Since the age of twelve, California native Kylie Hughes has been writing and recording music. Her debut EP, 2014’s Calipopicana, landed Hughes features in Examiner, InStyle.com, Music Connection, and more. Winning fans and critics alike with her contagious, spontaneous energy Hughes has performed alongside the likes of The Beach Boys, John Mayer, Jewel , and Michael W. Smith as well as at SXSW 2017. Comfortable with many genres, Hughes has a sound uniquely her own, one that will be displayed on May 26th when she releases her self-titled, full-length album. In advance of that release, Hughes kindly took the time to talk about her roots, the album, and more!
The new album will be released May 26th, but your music is new to a lot of people. Can you please give a little background as when you started singing and when you knew you wanted to pursue music professionally?
Hey Daily Country! Well, I started writing about boys in school and general angsty teenage observations when I was 13. Then Michele Branch appeared and that was the first time I thought, maybe I can learn to play guitar too? I also was lucky to have really great parents who encouraged my music career. I got my first taste of a recording studio at 14 and still find it to be one of my favorite places. It’s funny that when I first began singing and performing, I frequently got the “you sound country” comment but I didn’t embrace that note until later on. I love story telling and songs that make you feel something a little deeper than surface level, not to say I don’t love the big summer anthem songs too. I just always loved performing and songwriting was something that I thought I could be good at long term, haha.
To me, the album blends a mix of sounds/genres. Are you influenced by a variety of music?
I do listen to a little bit of everything! That’s why it’s hard to put my finger on my sound because it’s a little different from song to song. This album has folk inspiration, pop music influences, a little rock and roll, country and Americana. I wrote/recorded the album in LA and Nashville, so there is definitely a Nashville sound and country influence that seeped in and makes this album unique for me. When I’m starting a song, whether I have a fleshed out idea or not… I always start with an acoustic guitar and then see what genre the song will fall into. My song “Heat” was an attempt to draw inspiration from KT Tunstall, I wanted it to be a head knocking summer anthem with similar bass lines and a catchy guitar riff.
The current single from the project is “Heat.” Can you tell the story behind the song and the video, which parodies Talledega Nights.
The lyrics are kind of car heavy, because I’m describing the physicality of a relationship like driving a really nice, fast car. So I knew that I wanted to incorporate muscle cars or something to that degree but I also wanted something that wasn’t canned “PDA couple and a hot car” video. I wanted to show my less serious side and not just be flipping my hair like in a white snake video. I LOVE Will Ferrell movies and I think it just happened to be on and a light bulb went off. I wanted to do more of a woman based Talladega Nights parody, complete with improv vignettes. Definitely my favorite music video I have done so far.
In addition to "Heat," the album contains twelve-tracks. Did you have a hand in writing them and if so, where are you drawing from - personal experience, others, stories or a combination?
YES! My hand did write all of them. I also worked with a handful of amazing co-writers who all brought their own flavors and perspectives to the table. All of my material is from personal experience or personal observation. I’m an introvert, even though most people don’t believe me, and there is a lot of observation and sometimes loud inner dialogue that is going on in my head.
My personal favorite is “Forever Is A Long Way To Fly.” Once again can you tell the story behind the song and why you chose to close the album out with it.
My song “Forever Is A Long Way To Fly,” is inspired by a real relationship that I wish ended differently, so I kind of rewrote it to give myself the happy ending that I wish had happened. That’s why it’s sounds happy to some people and sad to others, it’s kind of up in the air in a way.
I chose to close the album with “Forever Is A Long Way To Fly” because the song has resolve, but also accomplishes the feeling that leaves things up in the air. The song has a stripped singer songwriter feel, taking it back to the organic just me and a guitar sound. So at the end, it takes you back to my beginning. For me that’s the perfect closing moment on the end of the album, it makes you think and kinda makes you feel good and maybe it makes you feel sad that it’s over.
What are your plans for the Summer? Will you tour and if so do you tour regionally or nationally?
I have been touring and plan to continue to play the album locally (in Southern California) but I also will play shows in Nashville, Tennessee from time to time. Music videos are also very important to me and I love plotting the next release, so stay tuned for another one of those… But I’m just excited to see which songs are resonating and since there are so many sounds on the album, I’m excited to see which direction I might be pulled into…
To close on a lighter note, do you have a favorite guilty pleasure song?
Oh man… it really depends but there is a special place in my heart for, Shaggy “Wasn’t Me”
For more information visit her official website
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Pre-order the album HERE