Interview: Kaya Stewart
Fri, 05 Jun 2015 11:16:29
Kaya Stewart Videos
New soul pop trailblazer dishes on forthcoming debut album for Warner Bros. Records, Tim Burton flicks, why she loves playing live, and more.
Kaya Stewart's debut single "In Love With A Boy" properly introduces her show-stopping soul pop sound. It's out now via Warner Bros. Records, and she's in the process of readying her full-length debut for release this fall. It boasts production from her legend dad, Dave Stewart, however, this is the beginning of something fresh and fiery—this is the start of Kaya. She adds a sultry soulful spark to modern pop soundscapes, breathing a timeless energy of her own. We've got her pegged as this year's next big breakout star. Start paying attention now. So, we spoke to Kaya about the single, Warped Tour, Tim Burton movies, and so much more.
How do you approach songwriting?
Usually when I write songs, I write about what I'm feeling in that exact moment. If I experience something, I'll write about it as I experience it in that particular timeframe. I actually look back at it later on as a piece of that moment or a piece of that day.
Does it happen quickly?
It typically takes me 30 minutes to an hour to finish a song. When I do record it, I take out my iPhone and record little bits of it throughout the day, getting my ideas down. If I have an idea for a lyric, I'll write it down and come home and play it on the piano. Then, I'll go into the studio and start recording it.
Is the piano the catalyst for much of it?
Yeah, I do most of my songwriting on the piano. Then, I end up going in the studio, putting some beats under it, or adding some synths or playing with the band. I change it up, but it usually starts on the piano.
What's the lyrical process?
I try to write with a pen and paper just because it looks nicer, and I have my old lyrics so I'm not deleting anything. If I'm somewhere where I don't have a pen and paper, I'll write them on my phone.
Does the storytelling arise from writing in the moment, or is it important for you to tackle a song with a story in mind?
A long time ago, a singer-songwriter told me, "The most important thing to do when you're writing your lyrics is to be as honest and literal as possible." I think that's what I try to do when I'm writing my songs. I want to be as literal and honest as I can so that other people can relate to what I feel. I'm obviously I'm not the only one who's feeling this way or writing about this. I try to be as honest as I can.
What's the story behind "In Love With A Boy?"
I was 13-years-old in math class, taking a final. I started writing the song on the back of my math final when it came to me in class. I ended up spending that whole hour-and-a-half just writing that song. I finally finished it. When I got out of class, I went straight home and recorded it on Garage Band on my computer so I wouldn't forget it. I went to the studio, and that song took me two days. It was done, and that's when I knew I wanted to do this professionally. I'd written songs for like a year or so before that, but I was always struggling to find my style because I obviously don't dress the way my music sounds [Laughs]. I was trying to look for my style and what element I would fit into, and "In Love With A Boy" is when I discovered what vibe I wanted my music to have.