Kyra recently released cover and
song Closer Than Close which introduces us to her universe before
releasing her Debut EP this year. I had the opportunity to sit down
with her to talk more about her vision, Xanadu, her upcoming EP and
her experience as a black woman and mother.
you tell me more about your background ? When did you start music ?
When did you interest in music started ?
been an organic journey. I always had a love for music before doing
anything. I realised it was something I could do. I was singing
everywhere, even at school people be like “Oh Kyra is in the
toilet singing”. I was quite fortunate to grow up in such a
musical household. My father’s record collection is massive. He plays
the bass. He plays a lot of soul, classic jazz, funk. That shaped my
musical journey, I had a good taste for food. It influenced my
musical taste over the years.
you have any singing lessons ?
was raised in a Christian family. They’ve always been supportive of
my music but they never pushed me into it. I am self-taught. I was on
my own journey. I learned to sing by mimicking Randy Crawford, Faith
Heavens, Destiny’s Child. No classic training at all.
did you start producing ?
I was 13 years old when I first went to the producing and
always have been involved in production. I have always been involved
in the sonics. Even though I do not technically play I always have
been involved. My EP coming out in the summer is a collaborative
project with me and ; he leaves me space for lyrics and melody and I
leave him space for music. But it’s very much a joint-effort. I
definitely know what I want to hear.
is your EP going to be released ?
EP will be released in Summer or Autumn. It is a 6 tracks EP and
we’re going to bring out two more singles with visuals first. The way
I want people to digest it is with a song at a time. I want them to
buy into the story and the concept behind the EP. 6 tracks on a go is
too much right now. We do not have a set date yet but it’s going to
be a lot of music on the way.
recently released the cover and single Closer than Close. Why did you
chose that song ?
I recorded it, the EP was actually being written. I was in the studio
with The Gardan (?) and we were just listening to old house and
garage daft. I thought it was a banging song and I wanted to sing it.
I was literally just wanted to put it on Spotify. I thought it was a
good way for people to starting to know me with that cover. We
recorded it very quickly and it made sense to start the story with
Closer Than Close.
is your mindset regarding your EP ?
EP is quite a layered body of work. It is a concept EP based around
the movie Xanadu that I was obsessed with. It is about a muse that
comes out of a painting inspires an artist. She is supposed to go
back to the painting to inspire someone else but she falls in love
with him. The movie itself is borrowed from the Greek mythology, she
is one of the 9 sisters and her father Zeus is totally against this
I had that life experience with my family that do
not like my partner. But then also Zeus, to me, is quite metaphorical
for god. And so there is like religious connotation in there. Being
brought up in a religious household. One of the songs is called
Falling From Grace and it feels like you’re displeasing your family
and god when you want to take another path.
When you listen the
EP at first you won’t exactly get that right away but the more you
dive into it the more you will see different layers. Even with this
all idea of muses, there is a lot of female empowerment and to me
women do that on a daily basis.
There’s another record on the
EP called Higher Ground which is a self-discovery record. Sometimes
we get caught up in phones, society and you want to escape this, get
to a higher ground.
Sometimes London can make you feel so
pressured and social media can almost close you in. The minute you
put your phone down you can reengage to nature, open up yourself.
There’s another track on the EP called Cali Dreaming. This track was
directly inspired by my trip to LA and I was on this road trip with
my friends. We were driving down the Big Sur, hands blowing in the
wind, wind blowing in your hair. Literally just a feel good record
when you can close your eyes, float back, you’re in your Xanadu, your
magical place where you can escape.
layers in this record and it is all connected back to Xanadu. The
detail is there, if you’re not bothered about it you can listen to
the tracks and enjoy it. But that was important to me to make sure
that all the details were there.
did your past and present empower you as a woman ?
definitely a point in your life when you have to decide what you want
and that’s not always going to sit right with family and friends. It
is a brave move but you need to be assertive and establish what you
want. Ultimately you can’t live for other people. You need to make a
stand for what you believe in, that stands in life ; career, family,
The record is a bit of a coming of age and
equally people that might have seen me in a life circle I can say
that the body of work is much more sensual. That’s me coming of age
as well and I am exploring that side of me.
