On the heels of her stunning debut "Drain My Love," the multi-talented and LA-based singer-songwriter Kaerheart did an in-depth Q&A with EARMILK on the positive vibes that she hopes to spread with her music and clothing line. The new single can be streamed on Spotify here.
EM: Tell us more about yourself! How long have you been living in LA for? What were you up to on the music side before launching your solo project?
K: Actually, I grew up in Los Angeles but moved to New York City for a few years. I moved back here in late 2014. As far as the music side, I was in bands playing guitar/piano for years while also writing for other artists and doing big label sessions. After my last band fell apart, I was heartbroken and knew I couldn't keep going down the 'band route'. It took me awhile to build the confidence to sing my own songs but when I moved back to LA, that was my mission and goal. I wanted to bring the power of creating back to myself.
EM: What is your vision for the Kaerhart project? How have you been approaching the artistic process differently since venturing out on your own?
K: My vision is to create a movement that empowers females and encourages all people to be their most authentic selves. I believe music has the power to grow individuals to rise above their current state and I want to be a catalyst for that positive change.
Approaching the artistic process for my own project has felt a lot more emotional and vulnerable. It's a very different process when you are writing about your own experiences and expressing them with your own voice. When I write for others, I have to think about what fits them as an artist and what is authentic to their expression… I sort of take myself out of it so that I can channel what will work best for them. When I write for myself, I have to do the opposite and go deeper into my own stories and vulnerabilities.
Writing for myself definitely feels rawer and I feel more attached to my own songs. I get a very specific feeling when I listen to them that is hard to explain, almost like a high or a rush. I am always reminded of how far I have come when I hear them since I spent so many years not singing my own lyrics.
EM: With the competitive nature of the music industry, what is your advice for other ladies in coping with stress and the up-and-downs?
K: Wow, that's a great question- I actually have a lot of advice. I think it’s really important to be clear on what yourobjectives are in the industry. You need to be able to answer the 'why' in a meaningful way, otherwise, the struggles can be especially difficult to deal with. Be sure to never forget why you started on this journey and where you intend to end up.
I also think it’s important to not take things personally. Everyone will have an opinion about who you are as an artist and your music. Sometimes you won't hear back from the people you reached out to and you will hear a lot more no's than yes's. And oftentimes people will make promises in this industry that they never intend to keep. Absolutely none of this is personal or against you. When I was first starting out I used to question if I was "good enough" because of this. I would internalize it and think that it was me specifically but it wasn't… It is just the way of the industry mixed with human nature. Be sure to have a group of people that you really trust and respect around you that you can seek advice from and take the rest with a grain of salt. Find your own power in the art that you are creating. If you can stand behind the music you have made, regardless of any other circumstances or outcomes, that is all that matters.
Lastly, the comparison is the thief of joy. It is so easy to get lost in what other artists are doing and compare yourself. It is really intimidating just to sign on to Instagram and see how many other artists are out there trying to do the same thing you are doing. It can be discouraging at times if you allow yourself to dwell on it. But I truly believe there is a lane for everyone and it does not matter what another artist is doing or how many more plays or followers they have than you… just keep making music and putting your whole heart into it. Everyone is unique and has their own magic to offer to the world. There is room for everyone to thrive! Put blinders on and focus on what makes your soul come to life and channel that into your music. That’s what the world needs more of.
EM: What was the inspiration for launching your apparel line Mystic Tribe?
K: The inspiration for Mystic Tribe came from my desire to infuse spiritual wisdom into fashion. While sitting in a natural hot spring in Thailand, my partner and I had a profound realization that we had a calling to focus our talents on endeavors that could truly make a positive impact in the world. Months later our conscious apparel brand, Mystic Tribe, was born. It has been a dream of mine to increase awareness and raise consciousness through all my creative endeavors. My goal is to grow Mystic Tribe into a lifestyle brand that empowers spiritual seekers and yogis, raises awareness of the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry… and, of course, supplies our tribe with some really dope gear.
EM: As a woman with multiple talents, how do you see yourself tying together your worlds of music, fashion, and activism?
K: I think that music and fashion have always gone together, like two sides of the same coin. They are both ways to creatively express oneself and two of the biggest industries that resonate with all humans. They feed into one another and when you add activism on top of that, it can create a very powerful platform to provoke positive change.
Specifically, I want to help spread awareness on the environmental issues happening within the fashion industry and I want to use my voice and gifts to help make the music industry (and the world) a safer place for women. Women and the Earth have endured so much suffering and I want to do whatever I can to stop that.
EM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
K: Raising awareness and consciousness, creating music, designing sustainable apparel and traveling the world.