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Interview: PensEye View

Posted on June 17, 2016

in Featured Artist by Richie Frieman

We kinda dig the way up and coming pop singer/songwriter Kaylee Keller describes her style (in cake terms) – she says, “I am the main ingredient with a dash of Taylor Swift, a pinch of Carrie Underwood, a sprinkle of Eli Goulding. The finished product is a happy, fun, sparkly hot pink cake!” Keller, who has quickly been on the rise since talent scouts found her at a AMTC showcase (scouts that introduced Keller to an A&R from Capital Records), has a new EP that shows off just how much she brings to the table, a record titled Diamond.

Kaylee says of the project, “I think fans will find that the Diamond EP is fun, upbeat, and easy to dance to! This EP is full of positive messages to inspire and motivate people of all ages.” Click to to check out the title track from Diamond, and prepare for so much more from Keller – she’s going to be busy this summer. Now, do keep reading – there’s still so much more to dive into in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Kaylee Keller (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Kaylee Keller (KK): First off I want to say thank you for this opportunity. Describing my style, I would compare it to a cake. I am the main ingredient with a dash of Taylor Swift, a pinch of Carrie Underwood, a sprinkle of Eli Goulding. The finished product is a happy, fun, sparkly hot pink cake!

PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

KK: My parents listened to music from the 60’s to the 80’s. So I was introduced to many different artists and styles of music. My first concert was Jimmy Buffet, he was my dad’s favorite artist. I had to stand up on a chair because I was so young and I couldn’t see over everyone. I don’t remember much but I do remember leaving the concert with older folks giving me their coconut bras, bead necklaces, and their fish hats.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?

KK: I have been pursuing a career in acting and singing since I was in elementary school. What really took my career to the next level was when a talent scout discovered me through a past AMTC showcase. She introduced me to an A&R from Capital Records. The A&R sent me to a prestigious developing company which has opened many doors for me.

My very first professional show, I bombed (in a bad way lol). I was 8 years old and I was competing in regional talent competition. I didn’t take my performance serious enough and didn’t practice enough. It showed on stage and I knew at that moment, I had to take my shows more serious and really prepare.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Kaylee Keller show?

KK: I want fans to leave their “junk in the trunk” and have a good time. You can expect a cool arrangement of songs that are full of positive messages.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

KK: When I step on a stage, I always have those good kind of butterflies, but once I start singing it feels just like when you sit in your favorite comfy chair. I settle into that relaxing feeling that reminds me that this is where I belong.

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

KK: The best part about being onstage is the engagement with the audience. I love to see all my friends, family, and fans, with huge smiles, singing along. The fact that my music brings them joy, brings me joy. I always want to leave a positive impact whenever I perform. I hope that my music encourages someone who is going through a tough time or inspire others to pursue their dreams.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music?

KK: Being a songwriter I love to write about my personal experiences, struggles, and accomplishments. I love sharing my story with others.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

KK: Oh my goodness, YES! From the very beginning it was so much fun like playing on the playground during recess. As I got more serious about my career, the workload definitely got more challenging. I have had a lot of long days and at times very little sleep. It’s an ongoing learning process. Being perseverant and having thick skin is a must. That being said, being onstage and performing is still just as fun as it was many moons ago.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

KK: Shirley Temple was one of my biggest inspirations when I was young. My mom introduced me to her movies when I was around 6 years old. Shirley was my age in her movies and that inspired me even more! I fell in love with her. Anything that needed a name (including my male bunny) was named after her. I even learned to tap/clog dance just like her!

PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?

KK: When I hit a brick wall, I first turn to my faith and pray to God. Then I go to my mom and we talk it out, she brings a lot of wisdom and creativity to the music. Between the two of us, we make most problems go away pretty quickly.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed since you first started out?

KK: Being an independent artist I see the changes through social media. It used to be just Facebook and YouTube as the main media sources. Now it’s an unlimited amount of social outlets. The positive side is that there are so many more opportunities to get your music out and heard.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, Diamond? What was the writing process like for this work?

KK: I think fans will find that the Diamond EP is fun, upbeat, and easy to dance to! This EP is full of positive messages to inspire and motivate people of all ages.

PEV: With all you’re traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

KK: That’s a very hard question to answer because I enjoy traveling everywhere. I love meeting new people, experiencing new places, and learning about other people’s daily lives. Every new city is a new adventure to me.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

KK: I grew up with a family that would blast the music, dance, sing and be silly together. They have all known my love and passion for this industry. It doesn’t surprise them that I am pursing this career. I am also blessed that my mom works with me on writing and the behind the scenes projects.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

KK: It depends on the season and how much time I have. I really love spending time with my family and friends, drawling, cooking, water sports, snow skiing, traveling, playing in the rain, and enjoying the outdoors. My mom and I love musical theatre and movies, so we hit a lot of late matinées, or we take my convertible and go star gazing. In a few months I am going skydiving for the first time. I am so excited!

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

KK: One past group would be ABBA! I grew up listening to their soundtracks playing in my mom’s car after school. I love their music and I have yet to meet anyone who’s not familiar with their music.

There are so many talented current artists to choose from, but if I got to pick a couple, I think it would be a total blast to collaborate with Meghan Trainor. I also want to sing a duet with Charlie Puth, so I would have to kick Meghan Trainor off the stage for that one.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

KK: I know so many talented artists. For country genres I would say keep an eye out for Sam Hunt and Rusty Rierson. Both very talented musicians. For pop genres, I would say watch out for Sabrina Carpenter; this girl can act and sing!

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?

KK: If I wasn’t pursuing music, I would still be involved in the industry somehow. I would probably be a makeup artist, artist manager, or a professional vocal coach!

PEV: So, what is next for Kaylee Keller?

KK: More music, live shows, and lots of interviews and radio play! Being only 18 years old I have so much yet to experience and learn. I’m looking forward to taking my career to the next level by working harder, serving others, laughing and having fun!

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