The Sunshine Coast's Katini Yamaoka has released her first album.
The Sunshine Coast's Katini Yamaoka has released her first album. Contributed

Katini takes a bite of the Big Apple

IT'S been four years since the Sunshine Coast's Katini Yamaoka appeared on television's The X Factor and a lot has changed for the singer since then.

Katini now lives in New York and, after three years in the making, she released her first album Gone on November 3.

"Gone tells my story of love, and the melancholy found in transient, beautiful things," she said.

"The music speaks in the way modern jazz often quotes an earlier standard - to pay soft homage to the tradition, but also to transform it.

"The album's concept goes back much further, about 20 years, to my darkest time when my father passed away. The family's original plan to relocate to Ghana, where he often travelled as a diplomat, was upended when he was killed in a car accident.

"Gone is both my tribute to my father and a reckoning with my struggle though love, solitude, and longing for the moon to bring him back to me."

Katini said releasing the album had been a long-awaited dream of hers, as was moving to New York.

"It has been a dream of mine ever since I was a child to live and pursue my career as a singer in NYC," she said.

"I love the city and it is full of exciting and artistic experience.

"New York city is a tough place to be but with hard work and perseverance anything is possible here. I am grateful for my life here and the wonderful people I have met along the way who have supported and guided me."

Katini said while she did miss her home on the Sunshine Coast, she was loving having the opportunity to perform and share her music in New York.

"I haven't been back for two years," she said.

"I miss my home and family in Maleny. I love the Sunshine Coast, some of the world's friendliest and fun people are there and I hope to be back in 2017. But I want to continue playing more shows in New York and expand to Europe and Asia. It is my heart's desire to connect to a universal audience and share my story and love for music globally."

Katini said while her album was finally complete, work didn't stop there.

"I am in the middle of filming a musical short film for the story of Gone," she said.

"We will be filming all over New York and the video will be released online in December.

"I just had a big show at Neuehouse Madison Square for the launch of my album and I also have a show coming up at Rock Wood Music Hall, one of New York's iconic music concert halls for upcoming artists and I have a monthly residency at The Standard Boom Boom Room on the Highline and appear weekly at Metropolis in Union Square."

Katini's new album Gone can be purchased from iTunes now.