Kitten's Chloe Chaidez Young Career Shows Maturity and Cat-Like Reflexes
At an early age, Chloe Chaidez knew she was different from other kids. While her friends were playing with toys and learning how to play the recorder, Chaidez was drawn to the raw power that music afforded her. What she didn't realize when she started playing bass at 10 was that her love of this creative outlet and her ability to harness an immense talent would become a full-fledged career.
Hana Ardelean and Jennifer Szilvagyi
Chaidez was born to a punk-rockin' father who played drums in LA underground outfit Thee Undertakers. Her dad blared classic rock and punk, but the young Chaidez was also drawn to the sounds of David Bowie, Sigur Ros and Band of Horses.
Now 19, the singer/songwriter has a vast musical knowledge that goes beyond her years as a player. Her music has been described as fusing genres as far-ranging as new wave, R&B, and '80s dance pop. This diverse sound has allowed Kitten to open for the likes of No Doubt, Paramore and Charli XCX.
By the dawn of her teens, Chaidez and her then-band Wild Youth landed on the radar of much larger groups. They were summoned to open for Midlake at the Fonda Theatre after Wild Youth gave them a recorded cover of one of their songs and Midlake liked what they heard from the youngsters. Many LA bands strive to one day play at the Hollywood staple; Chaidez graced the stage in front of a live crowd before she finished middle school. As important as the gig was for getting her name out there, Chaidez knew she had work to do if her band was to become more than a novelty.
"If I was watching myself at the Midlake show, I would have been like, 'Who are these dumb kids playing?!'" she remembers. "But since it was me, it was really cool."
Wild Youth disbanded soon after. Chaidez then began to carve out the vision she had for her own outfit. Within a few years, she discovered her voice as a songwriter. In order to flesh out ideas, she'd play acoustic open mics around town.
Kitten began to really take form when they started gigging at the downtown LA all-ages club the Smell. Though she hung out at the iconic punk venue at the onset of her teens, her music wasn't akin to the Southern California punk acts that became associated with the venue. Even so, in one of the many early incarnations of Kitten, three of the four members of FIDLAR (Elvis and Max Kuehn and Zac Carper) played in Kitten before going off to form their own successful band.
However, the band's first show at the venue revealed that Chaidez and her new band had a long way to go. "I invited all of my friends to check out my band, and the whole thing was terrible and sloppy," she says. "During the last song, one of my OG guitar players had his capo a half-step higher than it should have been, and it sounded absolutely terrible. He and the bass player thought they were each fucking up, and they got into a fight while I was trying to play the song! It was so bad."
After that subpar set, Chaidez fled to the venue's bathroom, where she sat for an hour because she was embarrassed by her band's antics and was afraid to face the large number of friends who had made the trek to see her band.