Updated: Feb 23
INTERVIEWS Kaylee Keller – Rubies By starrymag | December 20, 2017
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A) My music is described as country pop. A lot of listeners have labeled my sound as “Kay-nique” because it has been described as a mixture of Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini and Kacey Musgraves!
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) I am inspired by a large array of artists and genres. I currently find myself influenced by Andy Grammer, Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain, Colbie Caillat, ABBA and Carrie Underwood! They are all so talented. Some influence me vocally, some instrumentally, some lyrically and some all of the above.
Q) Talk about the story behind your new song “Nowhere America.”
A) “Nowhere America” came from wanting to capture that irreplaceable “hometown feeling.” When people ask me “where are you from,” I tell them from Southwestern Kansas. The usual response is, “Whoa! That sounds like the middle of nowhere!” Even though it may seem like that, I remind them that Kansas is the heart and center of the U.S.! These conversations inspired me to highlight what a gem hometowns truly are!
Q) What do you think it is about the song that fans connect to?
A) We all have that one place in our lives 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. I think fans connect to this song because it takes them back to their home roots, too. We can find plenty of those small “Nowhere America” towns all throughout the United States and around the world.
Q) How does the video for the track play into the message behind it?
A) The music video for “Nowhere America” really goes hand in hand with the song itself. I filmed the video right in my home state of Kansas. In a sense, the video is almost like a little biography of my life. Family, friends, romance…I don’t like spoiling the ending so you’ll just have to go and watch it! Here is the video link: https://youtu.be/hulcMGaxroQ
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
A) The songwriting process is so fun! Most of the time I forget I am actually working when I am creating a song. My co-writers and I typically start by pulling out our iPhone notes of song ideas we had jotted down. I do find that it’s easier for me to write with the lyrics first. Then, we add guitar parts and melody lines. By the end of our writing session we record a rough demo.
Q) How much of hand do you have in the production of your music?
A) I am very involved in the production process. I like to join the producer on the editing days and help him create the sound for each song. Whether that’s playing around with synths or pulling out the box of shakers, it’s all been “Kaylee-approved” before final mastering.
Q) What can fans expect from a live Kaylee Keller performance?
A) Fans can expect a lot of goofiness! I’m such a goof. My band and I have a total blast putting on a show. We create a very real and open environment and it allows us to really connect with our fans. We like to be approachable and just have a good time. Always leaving the audience feeling uplifted and encouraged.
Q) What songs off your RUBIES EP are you looking forward to performing live?
A) Each song tells its own story and has a significant meaning for me. I’m excited to be performing all of them! One that stands out a little more then the others is the 6th song on the EP “What I Believe.” This song is written about believing in myself, loving others and striving to live a good moral-based life.
Q) What do you hope listeners take away from listening to your new EP as a whole?
A) I want my listeners to enjoy jamming out to my music and dancing along, but I also want my music to feel like a safe place for them to go. Bringing them smiles, courage and hope no matter what situations they are going through.
Q) Where are some of your favorite places to perform and what makes those locations so significant to you?
A) I’ve been blessed to perform across the country and I can’t say that there has been one favorite place. However, performing on Fox News…Well, that was pretty special!
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A) There are so many incredible artist, its so hard to choose just one. I would love to perform with country legend Dolly Parton. And sing a duet with Thomas Rhett! That would be pretty incredible.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
A) I find myself playing Brett Young on repeat. That guy can sing! I dig his tone. I also really enjoy Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) Yes, I am. I have them all – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it! Followers can connect to them at kayleekeller.com. I love connecting with my fans, family and friends and social media is such a great way to do that. They’re able to message me and I get to answer their questions, we get to see each other’s pictures and comment on each other’s posts, making the relationship feel more personal. Social media makes me approachable all around the world. What a blessing!
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) I am very passionate about my music. 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.