"The key to writing a good song is to open yourself up and write while you are in the space and feeling those emotions" We chat with Kirstie Kraus
With a new single on the way newcomer Kirstie Kraus is getting ready to get noticed. Having moved to Nashville just over 18 months ago, she's working with some of the city's best musicians to create her debut. But we don't need to tell you that, that's the whole reason we spoke to Kirstie.
Hey Kirstie, how the heck are you?
I am doing great! How are you?
I am also very well, thanks for asking. So what have you been up to today, and where are you right now?
Today I did my morning routine of yoga, workout, warmed up the vocal cords, cleaned the house, replied to emails, and had a business meeting for Emc2 Records. Right now I am at my house in the office at my six-foot wooden desk working on a few things before leaving for a show tonight!
Can you tell me a bit about you, when was the first time you remember singing and playing music?
I started singing at the age of two jumping up on picnic tables and jumping on stage when I was four. Of course I don’t remember those so... hmmm. I remember singing my first solo at school performance that included the entire elementary school students called We Has Jazz at five years old with a giant teal t-shirt on and sunglasses.
What the road been like for where you’ve got to right now?
The road has been rough and winding. One of the bigger challenges was in high school when I had nodules on my vocal cords. I’ve heard the closer you are to your dreams the harder it gets. This statement is true there is always more to do and more to overcome. Each step and its challenges are just preparing you to take on and handle future challenges.
You released ‘Gotta Do’ recently, what can you tell me about the song?
'Gotta Do' was inspired from a time in my life where I was struggling to make the leap and to officially do music full-time. Life is too short, so why not do what you love?! I wanted to capture the moment when I decided to leave the corporate world and venture out unto the bliss of chasing a dream with everything you got. I hope it can be an anthem for people who are at that point in their lives so they can be brave enough to follow their heart! This is my second release off my upcoming Yes You Can album.
You just released a video for the song, how much fun was that? Or was it just a bunch of hard work? Making this video was extremely rewarding. I am such a visual person it is amazing to picture something in your mind and have it come out exactly how you pictured it! I had a blast!
You’re currently in the process of getting your first record done, what can you tell me about it?
It will be a full-length record called Yes You Can. The album title was inspired by the bridge of my single 'Gotta Do'. I have been working on it since moving to Nashville in October 2017. We have worked really hard to create a specific sound that is true to what I want to share with the world. The old saying is you have forever to record your first record. I truly believe in all these songs, their stories and I can't wait to share it with everyone. I have enough strong songs for a second and third record by now. There are tremendous well-named players that helped me put this record together and I am already so very proud of it!
What’s going to be the next thing we’ll hear from you?
I just announced my next single will be 'Moving In'! On Mother’s Day we released a live version of 'Moving In' at the Bluebird.
I believe you’ve been recording with some great artists from Nashville, it's that one of the benefits from being in Music City, the plethora of amazing players?
Yes! I have recorded with some amazing talents whom I would not have met if I wasn’t visiting so much before and living here now. It is amazing how much time, talent and energy these players have brought to the record. A lot of them have producer mindsets as well and have helped us come up with great parts that are original and fresh to the specific songs!
What's the key to writing a damn good song?
I think the key to writing a good song is to open yourself up and write while you are in the space and feeling those emotions.
What are you up to for the rest of 2019?
I am going to be finishing up the record, doing shows in and out of town, doing more showcases, releasing singles with music videos and booking for 2020!
You’re from Wisconsin originally, what can you tell me about your hometown?
My hometown was 65,000 people. It was a community built on sports, parks and lots of family gatherings. I think back and remember being outside all the time and if I was inside I was singing. I performed in a lot of plays growing up.
What was your first experience of Nashville when you moved there?
My first experience was going downtown, jumping up on stage with a friend and performing, then meeting other people from Wisconsin who happened to have one extra ticket to see Chris Stapleton the next day at the Bridgestone! Talk about a great first week!
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what your experience of being treated differently as a women in your industry?
I have noticed some industry folks initially think I don’t know as much about the industry because I am a woman. It's a shame because no one should ever assume.
Lots of independent artist have other jobs to support themselves, that surprises a lot of people. Just how hard is it to be an independent artist.
It is a struggle to get up and grind every day and go after your dreams. Some days are harder than others. I have to constantly remind myself to pause and look at how far I have come. I do promos for events a few times a month to earn a little extra fun money.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
I love listening to Funk, Jazz, 80’s Rock, 90’s pop, Blues, Classical, and female only radio stations.
What do you do for fun?
I love going to the movies, being outdoors, chai everything, trying new things, going to networking events, and going on trips!
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be? I’d recommend listening to Hailey Whitters.
What is the question we should have you today but haven’t?
Hmm..probably what is your favorite part of the business? I love this question because I always light up so much. My favorite part is hands down performing on stage. This is where I feel my highest self. It is also where I can to deeply connect with a broad range of people through my music and words.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I like to order a honey chai latte :)
If you want to find out more about Kirstie then you should visit her website. She's also active on her social media.