Connecticut based singer/songwriter Kelaska chatted with Indie is Not a Genre about her new song Tightrope and the video she just dropped for it.
Hi! So you’ve been musical since you were very young and a collector of classic rock as modern rock and pop. Your sound is an alluring brew of both. Can you tell me about your very first musical influence?
Thank you! Let me think about that, that is a very good question! I guess I would say my first one might have been Christina Aguilera. When I was around eight or nine I was so obsessed with her and her vocal techniques, and I feel like she was one of the people that when, if my parents were out of the house or something, I would put on the Karaoke tracks and start singing. I think I’d have to give it to her for being my first real person that I was trying to emulate.
That’s a great one, she’s amazing!
I know, I mean, of course nobody can be her because she on another level, but she is amazing.
Absolutely! So you’ve created a pretty solid fan base on YouTube starting with covers. How have covers influenced the bigger picture of your creativity and career?
It’s interesting, I think that they’ve helped me a lot as far as getting better at guitar, piano, and things like that. They’ve also helped me figure out which covers I liked to sing and which ones I was just doing to get a video up on YouTube. I used to do one a week, and the turn around for that is so fast that sometimes I would just pick the newest song that was on the radio, and then I’d hate it. But they have helped me become better as a musician, and with singing, and being on camera.
Do you think it is a really good way to introduce the public to your skills as an artist?
I do, I think that even if you are playing live gigs or if you are playing online, when you first introduce yourself, the public doesn’t really know who you are. So if you don’t have these hit singles, its not like you have anything to go off of, so its better to have them warm up to you with something they already know with your voice. If you threw too much at them, like a brand new song and your voice, they may not listen because it is not familiar. I do think that really is helpful.
I agree. How important is social media in your journey as an artist?
It’s so important, because if it wasn’t for social media, I probably wouldn’t be doing this. I just uploaded a cover to YouTube for the first time on a whim, and kind of got addicted and went from there. If I didn’t upload it to YouTube, I don’t think I would’ve went out and played at a bar. So I don’t think I’d be doing it without social media. I also think a lot of the people who listen to my songs are from across the world rather than people I know personally.
That makes a lot of sense. Your latest track, Tightrope, addresses the pressure to be perfect – a feeling that is exaggerated by social media. Was there a specific moment that inspired the song?
Yes. I was live-streaming on this random app, and they had a base of how many hours you had to do, so basically I was doing a couple hours every single day for a couple months. The people on that app were very into appearance. Either I’d be greeted with “hey, you look beautiful!”, which is a compliment but
after you hear it so many times, you’re like why? Either it would be things that were a little sexual, or it would be things like “why is your hair in a ponytail?” It would be 6 am and I would be like why do I have to be perfect every moment of every day? There would be times where I would stop streaming and cry out of frustration. I think all along the way, even from YouTube there were so many moments where everybody has an opinion and they all want you to know it, and they all think that their opinion is going to make you a star. From all of the years combined, it just built up and I was like “oh my god, I’m gonna shave my head”. I was going to have a Britney moment (love her), and it makes so much sense now. I was having all those feelings, and I just put it in a song to help cope.
It is such a great song, and it is a song that reflects our times, especially being on social media. We are more than just beauty.
Yes, and I think the thing that is hard for people who haven’t gone through it to understand is that its not really about that one moment, but it is about years of these little moments that happen every single day. It just gets so tiring. I saw this girl on TikTok who got a tattoo and her dad asked her why she would get that, because it’s not pretty. They might not say that to another group of people. We are always expected to do things to be pretty, rather than just live.
Totally. What is next for you?
I’ve been working on another song, I’m not 100% sure yet what we’re gonna call it, but right now we’re thinking Honey. It is a bit more fun, a little bit sassy, and at the end of June we will probably make a video for that too.
Where can your fans find you?
I’m on Instagram (@Kelaska_) or Twitch. Twitch is probably where I hang out the most, but I’m everywhere online.