British R&B singer Kyla returns this month with the release of her brand new single Personal – a sassy, soulful anthem for all independent females and males, who find themselves having to decline the advances and unwanted attention of others.
Infusing playful reggae flavours with free and easy R&B grooves, the tracks sparse beat and alluring, hypnotic melody combined with Kyla’s soulful and distinctive vocals creates a serious MOOD that gives us ALL the feels!
Having worked with the likes of Popcaan, Wiley, Naughty Boy and Bashy over the course of her decade long career, creating a unique style and fierce musical sound all of her own – Kyla was introduced to whole new audience back in 2016 when a certain Canadian rapper named Drake requested permission to sample her 2008 single Do You Mind on one of his upcoming tracks…
‘Baby, I Like Your Style!’
The fresh and infectious dancehall draw of One Dance, captured the mood and zeitgeist of a generation, with it’s breezy, dance-floor lullaby feel and tropical, tribal beat – the track became an international SMASH HIT reaching No. 1 in over 15 countries, becoming one of the best selling and most streamed singles of all time on Spotify, gaining over 1 billion individual streams.
3 years on from her first taste of international fame and success, Kyla finds herself entering a whole new phase of her life and career, so we caught up with the R&B Queen to talk new music, dealing with difficult pregnancies, taking creative control and what it’s like to be a total (built on self success!) B.O.S.S!..
You’re BACK with your brand new single ‘Personal’ – what was your feeling / vibe going into the studio to make the track?
The feeling I was trying to go for was a positive vibe. I don’t like going into the studio and writing songs about the obvious subjects, I like to do things with a twist on it.
Lyrically can you talk us through what inspired you to write it?
I can say I was inspired by the the fact that the subject happens to almost everyone in their life at one point or another, where you’re with someone, but turning someone down that is chatting you up and you having to say sorry I’m not interested. So the inspiration comes from real life events – I feel like it’s more relatable.
You’ve got such a distinctive voice and the track fuses together so many different styles and flavours, how important is it to you to be an individual within the industry?
Thank you! It’s very important to be an individual, you have to come with something different because there are so many people out there that are able to sing but you have to stand out from the crowd. When you listen to certain artists you know who they are straight away, being different gives you an identity which is very important in this industry.
There are so many people out there that are able to sing but you have to stand out from the crowd.
What’s the feedback been like so far – are you happy with the response?
I’m so happy with the response I have had so far – I couldn’t ask for better! As long as people are enjoying my music, that what makes me (want to) keep going.
You’re releasing the single on your own label Reid & Wright Music, can you tell us a little bit about the process in putting the label together? And also reasons behind wanting to go down this route?
The process is tough to be honest because you have to do everything yourself and believe me it’s not easy! But it comes with a lot of perks, I’m my own boss so I only have myself to blame if things go wrong! (laughs) It’s so much fun though and having my own label means I can do things at my own pace. I wanted more children and so this way I’m more in control of my career, which is so important, especially raising a family, it’s easier balancing my career and my home life.
Having control as an artist is so important, being on your own label, does this help with the creative side of what you do i.e. not having any major external pressures telling you what kind of music to create etc.
Definitely having control as an artist is important… I’ve definitely learnt I’m a bit of a control freak!(laughs) It just takes the pressure off and makes me enjoy the process a lot better. It’s also the most amazing feeling when you have got through a project knowing you have put all your own hard work into it.
Congratulations on the news that you’re expecting your second baby, how are you feeling?
Aww thank you I’m so chuffed! And just I’ve recently found out I’m having a little boy which is so exciting.
I’m up and down, due to suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum sometimes is tougher than others but knowing I’m going to get a beautiful baby at the end of it keeps me going. I just feel very lucky I have a supportive family which helps hugely.
Dealing with Hyperemesis Gravidarum must be really hard! How is this effecting you on the daily?
On a daily it’s so hard. Sometimes I’m feeling positive and other days I’m feeling really low, it’s so hard, feeling sick and being sick all day everyday is tiring. Most days I’m finding foods that I don’t mind throwing up, which is pretty tough. That’s why it’s so important to make people aware of this condition, it’s important that people understand what it is and how to approach someone with this condition. It’s hard, as pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous moment and it definitely makes it hard to enjoy it.
It’s such a debilitating condition, how are you managing to maintain a sense of calm and normality for yourself and also for your loved ones?
I’m really struggling at the moment. I have moments where I’m positive and the next where I’m fed up and feel so lonely but I have such a supportive husband, so I’m able to rest – I know there are many people out there that don’t have that support network, so for that I feel extremely lucky.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not something many people of heard of – it t affects 1% of pregnant women – were you aware of it before your own experience and what support have you managed to get?
I hadn’t heard of it until I fell pregnant with my first child. The symptoms sound so similar to morning sickness it’s just more extreme so I at first I didn’t know I was suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and thought I was just very weak and felt very embarrassed to say I was struggling.
It wasn’t until I was admitted into hospital that I realised I had it, so falling pregnant a second time, I knew straight away what it was, and knew the signs. My husband has been so supportive, he is being Mum and Dad in our household at the moment.
I just want to raise awareness as it’s so lonely going through the experience, and not many people understand what you are going through and will offer you advice for morning sickness which is very frustrating for the person going through it as morning sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum are totally different.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum vs. Morning Sickness: The Signs!
You’ve obviously got the single AND the baby coming – how do you find balance in life?
I’m not going to lie it’s a tough balance but I definitely manage well. I have a great supportive family so that really helps.
So many people always say to me, are you stopping singing?.. that is definitely not going to happen! I have a 6 year old son already and balancing my career and family has never been difficult, I always say to people, it’s no different from a person working in a shop and going back to work after having a baby. If anything working for myself makes it easier, as I can work at my own pace.
Everyone needs money to support there family, if anything I think it gives me more of a reason to work hard… if Beyoncé can do it so can I! (laughs)
You’ve worked with so many incredible artists and producers throughout your career, is there anyone you’d love to work with next (old or new)?
There are so many! I would love to work with Chris Brown or Usher… Craig David would be a good one too. I could give you more – my list could go on and on!
So many people LOVE ‘One Dance’ and have made their own personal connection to the song, but we’re interested to know, for you, what do you feel when you hear it now and are there any moments / memories that you hold dear to you from that experience?
I hold this track very dear to my heart, it was huge pinnacle moment in my life, a huge achievement! I have so many memories, but I think it will always be performing live with Drake – it was so much fun! And also shooting the music video in South Africa… that was a great experience.
You’re over a decade into your career in the music industry, what have been some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed over the years?
The biggest change has been live streaming – I feel that this has given artists a platform to put there music out as it used to be that you had to be signed to a major label to get your music heard, so it’s fantastic that there’s a platform there, available for everyone.
2019 has been a great year for you, both personally and professionally with so many exciting things happening, so what can fans expect from you next?
More music! I just want to be consistent, it’s so important that my fans hear my music. My fans are so important to me and they are the reason why it makes my job so much fun.