INTERVIEW: Kylie Hughes Talks About Pushing Boundaries on Her Self-Titled Album
Kylie Hughes isn't your run of the mill country-pop songstress. She already rides the line between the two genres - her debut full-length album was even written between LA and Nashville - but she strives to push musical boundaries even further with her genre-defying sound. With her self-titled album out now, Kylie is already looking toward the future and planning her next step, which includes another new music video soon and an upcoming show at Lucky Strike in Hollywood on October 26th.
Kylie recently talked with us about her goals as a musician, her debut full-length and her theatrical video for "Heat," which can be seen below.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who aren’t familiar? What first made you want to get involved in music?
I have always been a music lover, growing up in a musical family. I picked up the guitar and started to write my own songs in Middle School due to typical teenage angst. My music library slowly got bigger as I was exposed to more artists. Having a Christian Music background, I was very excited when my world was opened to songs what had all kinds of different subject material. I’ve always been a creative person, whether it came to singing and making up songs or being into photography, doing videos — I always knew I had to be involved with creating some type of art.
What would you like to bring to the country/pop scene that you think it needs right now?
What I would like to bring, which I feel like people are starting to do, is that natural crossover sound. Artists like Elle King and Maren Morris are creating albums that have an array of different vibes - some pop songs, some country songs, even a pop song played with a banjo. I love that artists are starting to blur the lines on the definition of country and I want to continue to push that envelope and push those boundaries.
Earlier this year, you released your new self-titled album! What inspired these songs?
I think that releasing these handful of songs was special because they all came from my day-to-day. I wrote or co-wrote on all of the tracks and the whole process was very personal. It is a great introduction to me and the spectrum of sounds I like to play with.
Because it was your first full-length album, did you have any major goals in mind for it?
I wanted to see what I could do, as a songwriter, in different genres. I wanted to see what songs people were gravitating towards. Are fans really interested in hearing me only sing in this certain style or are they also open to hearing different sounds? I wanted to kind of test my full range to see what resonates with my audience.
While working on the album, you split your time between Los Angeles and Nashville. How do you feel the change in scenery affected the songs?
When you’re recording in Nashville, there’s an incredible music spirit but it also is quite competitive. I felt like the songs had to be at a certain level to be even recorded in Nashville. There are so many great songwriters there and I was recording in a city that has this legacy for music. In LA, I was either writing by myself or with friends, so it was a little lot more laid back.
You’ve mentioned that this album is a direct reflection of who you are. Why was it important to create a collection of really honest and personal songs for this release?
It was important for me to showing the spectrum of what I can write about and what I like to sing about. I had full control over the creative process from writing to directing and styling my music videos. It is all authentically me.
What would you like fans to be able to take away from the album?
I really like to experiment with different sounds and take my music in various directions. I am not discriminative against really any genre and will write anything from bubblegum pop to folky singer-songwriter songs. I think fans can always expect variety in my music. One song won’t ever sound exactly like another. I like to keep it new and different for not only my listeners, but for me as well.
Earlier this year, you also shared a fun music video for “Heat” from the album, which was inspired by Talladega Nights. What was the highlight of shooting the video?
Well besides that being the first time I had ever even been to a racetrack, let alone dance up and down it.... It was so much fun dancing with those smoke bombs. I always thought it would be a really cool shot, but man, it is a lot harder than it looks. I definitely gassed myself out a few times.
With your new album out now and a few months left in 2017, do you have any other big plans coming up?
I just wrapped up the filming for a brand new music video over the weekend!! It was also my first stab at 100% directing!! I wore a lot of hats and it was a whirlwind but I'm so frickin excited for the results. Fans can expect a music video for “Leave It Alone” coming to a Halloween near you. :)
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am so excited for the upcoming release of my video and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone at my upcoming show at Lucky Strike in Hollywood on October 26th!