Kaitlyn Mann, Music Prodigy
Kaitlyn Mann is exactly what you think of when you hear the word ‘prodigy.’ She started playing piano at 6 and was discovered by Sterling Campbell at 13.
She’s performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and has been recognized with wins at several international piano competitions. These days, she’s graduated into pop recording, working with Grammy-winning producers and mentors. Another fascinating detail? She’s never cut her hair. That means her luscious strands reach all the way down to her feet, when wet. We caught up with this 17 year-old songstress and learned more about her journey and what it takes to achieve so much at such a young age.
T'zikal: Were your parents pianists? What made you take up the piano at such a young age?
Kaitlyn: Hah! No, they are not, but my grandmother was a concert pianist. I saw a really talented jazz pianist perform in NYC when I was 5 years old and my mom told me I had a musical gift inside of me from my family (besides my non-musical parents) if I wanted to use it. She made me wait a year to make sure it was what I really wanted, and I immediately fell in love with piano and creating music. That was it.
T'zikal: What inspires you to write songs? Who are your biggest influences in that regard?
Kaitlyn: I am inspired by so many different things. I am inspired by feelings, stories, and experiences in my life or in people that are close to me. Music, of course, is constantly an inspiration as well! I am super influenced by artists who produce themselves like Charlie Puth, Prince and Ryan Tedder (One Republic), music producers like Max Martin and Shellback, and songwriters like Savan Kotecha and Benny Blanco. I am inspired by strong female vocalists like Jessie J, Chaka Khan, Ariana Grande, and Aretha Franklin, too.
"In The Air", by Kaitlyn Mann
T'zikal: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Kaitlyn: Hopefully, performing and touring for a lot of people around the world, collaborating with contemporary musicians and producers and writing and recording more of my own original music. I write, perform, and produce all of my original songs and I hope to build on that.
T'zikal: We have to talk about that amazing hair! When did you start growing it long, and what is your hair care regimen?
Kaitlyn: My hair has never been cut in over 18 years. My first ponytail was when I was around 13 or 15 months old. One of the first things I asked about was if I could grow my hair long and thankfully my mom never asked to cut it. My hair is a big part of who I am and I love it!
As for my hair care regimen, I am very active exercising and working on choreography for my performances and I wash my hair every other night or so depending on how active I have been.
The T’zikal conditioner has been absolutely a life-saver for me because it does such an amazing job of removing all of my curly tangles since my hair needs to be conditioned every night. It gets finger-combed and then very wide-toothed combed through to detangle it. Afterward it’s towel-dried and I use Moroccan and Argan Oil to help keep it moist. When I style it, I use a heavy hold type of gel that still leaves something to be desired in terms of control. I don’t use any other products and I’ve never blow dried or straightened my hair. Oh, and bobby pins, so many bobby pins!!
T'zikal: How was your experience with T'zikal?
Kaitlyn: AMAZING! I love, love, love the T’zikal conditioner that I have been using for the past couple of months. It makes my hair so soft, manageable and smooth. I had been trying one conditioner after another for years and none of them has worked anywhere near as well as the T’zikal does on my hair. Over the years, I have been to all sorts of curly and long hair salons in NYC and used so many products trying to manage my dry, curly hair and none of them worked. I totally can’t wait to use the Curl Project!! Thank you so much for sending it to me.