Erika Kulnys is a singer-songwriter who is not scared to take risks. Erika's background in Nova Scotian folk music, her education in classical music, world music, poetry, and an abiding concern for social issues combine to create an original folk idiom that defies easy categorization and yields carefully crafted songs robust with passion. A broad range of songwriting influences include Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Bessie Smith, Patty Griffin and Ferron.
Erika's songs range from sultry love songs to lyrics tackling issues such as neo-colonialism and homophobia and she has the gift of writing meaningful songs that are more personally poetic than overtly political. In the story-telling folk tradition, Erika writes about real human experiences and the fierce conviction in her voice can move the stiffest of hearts.
Erika grew up in Nova Scotia singing in choirs and then went on to study music composition and creative writing at the United World College (NM), Oberlin College and Conservatory (OH), and won a 2005-6 Watson Fellowship to participate in groups working for social change through music in Ireland, England, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil, and India. Erika has collaborated with such renowned artists as Ferron, Lucie Blue Tremblay, and Scott MacMillan, has opened for Deirdre McCalla, Emm Gryner, Rose Vaughan, and has shared festival stages with Dar Williams, Richie Havens, Guy Davis, Josh Ritter, Richard Thompson (Oberlin Folk Festival) and Ani diFranco (Michigan Womyn's Music Festival).
Her band has included Sara and Kamila, Ryan Kotler, Guy Mendilow, Stefan Amidon, Duncan MacMillan, Naomi Morse and Elvie Miller. Erika has played in Canada and the U.S., South Korea, Spain, Ireland and Latin America and is currently touring her newly released album, Hurricane.