the music video Closer Than Close, you’re dancing. Do you usually
dance as well ?
am not a trained dancer or not a trainer singer. I wanted to explore
movements a bit more. We’re going to be doing a more of that in the
next visuals. The rehearsals were quite fun. John, the other dancer,
was really lovely.
is important to you nowadays, in society, arts, music, politics ?
think we are at a time now where you can no longer separate art from
the artist. People need to be authentic and stand for something. This
is the kind of artists what I follow. I am quite outspoken about
female empowerment. I am not anti-men but pro-women. I definitely
supportive of black creatives, businesses. I think we still have a
long way to go.
Also I am a mom, my son is a year and a half.
It’s been a challenge and I have definitely seen how society is
building a way that is not fair. We do not support working women at
all. I have got a point to prove, fire in my belly. It isn’t the fact
that I have to show you I am a mom all the time, whereas the fact you
can see that I am doing this whilst being a mom.
do you want to express that fire ?
think being visible is already ticking so many boxes. The thing I
have at the moment is that there are so many podcasts. I recently
were asked to talk for a podcast called The Flower’s Bloom ; it was
all about how wanting to achieve goals can stop you from social
accomplishments and developments. People want to have conversations
not only see a pretty Instagram.
I guess it is just about
speaking up, using your social platform to say the things that matter
to you. Becoming a mom has definitely reignite my passion. It made me
certain of what I want. Almost like tunnel vision now.
do you think of the current political climate in the UK and in the
is quite a scary time. Sometimes I find it overwhelming. I am quite
sensitive and sometimes you can find it so overwhelming that it makes
you wonder if you can make any difference. I am trying to only focus
on my circle, if I can influence or have an impact on 20 or 5 people
around me they will have an impact that’s enough. We can have an
impact on small communities.
feel as a black woman, especially where I am entering spaces where
there aren’t any black people there, I am an ambassador. It’s my job
now to educate you when you’re saying stereotypical jokes about black
people, I will question them.
I think people should be
challenged. Even your closest friends. It is really interesting to
see how many people do not understand or do not realise the power of
their jokes or things they say. I think you have to be very careful
with what you digest in the media, black men, black women and black
families are represented in such an awful way that is not
representative that black people. That’s what the nation is being
fed, an awful propaganda.
mentioned educating them. Do you think it is black or mixed-race
people responsibility to educate other people ? Or should they
educate themselves ?
should educate themselves but if they live in ignorance they need to
be shown the way. If I see that they are on the wrong path I will say
it. In order for that to have an actual change, people that aren’t
affected need to understand that it’s not because they aren’t the
victim of racism or hate crime, why wouldn’t that still not concern
you than that happens ? I guess when you are walking around with a
sort of a white privilege and not experiencing any of these things
then I imagine it is easy to do not connect with those things. You
should be very worried that black people were sold as slaves and so
on whatever your color or race.
would you like your music identity to be in the future ? Do you see
yourself evolve ?
feel like getting this project out there has been a journey, a labor
of love. It’s sort of a weight off my shoulder once it will be
released and I will use this opportunity to talk about motherhood,
being a black female, being female.
I am excited to get back
into the studio. I would like my songs in the future to be more
autobiographical, reflect my day to day life.
is going to be the future in music, arts, etc in the UK ?
industry in the music is really transitioning. Independent artists
are doing so much for themselves. Record labels are becoming less and
less important. I think the possibilities are endless.
for myself that, being completely independent, self-managed, working
with Public Ambition ; I think building a team and finding people
along the way is the most important. Platforms such as Spotify can
show you how you can reach people not only in your country. Music is
being listened to worldwide so it is good to take advantage of it,
with the right audiences that feel my music.
would you like to tour ?
would love to tour Europe because I was actually fortunate enough to
have a support slot with Kwabs in 2015. The response to his music in
Amsterdam and Gent was amazing. The audience was wonderful. It was
such an amazing experience, my music was demo at the time and it gave
me the opportunity to try my music on the audience to see how they
would respond to it.
I would love to play at Coachella, Afropunk, Glastonbury, some of their jazz festivals also in the UK and possibly in France.