Photo Credit: Nicalena Lovino

Exclusive Interview: Kailey Prior Chats About ‘Assume’

Kailey Prior, a talented Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, is a multi-instrumentalist and talented artist who is ready to share her music with the world. Prior has recently released her latest single ‘Assume’ and it’s safe to assume listeners will love it. The upbeat and catchy track is something music fans will instantly gravitate towards and definitely not something people should ignore. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, Kailey Prior opened up about her latest single, influences and more.

What can you tell us about your new single ‘Assume’ and its message?

‘Assume’ is like giving someone the finger with a huge smile on your face. It’s not about holding onto anger or resentment towards someone who has wronged you by making assumptions that were way off target. It’s about liberating yourself from accepting the blame for someone else’s shortcomings [and] celebrating your strength rather than their weakness. All the songs on my upcoming EP We’re Okay are empowering in their own ways, but ‘Assume’ is certainly the most joyful anthem on the EP.

What do this single’s lyrics mean to you?

I get extremely tongue-tied during confrontations, especially when I’ve got to speak up for myself to an authority figure. After a frustrating string of such encounters, I wrote ‘Assume.’ The lyrics sprung from all the things I couldn’t bring myself to say in person, and whenever I sing it I feel strong and powerful.

Who are your musical influences?

Brandi Carlile has been my biggest musical influence and role model for over a decade. She and the twins (Phil and Tim Hanseroth) have always unapologetically spoken their truth in their own unique musical language, which is so inspiring and something I strive for in my own music as well. Other musical influences include Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, and Joni Mitchell.

What do you want new fans to know about you and your music?

I write music as a way to connect to and share my own experiences as a queer woman and as a human. My hope is that by writing honestly about my dark corners and sore spots, listeners will feel less alone as they work through their own.

You play 20 instruments! Which are your favorites and why?

Guitar is my go-to for writing and performing and will always be a big love. Trombone is one that I’ve been playing the longest, and is the most fun to improvise and play around on since the slide forces me to think more about the feel and the melody and less about the theory behind the notes. I also love bonding with other band geeks over having played in the brass section. Double Bass is newer to my list, but it is so big and satisfying to play, it’s definitely up there as a favorite as well.

If you could only listen to three songs for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

‘Mainstream Kid’ – Brandi Carlile

‘I Am Woman’ – Helen Reddy

‘More Than Enough’ – Elizabeth & The Catapult

Brandi Carlile’s ‘Mainstream Kid’ is one of my favorite of her odd-ball anthems and makes me feel so powerful and proud to be a weirdo when I hear it. In truth, you could play me any Brandi Carlile song and I’d be happy, but this is my favorite in this current moment.

‘I Am Woman’ by Helen Reddy is that song you forget you need until you hear it. It’s a celebration of femininity and strength and makes me cry in a good way every time I hear it. It also reminds me of my dad, who introduced me to this song when I was little. He was raised by a strong woman, married a strong woman and raised two strong women. He is always looking for ways to lift us up and help us find our inner strength.

‘More Than Enough’ by Elizabeth & The Catapult is a beautifully crafted reminder that wherever you are on your journey, you are doing just fine. I’m a big over-thinker and this song always brings me back to this planet when I’m wrapped up in the “could haves” and “should haves,” pointing out that even an imperfect present moment is more than enough.

What can fans look forward to in the near or distant future?

My debut EP We’re Okay comes out on June 13, 2019! We’ll be celebrating with a release show at Rockwood Music Hall (NYC) on June 15th at 6pm. Follow @kaileypriormusic on Instagram and Facebook for more details and exciting announcements about merch, music videos, and more!

Thank you, Kailey Prior, for taking the time to speak with CelebMix.

Listen to ‘Assume’ here.

Follow Prior on Instagram and Facebook.

Written by Alessandra

Alessandra is a music journalist from New York who loves to speak and write about music of all different genres. She has interviewed artists such as Alesso, Surf Mesa, and Neon Trees.