INTERVIEW: KAIYRA packs a punch w/ debut ‘Overnight’

Pop newcomer Kaiyra releases her debut single, ebullient and fizzing with energy, ‘Overnight’ packs a punch with her dance-pop vibrations.

Hook laden and sparkling, this dance-pop track will win you over with Kaiyra’s rich vocals and effervescent beats, she transforms a lost love into a life-affirming mantra for the future. Expect uplifting pop hooks and melodies as she echoes the sounds of Due Lipa, Christine and the Queens and Mabel.

We catch-up with Kaiyra here to find out more in advance of her live show tomorrow night April 7, at The Good Mixer in Camden and at The Quadrant in Brighton (Alt. Escape) on May 12.

Hi Kairya, how are you?
Hi! I’m well thank you! Hope you’re well too?

How did Kaiyra come about? Tell us a bit about your background. Oh well, I always wanted to do music, apparently when I was four I used to take the opportunity to sing into a microphone every time there was one. Although I didn’t start singing until the age of 13 when one of my classmates convinced me to try it (she is a great artist by the way she even got 4th place at The Voice of Italy years back).

I used to play piano from the age of 8, and once I got to 18 and after high school, I moved to London, I worked as a waitress for years, and I’m now finally able to produce, write and sing my own songs studying production in university. One of my first friends here in London used to call me Kaiyra so I decided to keep it that way. She used to mock me about it but why not I thought, I got fond of the name in the end ahah.

How would you describe your sound?
Since I’m first hand involved in my own production, I like to start by producing my beats first, I usually never listen to anything too similar to what I produce tho. I’m scared to lose originality. But I’ve often been associated to Dua Lipa’s or Mabel’s vibes. In terms of style and sounds.

Name five artists/producers that have significantly shaped your music…
It’s a tricky question, I usually listen to very different styles, I love techno, house, pop and dance music. I am in love with Elderbrook’s songs, he’s an amazing musician, and I am particularly fond of Tom Walker as a singer, I obviously love Adele but when I was younger I used to sing mostly Whitney Houston and the amazing Charice.

Pempengco’s song. The last I mentioned, I had the pleasure of meeting when he played in London few years back.

Name five non-musical influences that have shaped your sound (films, TV, philosophy, art, life…)
I wouldn’t know to be honest, I watch a lot of fantasy and action movies and I’m fascinated by soundtracks, that’s why usually my songs have always at least one orchestral element within them. I used to go to a school of art back in high school, so I used to paint and stuff, but I can’t really say if painting has influenced me somehow. I guess everything does in life.

Where do you find the focus of your writing? What themes do you like to cover in your work?
I usually write about something that’s happening to me during that specific period of time. I don’t have much time between university and work so I usually end up writing my lyrics while travelling in the underground. It’s my special place I’d say. I simply put my headphones on and the words just come to me like that ahah.

Tell us more about the process of songwriting for you, how has it developed over time, do you work or collaborate with other musicians?
Regarding the songwriting, it’s pretty personal so I usually never ask for help with that. English is not my first language though so sometimes before going to the studio for the final vocal session I tend to ask for some advice if I’m not sure about a certain part of a song. Sometimes I worry about my grammar so it’s always good to have second opinions.

Your recent track ‘Overnight’ is a story of a lost love, what is the story behind the track?
This is also a tough question. Me and my ex, oh well, we used to be good friends before we got together. I guess sometimes it works out best staying friends. During our relationship I always thought it was my fault that I couldn’t work things out, I even went to a psychologist for quite a few months to try and understand what I was doing wrong. But I came to realise that it’s never one’s fault and, even if it’s hard to believe, now me and him are back being good friends. Actually fun fact: during the “Overnight” shooting, my boyfriend was on set and he’s actually in the video! Who knows would be good if someone was able to spot who it is ahah.

Can you give us your three top tips on moving forward from a broken romance?
Trust your guts
Never doubt yourself

And believe me when I say that a better someone will come sooner or later even if at this point it seems almost impossible to believe so.

Your recent video was filmed on a canal boat, can you tell us more about it and the concept behind the film?
When I plan my videos I always have a concept in mind of where I wanna shoot it, I don’t know why I felt like I wanted to shoot overnight on a boat. I went about London asking for permissions to shoot on some boats but it’s pretty hard to find a place like this. And then after work one day I decided to stop by my ex’s workplace and there I met this guy (which is the main actor in the mv) and I couldn’t believe it but he’s living on an actual boat! And in London!! I thought it was meant to be at this point and the fact that he agreed to participate straight away made me realise it was the right decision from the get go.

If we gave you a magic wand and you could instantly change three things in the world what would they be?
I have come to terms (mostly since I live in London) that money are a fundamental part of everyone’s life. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love without money. I never asked for any help from my parents and I’m proud to have always been working and worked on my career only on my own. But I came across people that are doing the same thing as I am doing but they are able to do it 3 times faster thanks to their money, so sometimes I think why don’t I choose the easy way and ask some help too? Then I realised I don’t need to ask because there’s people out there that need it more than me.

People with money or power shouldn’t use them all for themselves but spread it around the world and share it to the ones that aren’t as lucky and really do need help. I don’t have 3 specific things – but I would change injustice if I could.

Where can we catch you live?
I am playing live this Thursday at The Good Mixer in Camden Town! I play at 8pm, you should come! I’m pretty excited but also nervous. Can’t wait to see how it’ll go! Then again at Alt.Escape in Brighton on Thursday May 12, at The Quadrant @5pm – see you there!

Where do we find you on social media?
I use Instagram the most and you can find me there under my artist name: kaiyramusic
I will be doing more live events soon and I will post the dates on social so no one will miss them!