"The first thing I plan to do is have a cup of tea in a cool cafe and a beer in a pub" Introducing Kaylee Bell
Hey Kaylee, what have you been up to today?
I've been on national TV today here in New Zealand playing my latest single which was the most streamed song in New Zealand today, so that's awesome.
Introduce yourself to our lovely readers.
Hey hey, my name is Kaylee, I am a NZ country artist and have been singing country music since I was four and I am as much a fan of it as I am an artist!
Tell us about you, what’s your first memory of playing music?
Age four, onstage with my brother and sister... there is footage but I remember parts of it too!
You’ve opened and played with some major stars, what have you learnt from playing those shows?
Hard work, perseverance... and to be a nice person!!
Keith Urban’s had you onstage with him a couple of times, how did that come about?
I won a competition in Australia called Star Maker in 2013 that Keith won in 1990, and I was the first Kiwi-born to win since Keith so the team made that alignment which was amazing! He's the best!!!
What song of yours is the one you’d really want people to hear, and why?
'Keith' - it's my latest single and I am proud of how that one turned out.
What can you tell us about ‘Keith’?
It was an idea I had over a year before I wrote it. I had the melody and some lyrics come to me in my sleep, that I still have on my phone, and I didn't know what to do with it so it sat on my phone. I knew the idea came with a lot of responsibility so it was a year before I had the courage to take it to a song write. I took it to my producer Lindsay Rimes and Phil Barton (two Aussies) in Nashville and they were awesome and the song felt so amazing from the get-go. My concept was to tie in Keith's song titles to tell the story of how music takes you back to moments and in this instance falling in love for the first time.
You’ve spent time in Nashville writing, what is it about Music City that makes it such a great place to create?
Collaboration and like-minded people that all love music and just want to write great songs.
It's my favourite place in the world!!
And, aside from writing, what’s your favourite thing to do in Nashville?
Hanging out with friends, I love watching music so I will go to the Listening Room any chance I can... I go so many times I became good friends with the sound guy and he let me sit in with him each night when I am there myself ha!!
Tell us a bit about your hometown in New Zealand.
I grew up in a place called Waimate, it's a small country town in the middle of the South Island basically three hours to Christchurch, Wanaka, Dunedin and Queenstown, so a great spot to grow up. The southern alp mountains were my backdrop on my hour and a half drive to school each day so I feel fortunate to have grown up in such a beautiful place.
What’s coming up for you in 2019?
C2C!!! Then Nashville to finish my record. Then I am back to NZ to play a showcase with some amazing Nashville artists Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson, and Lindsay Ell, and then who knows...
You’re heading to the UK next month, what are you looking forward to most?
Seeing London for the first time. All my holidays have been saving money to go to Nashville and record or write for the past eight years, so this is like the OE I never had and all my friends have moved to London for their two-year stint, so now I know what they have been talking about. I truly can't wait!!
Also, the first thing I plan to do is have a cup of tea in a cool cafe and a beer in a pub!
What have you heard about the C2C Country To Country festival?
I have watched it the last few years online with FOMO and heard so many cool stories, can't wait to meet some new UK friends!!
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
Absolutely!!! I have been surrounded by males my lifetime in this industry with band guys and manager and booking teams, and I think it is something that is being talked about that has been going on for some time. I love that we are talking about it and starting to stand up as females and being treated equally. I grew up on 90s country and alot of that was female artists like Reba, Trisha, Jody Messina, Sara Evans, Shania, Faith the list goes on and it is an obvious issue the lack of females on country radio right now. Those women were role models of my life and I think it's concerning the next generation have been missing out on that. I mean Kacey Musgraves just cleaned up the Grammys..... it's time that women were heard!
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Lady A[ntebellum] have always been a favourite of mine, I love Hillary Scott and would love to meet her. Ingrid Andress is amazing, she's going to be a force!!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Everyday! Hah, no a long black. I began F45 training and that was all we were allowed so I got hooked, I was a cappucino girl for so long but things have changed.
To catch Kaylee at C2C Country To Country 2019 you'll need to be in London on 8th to 10th March and buy a ticket, which are on sale now.
You can find out more about Kaylee and hear her music at her website. You can also follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, or check out her Instagram.