We’ve just exclusively brought you Kyan Palmer’s debut music video for “Hidden Feelings”; and now we’re giving you an exclusive interview. We’re thankful that he took some time out to answer our questions about his music, his debut video, his upcoming gigs, and his future plans.
At just 22, he has launched into the music world incredibly. He initially started his career behind the scenes at record labels, such as Roc Nation and Republic Records; then a college project guided him to write, record, and release his debut single “Burn Mona Lisa”; which has had phenomenal success thus far.
“Hidden Feelings” was his follow-up, which was released on 30 June 2017. An acoustic version dropped on 18 August 2017 and we exclusively revealed the music video, today. The song is certainly a favourite of ours, and we can’t stop watching the video.
We had the opportunity to talk to Kyan Palmer. Check out our interview below.
Hi, Kyan, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, it’s much appreciated.
How has your day been today? What have you been up to recently?
Hi, thanks for having me! I’m good, just running around NYC, working with a bunch of really talented people.
For those readers who haven’t listened to your music yet, how would you describe your sound?
Well, my sound is definitely still developing. Right now, I think of it as moody pop with a hint of R&B. But it’s always changing, I have a dancehall record and a trap record in the works – we’ll see if they ever come out. I’m really just experimenting and putting out what I like.
You released “Hidden Feelings” at the end of June, tell us more about the song.
When I wrote the song, I knew that it was gonna be a single. When I wrote it, I really felt it. I was alone in my thoughts and I was thinking about how nobody really knows what I’m thinking, or how I’m feeling, so I made a song.
What has the reaction been like?
Overall positive. Everyone that has been following my journey has been extremely supportive! As an independent artist, my goal is to have as many people as possible be exposed to my music. So far those who have heard it, love it. Unless they’re lying to me.
What does the song mean to you?
This song means a lot to me. It defines a period of my life and all the emotions attached to that time. Writing music is very therapeutic to me, and this song helped me get through that time.
The music video is out soon, how excited are you for that to drop?
I’m excited about it. I think putting the music to a visual piece is really gonna help people understand the story of the song. Very, very excited for it to come out. Hoping there is a positive reaction.
What was it like to film?
Oh, it was a blast, just me and a pretty girl filming all day. But, seriously, Zane the Director, Jordan Reyes the videographer, Jade Bender the actress, my manager Ava Tunnicliffe, and creative genius Kaylin Burke, were very professional. I really loved working with them. This is my first video and all of them made it really comfortable and intimate and brought out a good result. I’m very thankful for my team.
What’s the story behind the music video?
It’s a twisted love story. It feels genuine and real… Plus some cool lights and smoke. I wanted the video to be very intimate and show two people who care for each other, but are having problems and don’t know how to express it. A lot of tension. A lot of love. And, a lot of resentment.
How was it getting steamy with your on-screen love interest? Was it awkward at first?
Not awkward at all! Jade and I had amazing chemistry. It was actually very easy and natural. Especially being that that was the first time we’d ever met.
The director is ZANE, what was it like working with him?
Great. Extremely professional. He had a vision and it came to life. I am so excited at how the product turned out. I loved working with ZANE and I would easily do another video with him. Plus, he’s damn funny.
This is your debut music video, so what’s it like to release?
I’m kind of scared, but also excited. Shooting a video is hard, there is a lot that goes into it and if I didn’t know that at first, I certainly do now. I really hope people have a positive response to it!
How excited are you that CelebMix are premiering the music video?
I love that this video is premiering with CelebMix. I’ve been following CelebMix for a while and I cannot wait for new people to discover the video and the song. Such an ideal platform for my first video!
How incredible did it feel that Vevo included the song in its Fresh Music Friday playlist?
God bless Vevo. The team at Vevo is very supportive and they continue to be. As my project continues to grow, I will continue to work with Vevo. Whatever they need, I’ll be there.
This release follows up from your debut “Burn Mona Lisa”, tell us more about that song.
Well, that song is very personal to me. It’s the first song I had ever written and it is the reason that my career even started. I can’t believe how fortunate I have been with that song. I sing it at every show!
It currently has almost 2.5 million streams on Spotify, how does that feel?
Absolutely incredible. I never thought that people would actually be interested in what I have to say. I have received so many tweets and messages of support for it and I cannot thank those who have supported me enough. The people who know “Burn Mona Lisa” are my day ones. I love you for that!
You have three events lined up. One on 26 August at Rockwood Music Hall, New York; another on 31 August at The Fire, Philadelphia; and the other on 3 September at PIANOS, New York. How excited are you to perform at these venues?
I’m nervous as hell. But, I’m gonna go up there and give it what I got. I love performing live. I think it really helps people feel what I have to say. Not to mention, I play a lot of unreleased music at my shows, so if you want a sneak peek, come out to one of my shows! After having my first show at LoveCraft NYC sell out, I could not be more excited to perform again.
What should people expect from your sets at these events?
You’re gonna get some soul. It’s gonna be raw. There’s gonna be a live band. My shows are very intimate. I want people to have a few too many drinks, cry, dance, sing. I just want people to live and feel something at my shows.
How much do you love being on stage, performing your songs?
I love it. Every performance, my songs sound different. I sing them how I am feeling them that day. I channel my nerves into emotion and I try to give those that come all the way out to support me, the show that they deserve.
Who or what do you draw inspiration from?
My life. A face in the crowd. Who really knows. I just try to feel every word I am saying. I write my lyrics so I know what they mean and I want people to interpret them however they want. Also, I draw inspiration from my life, family, friends, Elvis, Lorde, Lil Wayne. You name it.
What are your five favourite songs right now?
Leland – Mattress
SZA – Drew Barrymore
Shoffy – Motions
Terror Jr – Personal
Kendrick Lamar – Love (feat. Zacari)
Check them out on my Spotify playlist – Night Drive
If you could collaborate with anyone from the past or the present, who would it be and why?
Elvis. I love that guy. He was his own thing, he brought soul to pop music. He is timeless and still lives on. I absolutely would love to collaborate with him. Phenomenal talent.
What can we expect from you in the future, following the release of this music video?
A lot of music. Don’t you worry! I have a lot of songs geared up and ready to go. Who knows when they’ll come out, but they’re coming.
What do you hope to achieve? Have you got any goals or targets you hope to meet?
I want to be the greatest songwriter, musician, performer, etc. that I can be. But at the end of the day, I want to be someone that people can look up to. Someone that is vulnerable and exposed, that people can relate to and feel happiness when they listen to. I know my songs are emotional and often times sad, but I write them very personally so that people know that they’re not alone and that I’ve been there too.
Do you have any advice for singer/songwriters who are also starting their careers?
Work hard. Nothing is ever going to be handed to you. The worst thing you can ever do is wait around for something to happen. Keep on creating, master your craft, and be phenomenal.
And, finally, do you have a message to your fans, who continue to support and follow you?
I call them friends. I don’t know why you guys continue to support me, but I love you for it. Thank you for believing in me and being here from the start. I’m gonna make you guys proud and I hope you continue to reach out to me, cause I will always try my best to be there for you.
Thank you so much for taking the time out for this interview, Kyan Palmer. We look forward to your future endeavours and hope you have an amazing time at your upcoming gigs.