With such a rich musical heritage, it was onlynatural
that Hunter Kaine would follow a careeras a
performer. Born in Melbourne, raised incountry
Victoria, her influences run deep andrich, and her
life experience has seen herdevelop her many
talents into being one ofAustralia’s most unique
new Country artists.
Kaine grew up in a house full of music.
Her father, Lawrence Ralphs, was a teacher and
guitarist who played with John Farnham,
The ABC Showband, The Powerhouse Big Band
and was invited at one point to join Little River
Band, and her mother Maddisson who was a
professional vocalist and pianist; these were her
earliest musical inspirations.
“Music is the first thing I really remember about
myself in life. I think it was there from the very
beginning. I was the kind of kid playing records,
singing and dancing rather than watching TV.
Music has such amazing power to it. It can reassure you, understand you and change you. It really resonated with me (pardon the pun), so I really couldn’t help but be drawn to it,” she says. (theaussieword.com)
The family moved to regional Victoria when she was 12. It was here she fell in love with the beauty and honesty of Country music, discovering the music of icons such as Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Beccy Cole and Troy Cassar-Daley. Her initial ambition was to be a dancer, studying Jazz, Ballet and Tap dancing. However, she soon started entering talent quests with her vocal prowess and soon her creative path changed course.
When Kaine moved to Warrnambool on the south Victorian coast, she was mentored by Marco Goldsmith of blues band Blue Heat, during which she gained some valuable experience as a special guest fronting a live band.
Hunter Kaine has never been one to stand still. Ever the restless creative spirit, she sang with Melbourne soul band The Committed, and studied music production and sound engineering at RMIT.
After exploring other genres, Kaine’s passion for Country music was reignited by discovering the music of Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood. She then decided to reconnect with her heartland roots, concentrating on expressing herself with honest words and her powerful voice.
She formed a country duo called Honey Train with David Jones, playing in Tamworth during the festival periods, and she has also been the vocalist for country rockers Deep Creek Road.
She has traveled to Nashville to further her knowledge of music creation and to broaden her networks. It was there she met Jeff Cohen (who has worked with Jeff Buckley among others) and Australian born songwriter Phil Barton (who has written hits for Morgan Evans, Lee Brice, Wolfe Brothers and more). It was Barton who passed on a demo to Kaine of ‘Long Way From Lonely’ which became her breakout self-produced single.
Hunter Kaine is nothing if not mercurial. Her approach to music making means she ensures that everything has the perfect combination of ingredients. Her vocals add a warmth and emotion that adds something extra special to the mix. As a producer she works to create a synergistic sound, painting an atmosphere that suits the song. She explains: “everything that you put into today, benefits tomorrow. So with that in mind, I mainly put my energy into the integrity of the current song that I am working on.” That is why she asked multi-award winning singer songwriter Shane Nicholson to duet on ‘Long Way From Lonely’ and why she selected the musicians to play on the track based on their ability to play with the right level of feel and restraint.
Her decision to invite Nicholson onto the recording is something that earned her kudos from the veteran troubadour. “You have to be humble enough as an artist, like she is to be able to do that, to give the first splash away to somebody else on your first single is pretty brave, it’s definitely about putting the song first”, Nicholson says.
Not content to stop at production, Kaine has her hand in the design of her publicity imagery, and also is active in the production of the videos for her singles. “I love to merge the best of both worlds when it comes to producing [all aspects of] my music,” she says in an interview with female.com.au. “I love harmonies, solid musicianship, with some lateral creative thinking thrown in the mix.”
Never shy of keeping her musical journey open for exploration, Kaine has asked widely recognised Australian producer Adrian Hannan (Vanessa Amorosi, Brook Chivell, Delta Goodrem and Taxi Ride) from The Song Store, to produce her next round of releases. “Adrian is an incredible talent, who knows how to get the best out of an artist and a song, it’s a pleasure to work with someone of this calibre”, she says.
A committed exercise enthusiast and animal lover, Hunter Kaine is a multi-talented artist with a bright sound that is colourful and nuanced, and ready to uplift a world that is eager to live life to the full again. She brings skills and experience to the table to create music that is as vivid as the life she has lived, with a vulnerability and honesty that stands up with the best Country music can provide. No less an authority than Lee Kernaghan can attest: “We have some stellar new artists coming through like …Hunter Kaine …that are destined for huge things over the coming years.” (Scenestr).