Kota Hayton (b. 1997) is a composer, vocalist, and sound artist based in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the UMKC Conservatory in 2019, a student of Dr. Paul Rudy and Dr. Chen Yi. He is a Charlotte Street Studio Resident for the 2019-2020 year. He is interested in the intersections of various art mediums, working with poets, painters, video artists, filmmakers, and choreographers. His music has been performed at the 2017 University of Tulsa Bela Rozsa Composition Competition, the 2019 UMKC Chamber Music Composition Competition, the Walden School’s Creative Musician’s Retreat, New Music on the Point, and the Drugstore. Sound installations have been shown at the Drugstore.

Kota enjoys performing in choirs, small chamber ensembles, and with electronics. He currently sings with KC VITAs, a professional choir dedicated to performing music by living composers. On their 2018 Summer Series album, he is featured as a soloist for the art song “You” by Yimin Wu. He has premiered several new works as a soloist and in the chamber choir at the Walden School's Creative Musician's Retreat in both 2017 and 2018. At the same program in 2018, he was the narrator and vocalist for Frederic Rzewski's "Coming Together" and "Attica.” As a performer of electronic music, he improvises as a soloist and in groups with his voice and Max MSP.

Kota likes clouds, baking bread, Indian food, and playing with his cat.

artist statement

I am a composer, performer of voice and electronics, and sound artist. In any role I fill, my goal is create art that is engaging and uncompromising of my personal voice. To achieve this, I enjoy make interdisciplinary art that engages multiple human senses, leading to frequent collaboration, including with video artists, choreographers, and poets.

I also aim to present art in ways that make it accessible. Collaboration and interdisciplinary arts give viewers more opportunities to grasp onto and find something meaningful to them. I try to present my art in contexts of socialization and interaction rather than conventional recitals to create a more welcoming environment that allows freedom in how to experience the art.

What I create is inspired by the human experience and my exploration through it. Recently, I have used my art as a means to explore my thoughts, emotions, relationships, mindfulness, and how it feels to simply be.