Interview: Jubilee Cast (Halles)
Kaylee Keller Discusses the Importance of Being a Role Model Via Her Music
By Timothy Yap
Country music newcomer Kaylee Keller has just released her upcoming 6-song EP, RUBIES, which has been available everywhere since October 20. Her media blitz includes FOX411 Country, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, Simple Grace Magazine, The Daily Shuffle and three live performances for FOX Extra, airing nationwide on FOX Affiliates and internationally on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
At just 20, the Kansas-based singer-songwriter caught the attention of The Mariah Fund - a private Kansas non-profit foundation that is the largest funding organization for tourism and heritage projects in Western Kansas. The Mariah Fund named Kaylee their Ambassador and partnered with her to produce the music video for her original song "Nowhere America." At a time when there is so much divisiveness in our nation, "Nowhere America" celebrates the things that still make our country an amazing place to live.
Q: Kaylee, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: who is Kaylee Keller?
A-Hi, Thank you so much for having me interview with y'all today. What a great question. I think we can spend a lot of time trying to find ourselves and figuring out who we are. Whether it be through personality tests and other assessments. As helpful as those are, I focus on what God says I am. God has a lot of things to say about who we are. To Him, "I am valuable" - Matthew 10:31, and "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" - Psalms 139:14.
Q: You're an Ambassador for The Mariah Fund. What's the Mariah Fund?
A-The Mariah Fund is Kansas' largest private foundation that funds tourism and heritage projects in Western Kansas. I have been so honored to not only partner with them on our "Nowhere America" video but also to be named as their Ambassador for Southwest Kansas.
Q: This led you to the release of your new single "Nowhere America." What's the song about? And why are you excited about it?
A-Yes, it did! "Nowhere America" came from wanting to capture that irreplaceable hometown feeling. As I travel to different places people ask me "where are you from" and I tell them from Southwestern Kansas, and the usual response is "whoa, that sounds like the middle of nowhere!" - That inspired the catchy title, "Nowhere America." I am so excited about this song because everyone can relate to it. We all have that one place in our life that is so precious to us. It could be growing up in a special town, or family gatherings or the smell of grandma's cookies. My "nowhere" is really a treasure and place with special memories and a place I want to be making memories for the future.
Q: You've recently released a new EP "Rubies." Why did you call it Rubies?
A-My 2016 release was titled "Diamond," so it felt fitting to call the next release "Rubies." The reason I name my projects after jewels is because God tells us many times in scripture that we are more precious to Him then jewels. We are irreplaceable and have such incredible value to Him. Each song on my projects is unique and specially picked, just like we are. So it just felt like the perfect name.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
A-My music is described as country pop. A lot of listeners have labeled my sound as "Kay-nique" because they haven't heard it yet. Like a combo between Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini, Kacey Musgraves, and others! I guess I get my own "Kay-nique" genre.
Q: Behind your music also stands a woman of morals and faith, I believe. I have read that you have turned down modeling jobs because you want to be a woman of morals . This is very rare today. Where did that sense of faith and morals come from?
A-For me, my morals were sown into me at a young age and I grew up in a Christian home. My parents had very high standards for me and my two older brothers. I am not against modeling and I would not want to come across as if I am judging models. I personally do not want my body to be the focus of my music or my message. I want my choices to glorify God and at the end of the day I am accountable to God and not others. I strive daily because I am not perfect. I use up a lot of God's Grace and thank goodness it never runs out!
Q: How is this sense of morals reflected in your music?
A-The songs you write usually reflect what is happening or has happened in your life. Songs influence others. Whether it influences their emotions by negative or positive thinking, by the latest trends, popular body types and clothing trends, or how a musician lives his daily lifestyle. Listeners tend to gravitate towards the lifestyles and choices of their favorite musicians. Their morals shine through the lyrics in their songs, whether good or bad. As you can hear with my music, I want my morals to leave positive impacts.
Q: How do you wish that your life and music would impact the lives of your listeners?
A-I am very passionate about my music. But I don't sing and write just to entertain others. My hope with my music and my life is to build up, support and encourage others. Giving them strength through tough times and joy and smiles in the sad times. I want them to believe in themselves and in their dreams, even if nobody else does. Trust that God has them and will help them each step of the way. Jeremiah 29:11. I want my footprints to leave a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ.