It’s no secret that we love our share of Canadian artists here at asapmusicblog.ca. The first time we heard Kay’s debut single, “My Name Is Kay”, it was no doubt love at first listen – and we didn’t forget her name. How could we with her catchy hooks and spunky personality? We had the opportunity to chat with Kay about her music, her favourite Canadian artists, and how she stays positive.
asapmusicblog.ca: Where were you the first time you heard ‘My Name is Kay’ on the radio?
Kay: Ooh, that’s a good question. The first time I heard it on the radio, actually, was after I shot my second video. I was out with all my friends and I was shooting a video for ‘Diddy Dum’ and the first and second video have been complete labours of love. Just me and all my friends, no one getting paid, super low budget, I just really wanted to do it and of course I’m a bit delusional so I’m like, “I can do this, looks easy… let me direct my own video!”
It was after a really long day, after 12 hours of shooting ‘Diddy Dum’, I got in the car with all my girlfriends, we were so exhausted and I turned the keys in the ignition and ‘My Name is Kay’ was on. It was the first time I’ve ever heard and it was just kind of like – I felt like it was a sign from God being like you know what, keep going, you’re on the right path. You just had a really long day, you’re really tired, but look how lucky you are. Your song is playing on the radio, you’re with six of your best girlfriends and you just did another video shoot – life is good. It was so nice.
A: Speaking of ‘Diddy Dum’, how did the basis of the song come about?
K: I actually wrote ‘Diddy Dum’ before ‘My Name is Kay’. It was one of my first times writing with this wonderful writer, Ryan Tedder, who is the front man of One Republic, and this other gentleman, Evan Bogart. We all got a room together and they were just talking about things that make me uniquely me. We were like, “Let’s just write a song about weird stuff!” – I think I heard a diggery-do earlier in the day and I was like “let’s put that in the song!”. Yeah, I don’t know, I’m a bit random, so the song is a little bit random. We were in New Orleans, and we brought in real musicians to play the song big band and it was amazing! It was one of those moments where I am like, “I have arrived!”
A: You kind of mentioned filming the video, is that Vancouver that I saw in the background?
A: So it was filmed entirely here?
K: Yep, it was filmed entirely here by one of my friends, Mr. Heinz and he was so sweet. Everyone worked really really hard to get the whole thing done. It’s funny, I mean, I’m not the world’s best video director but for my first video I was extremely happy with it. For me, I watch it and I look – there’s forty of my friends getting together, working two days straight, so many hours, and one of my friends made all the clothes for the girls. No matter what, you know eventually, I’ll probably do a big budget video but for now it’s like how grateful am I that all my friends are together were all trying to pull together for this one thing. It’s cool.
A: Your music is a combination of different things, but if you had to describe it in your own words what Kay’s music is, what would that be?
K: I would say ranch sauce mixed with some Doritos and umm… some ground beef! I think it’s hard to categorize. I would say I am under the genre of pop, but I love all sorts of different kinds of music and I think its kind of unfair to ask someone to do just one specific genre. It’s like people get upset and say how can you do this, and then do a dance song. I don’t know, no one wants to wear the same outfit for the rest of their life. I do what I love and what feels right, and for me, hopefully some day when I get to a point. People always want to compare and say who does Nelly Furtado sound like? Nelly Furtado, nobody one else. And that is a goal, eventually.
A: I heard that you’re a huge fan of Nelly Furtado.
K: Yes, I’m obsessed. It’s ridiculous, I think I talk about her in every single interview. I don’t think I ever want to meet her because I’ve loved her my entire life and I think it would freak me out.
A: Are there any other Canadian artists besides Nelly Furtado that inspire you?
K: Yes, I mean of course! Randomly, Michael Buble . Obviously my music doesn’t sound like him but I think he’s a) adorbs! And I just love that he goes to the beat of his own drum, he’s doing his own thing, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him in an interview before, but he’s absolutely hilarious. He’s so funny, so I really like him. Obviously, Shania Twain. I mean, girl made crop tops look so good. She just brought it out of no where. Celine, of course. And the old Biebs, Justin Biebs – can’t not love him.
A: Your EP just came out last month. If it was a sampler of what to expect from your full length album, what can fans expect to hear?
K: They can expect more of the same vibe but on the album I elaborate a little bit more. There’s some slower songs, there’s some really deep songs on the album which I haven’t released anything of that nature yet. So I’m really excited for people to hear that and get an idea. Some of the songs are really deep and they’re very dark and I think people will be surprised because I typically very happy, easy going but I also have that other side of me as well.
Just as well, I have a lot of really cool collaborations on the album that I cannot believe, I don’t know how they’ve happened. I’m so excited about them, I don’t want to jinx them but some really, really big names on the album. No joke. Hopefully you’re going to help propel the music forward and do all sorts of great things. I’ve been really fortunate – the label has been really nice and introduced me to some really cool people. So I can’t jinx it, I cannot say, but I’m just gonna say [even] I’m surprised.
A: Even on your EP, you do have a couple collaborations on there that people were even surprised about.
K: I think Pusha T was a surprise for myself. I was so happy that he collaborated with me. I’m a huge fan, he was a part of the Clips and he’s signed to Kanye West. Obviously these are really good people to be in touch with, so that was pretty cool.
A: ‘Strangers’ (featuring Pusha T) is one of my favourite songs on the EP!
K: Yay! Yeah, I really like it. I was really happy with that song when we were done with it.
A: So you are currently on the last tour stop with Hedley, and you were on the road with LMFAO on the Cherry Tree tour. What are some of the things that you love about being on the road, and some of the things you miss while you’re gone?
K: I love being on the road because it’s what I wanted to do my entire life. No matter if it’s a tough day or you’re sleep deprive or whatever, this is what you wanted to do your whole life and you’re finally getting that so I’m so grateful for that. As well just the relationships with people. Between touring with LMFAO and then touring with Hedley, every night I go and I watch them and I learn so much because they’ve been doing this longer than me and they’re amazing. They’re amazing performers and they work their butts off.
On my hardest day, they work a thousand times harder because they’re more popular. I think I might do a couple interviews, they’re doing like twenty interviews, and then they’re doing the show, and then they’re doing the party after. I’m just really inspired because it just shows that with LMFAO and Hedley, not to mention are they hard workers, but they’re really nice people. And it’s good to see that nice people win, and they get ahead and if you work your butt off you can achieve really good things. It’s cause hey, I can work my butt off, I can totally do that, and that’s achievable. So it’s really cool for me to be on tour with these guys and learn from them and see that I can totally do this too, it just takes a lot of hard work.
A: I notice that you tweet the phrase: “too blessed to be stressed” a lot. You’re really positive about everything.
K: I try to be extremely positive. I just think that nobody really wants to hear you complain. Especially getting to this point, I am really blessed. So even on my worst day I can say that I am definitely too blessed to be stressed. I just think that its’ really important that people know that the positive stuff, that’s what really matters. I love that for any random person that might say something negative, or a comment, there are twelve people that say something wonderful and beautiful and that’s what matters to me.
Everybody deals with that type of stuff growing up whether it be in school or bullying and all that kind of stuff. It’s unfortunate but that stuff doesn’t going away. But I just want to show people that it’s being positive that matters and that can kind of get you through anything. I just want to be surrounded by cool positive people and everybody else can go away.
Check back on Thursday for Kay’s playlist picks, and coming soon – the chance to win an autographed copy of her debut EP!