Denver raised and born, Kayla Marque has come to prominence in the indie music scene, and has musical roots tracing back to Earth Wind & Fire. No joke, her uncle is Larry Dunn—just listen to her vocals and feel the natural rhythms swirl out into the air around you. Take a peek at her Soundcloud while you wait for her album LIVE AND DIE LIKE THIS that will be released at the end of the summer.

One of the local artists playing at Divide Festival this upcoming July 21-22, make sure to catch Kayla’s set on Friday at 2:45 p.m. on the Peak Stage if you want to start off your weekend with liquid vibes and soulful lyrics.

303: What aspects of Colorado influence your sound and style?

Kayla Marque: I am a product of the growing arts culture in Denver — all forms of art, from painting to dance, music to fashion and photography.  It keeps me stimulated and inspired because of the quality and diversity. Colorado is, of course, beautiful and constantly changing. I think the seasons keep me fresh and always evolving in my craft. My own music style is cinematic — it is dramatic, heartfelt, soulful and very genuine to who I am. I like to think of myself as a storyteller.

303: What was your entrance like into the world of music?

KM: One of my first memories was watching my uncle, Larry Dunn of Earth Wind & Fire, play the baby grand piano at my house and being so enamored with the sounds he made. Just thinking “wow, how does he do that?!”

I was formerly the lead singer of Straight Nerdy Like Cool Kid, which is a fun alternative rock and pop band. Then, when the guitarist Olivia Rudeen signed a deal with Song Factory and moved to Nashville, I decided it was time for me to go solo.  I’ve been solo now for a few years but I am currently putting together a backing band, with some of the guys from SNLACK.

Photo courtesy of Kayla Marque's Facebook

Photo courtesy of Kayla Marque’s Facebook

303: Where is your favorite spot to play here in Colorado? 

KM: There are so many good venues in Colorado, especially in Denver. It would be impossible to name just one, so I’ll say my top favorites thus far have been the Bluebird, the Oriental, and Lost Lake/ The staff is dope and quite accommodating, and the sound is on point.

303: What are you most excited for Divide Music Festival?

KM: Honestly, I am just excited to be on this incredible line-up! I’m stoked to be apart of  the first ever Divide Music Festival in my home state. The audience can expect a very vulnerable an intimate performance.  They will experience me in my most raw form.  And with that being said, I’m hoping I’m not the only one who is “stripped down” — I’d like the audience to connect…engage… and go through the feelings with me. Music is an exchange of energy between the artist and the audience.