KUDISAN KAI Biography written by Sheila J. Hardy Kudisan Kai, the artist formerly known as Natalie Jackson, has made an incredible journey from opera to alternative metal. 'For my parents, classical was the way to go. I became good at it.' When she was 13 years old, Kudisan starred as Madame Butterfly. 'When I went to Howard U., the presiding music was jazz or r&b/jazz and I wanted to excel in what was popular in my environment. So I set out to be the best I could in jazz.' The best is exactly what she became. Kudisan graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received additional training at the Tanglewood Summer Music Program and The Eastman School of Music in Rochester. She went on to pursue graduate studies in Voice and Arts Administration at New York University, New York. This classically trained singer got her commercial music start in jazz on recordings with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble. As a result of this exposure, she received Downbeat Magazines Best Jazz Vocalist Award. She later toured with Anita Baker and Natalie Cole. Then, she did an about face and toured for six years with Elton John. Kudisan also worked extensively with Chaka Khan. 'When I toured with Chaka I realized that what we have in common is the use of dynamics the use of loud and edgy tones, countered with soft, airy tones. We both use all areas of our voice, moving from one extreme to the next. In R&B music, there is a formula, and if you don't do those kinds of runs or finesse your sound in that manner, people won't buy it. R&B did not give me the freedom I wanted. Then, I found that experience in rock music. I found a freedom to sound whatever way I wanted to sound in this genre.' Kudisan has appeared on Oprah, Rosie ODonnell, and The Today Show. Her latest appearances were with Beck on tour; MTVs Total Request Live; and with Sting on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The range of artists with whom Kudisan has recorded reflects the depth of her experience, and includes Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Saliva, Mary J. Blige, and Powerman 5000. The list of producers include George Duke, Arif Mardin, Don Was, Patrick Leonard, and Glen Ballard. This versatile artist can be heard in a host of television and radio commercials, as well as movies. She performed on the soundtrack of Dreamworks El Dorado, Disneys Dinosaurs, Ali, and John Singletons Dark Blue, working with top-rated music producers such as James Newton Howard, John Powell and others. 'When I was younger, I had no ability to allow myself to be really angry or feel anger. I always avoided confrontation. It really pissed me off that I was such a wimp. I have since changed all of that.' Kudisan was featured with her own alternative-metal band in CBGBs, Cat Club and the Bitter End, three of the hottest New York Clubs. On the west coast, she graced the stage of L.As Viper Room, where she showcased her songwriting talent as well. 'In coming into my own as a person that deserves to be heard, I now realize it's ok to be pissed - and say so. I have found my voice.' And a powerful one it is. Sheila J. Hardy firstname.lastname@example.org .