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Kaleah Lee

Away From The Noise

Kaleah Lee chats to CPWM about baking, the hobby that gets her out of her own head. Hi! I’m Kaleah Lee and I’m a singer and songwriter from Vancouver, BC. I’m nearing the release of my very first EP ‘Birdwatcher’ and it’s all very exciting! Over the past couple of years, making and sharing music has become a huge focus in my life, and in one form or another, it is on my mind almost constantly. Because of that, I can put loads of pressure on myself, and it definitely doesn't help that I already tend to be an easily overwhelmed person with a million things going on in my head at once. So with that, having other interests and hobbies and places to put my energy into has been super important for me and my well-being. One of the hobbies that I have carved a very cosy little home within is breadmaking. It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I baked my first loaf of bread. For some reason, it just felt super intimidating so I wrote it off for ages as too complicated, but one day I just made the leap and dove head-first into it, challenging myself to make a loaf of bread as my contribution to my family’s Christmas dinner. Thankfully it turned out good and edible! Since then, I haven't really stopped, and I’ve become more adventurous with the types of bread I make; from baguettes to pumpernickel bread to braided loaves and more. Breadmaking is so therapeutic. Playing around with types and flavours and shapes has been the most fun, and it’s really served as another creative outlet for me. I’ve definitely killed a few sourdough starters and have messed up a healthy amount of times, but I think that’s what keeps me interested — being challenged and feeling humbled is extremely grounding, forcing you to do things at a slower pace. Baking really is a science, and it’s pretty calming to be insanely present and make sure you’re not missing any steps in the recipe. I also love baking specifically when I know I’ll have the kitchen or house to myself — I make it a point to ensure that everything around me is super clean and tidy before I start, I’ll even set the mood and light candles and play music. It may or may not be kinda extra, but it makes it all feel like a sort of meditative escape. Kind of like going to the spa, but also absolutely nothing like going to the spa… Truthfully, I see no end to my breadmaking. I hope to only get better and more skilled as time goes on, I hope to always have that quiet space and time to bake, I hope to keep my next sourdough starter alive, and I hope that as long as there’s music from me, there will also be copious amounts of homemade bread for me to enjoy and share with my loved ones. It seems like such a tiny thing, but it’s a little act of love that I’m grateful I get to share. Kaleah Lee’s debut EP Birdwatcher is out now.
Words by Kaleah Lee
Photography by Spruce Bohen
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