The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming bands and solo acts creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do.
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“KYTLY, also known as Laura Keightley, has been chasing possibilities since moving from England to Canada at the age of 12. After discovering her love for music and writing songs, one band led to another until she formed The Caraways with ex-Weakerthans bassist and husband John Sutton. The short-lived indie-rock band ultimately split up, and KYTLY began to plan her solo album while attending film school. She started a career as a creative on TV and film productions doing art and set decorating, but never lost her musical sense of direction. The now Hamilton-based vocalist has returned to display her own brand of fierceness and fearlessness as she continues to demonstrate her willingness to reinvent herself and make hard decisions to find the right path forward”.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
I knew I wanted to be a musician when I was about 13 and started recording myself singing Violent Femmes songs onto a hand tape recorder!
Are you trained? How did you develop your skills?
I’ve had very little training. I went to a high school in the countryside where you had to choose between music or art as electives. I wanted to do both, but couldn’t. I was always very good at drawing so I chose Art. It was a shame because I would have benefited from music theory and structured lessons. I ended up teaching myself and paid for a few lessons here and there over the years with both guitar and piano theory.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
This is a hard question. Going back to that 13 year old secretly recording herself under the covers with a tape recorder, her mixtape was Violent Femmes, Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, Suzanne Vega, Frente and Mazzy Star. Then those late teens and early twenties, it was all Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Modern Lovers, Tom Waits, Cowboy Junkies, Replacements, and so many more.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s kind of cinematic. I feel like my songs are all quite different in tonality and rhythm. There’s definitely a whispery, playful edge to it.
What’s your favourite tune in your repertoire and why?
“Never ending“ It was the first song Brian and I worked on together. It really grew on both of us. There were many versions of it and with each layer it became stronger and sort of took on its own life. It’s a haunting love song.
What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
I’m a very visual person, as my day job is art directing and decorating film sets. I’d love to bring those skills into my live shows with lighting and projections. I’m setting the bar high!
Where can we find your music?
You can find my music on iTunes, Amazon, Tidal, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud. Follow me on @kytlycreative and my website.