Kay Soul - 10 Questions Music Interview
KaySoul is a singer, songwriter, poet and plus model based in Chicago. In 2019, Kay released the powerful song "What Love Can Do" and was the 2019 featured musical performer at Curves Beautifully Empowered women's conference in Seattle, Washington as well as a model for the 2019 Dream Big Midwest Conference. Through powerful, soulful and emotionally-rich vocals, Kay's music is an authentic journey of self-expression. Previously nominated for a Chicago Independent Music Award for best R&B singer, Kay has released multiple singles, a mix tape, her debut EP "Deeper" and full-length album "Hiding in Plain Sight."She has performed at several high-profile events including headlining at Elbo Room Chicago and Underground Wonder Bar, the Silver Room Block Party, Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City, and she sang The National Anthem at the NBA. KaySoul has been a featured artist in numerous publications including Luxe Kurves Magazine, Rolling Out Magazine, American Pride Magazine and Indie Music Plus. KaySoul was listed as an Artist to Watch by 716 Live magazine and become the first featured artist on the Canadian based music-streaming platform, Whoozl. Kay is currently working on her new album "In My Mind" hoping to encourage others to find beauty in their broken spaces.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I began writing music as early as the 6th grade. It was instantly an outlet for all the feelings I felt like I couldn't express. Growing up not being raised by your parents leaves you with feelings of abandonment and neglect. My Grandmother wasn't an overly affectionate person so the music became my comfort.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I think for me the craziest thing was traveling to Florida with the expectation that I would be performing at a private hotel event. The event host was more than an hour late, there was no sound, and most people thought it had been cancelled. This was early on and it taught me a valuable lesson. You really have to research not just the event, but the people holding the event and any other artists, vendors, or sponsors that may be involved.
What has been the high point of your music path?
There have been a few, but singing the National Anthem at an NBA game takes the cake. It was the most insane experience I've ever had. The adrenaline of being on such a huge platform and the way your voice fills the crowded arena. It's amazing!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I'm a story teller so my process always starts with me asking myself what story is the song going to tell and then envisioning what that story looks like. Once I have that then it's about a feel and determining how I will tell the story. I will usually then record demo vocals so I can work out any initial ideas and start to put words and melodies together.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I believe the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today is market saturation. With the dominance of Social Media, anybody can present themselves as an artist these days even if they are not really committed to the process. If you don't have a big machine behind you, it's easy to get lost in the clutter, making it more difficult to distinguish yourself as someone who is serious and should be taken seriously and not just someone using music as a way to clout chase.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
I would love to share the stage with H.E.R. She's an incredible artist who clearly as a genuine love and respect just for the craft itself. I think we have the same self aware and highly conscious type of vibe that would make for a killer night in live music!
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I always rehearse for shows. Usually I do my own thing at home with performance tracks and then the week of the show I rehearse a couple times with the band or if I am doing an acoustic set, I rehearse with my keyboard player and music director Tony Treble. I was taught to rehearse how I want to perform so I always bring my best during rehearsal and spend time working out any kinks in vocals or overall show production.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
My New Single "Blood In My Veins" was definitely a challenge to write because I really wanted to be vulnerable in way that I had not been before. It's such a deeply personal and painful story, but I wanted to share it in a way that felt hopeful. It was hard to figure out how to talk about something so dark but make it sound beautiful.
Listen to this clip of "Blood In My Veins."
What's coming up in the future?
I am in the studio finishing up the album and preparing for a late summer/fall release. The release will be followed by a local/regional tour. I'm documenting the journey and will be releasing several visuals to support the new body of work.