She’s a born storyteller who believes in making your strangeness your strength. When asked how to describe herself in one word, she calls herself a rebel. This up-and-coming, switchblade-carrying, blue-eyed soul singer Kelsy Karter is about to rock and roll herself to the top of the charts in no time. After moving from Australia to Los Angeles as a teenager to pursue her music, Karter dropped an EP called Kiss The Boys, along with two music videos for her songs “Crystal Blues” and of course, “Kiss The Boys.” Growing up, Karter considered herself weird, yet mischievous and bold, and now she sees herself as an outsider in today’s music industry. But being on the outside has its perks. Karter manages herself and has the freedom to own her specific sound. Here, we chatted with the soul singer and found out a little bit more about her and her music.
Cliché: Tell us about your new EP, Kiss The Boys. How would you describe the feel of the songs that are on there?
Kelsy Karter: This whole EP was super inspired by a few particular records I was listening to at the time. It’s really a mix of soul, rock’n’roll, and jazz. It’s my own mix of musical wonder.
What is your writing process like?
It differs. If I’m writing alone, it’s usually because I am feeling something. I’ll just pick up the guitar or sit at the piano and just see what happens. That’s usually where the magic happens. If I’m writing with someone else, I guess there’s a bit more preparation in what we explore. One of us will have a cool idea and we’ll go from there.
We hear that you consider yourself a rebel. What makes you one? Do you think it shows in your music?
I got into a lot of trouble growing up. I thrived off chaos and doing what people told me I couldn’t. And now is no different, but I try to channel it through my music. The “rebel” thing was just something people started to label me. But it’s cool; that’s my way of owning myself. I’m proud to be the person that jumps first.
What makes you want to make music?
Making music and creating art has never been a conscious decision. I’ve been doing it forever. Some people go their whole lives trying to find themselves and their purpose. Me? Well, I’ve always known the answers to those questions. Making music makes me feel alive. I live for this.
What has been the most difficult thing about creating a name for yourself in the music industry?
To be honest, the hardest part is NOT focussing on that. Fixating on becoming “famous” is where people go wrong (in my opinion). The minute I stopped caring about that, and just focused on becoming the best musician and singer I can be, THAT’S when my name gained merit. Begging people to remember you is an incredibly sad life. Just do something extraordinary and they won’t have a choice. They’ll never forget your name. I’m obsessed with what I do and I have a message. That’s why I want people to know me: because I keep my head down and affect them through my art.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard of your music yet?
Blue-eyed soul. If James Brown and Dusty Springfield got it on.
What about the future? Do you have a tour in the works?
Oh yeah. Details to come. Stay tuned!
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Kelsy Karter Chats Her EP ‘Kiss The Boys’ and Being a Rebel: Photographed by Michael Maughan