started learning songs from the radio on guitar, and that's when my love for music began. My mom is a music teacher and an incredible singer, and my dad was always in bands doing lots of different things, so I was always surrounded by music—but I never thought I could really make it in music, LA seemed like a whole different planet.When did you find a deep love of the bass guitar?
I was around 12 years old when I began playing the upright bass in the school orchestra, and that's when I started to feel a deeper connection to music. I went on to create an advanced jazz theory program for myself when I was 17, studying and immersing myself in music theory.
I became politically active and started combining music and community organizing at the age of 13. This is when creativity and activism came together for me, and ever since then, those two things have been the heartbeat of who I am.
What I love about playing bass guitar is the way it serves as the foundation and backbone of a song, connecting rhythm and harmony. The bass can bring a powerful, driving groove that sets the tone and energy of a track. I love exploring different techniques, like slap bass and fingerstyle, to create a unique and dynamic sound. The bass guitar has a rich history in funk and pop music, and I enjoy being part of that lineage while pushing the instrument's boundaries. Being able to contribute to a song's overall vibe and connecting with other musicians through the language of the bass is truly rewarding. Has there been one particular moment in your career that you’re most proud of?
My custom Fender bass guitar! What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your music career?
Growing up in a “starving artist” household, I didn’t want to live that life as an adult. So, it was difficult working jobs from wall street to social work to public ratio, while also pursuing music. I’m glad for the unique perspective that experience gave but moonlighting is always challenging. Which artists would you like to collaborate with in future?
Baby Tate, KAMAUU, Thundercat, Willow, Lizzo, Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars to name a few! Is there any producer you’d really love to work with for your music?
Yes! Mark Ronson (Uptown Funk) and Pharrell for rhythm and groove.If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
Your voice matters. So, don't forget that you are capable of incredible things.Can you share anything you have coming up?
I have quite a bit happening, but for now the Fever 333 Tour this summer and I am working with Pardison Fontaine on a cool music video. What's the best way to follow you online? Instagram