When you've found yourself on the internet lately, hopefully you've come across indie musician Kailynn West, out of sunny Los Angeles, CA - if you haven't, be sure to keep your eyes open as the opportunities are there. You're able to listen to both original songs and unique covers (girl can rap the HECK out of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop") on YouTube or maybe even find her Kickstarter campaign, where she's already released videos for the first two singles off her upcoming debut full length. Much to her surprise, the campaign was fully funded within twelve hours, and West expresses gratitude to those who have helped her reach the initial goal, but as she shares there's still a long way to go and is excited to see what the last week of donations can possibly bring her way.
Even though she thought she was ready to give up on music altogether, things changed and music ended up becoming a major part of West's life instead. "I had just quit music for good in sixth grade. I had decided I was done because my saxophone teacher was terrible. I thought I would never understand what eighth notes were because this music teacher was truly the music teacher from hell," shared West. The following year West's sister gifted her an acoustic guitar. "It was a birthday gift that she had received from an ex-boyfriend. There's still tape on the back of it that says, 'Happy Birthday, Yvonne, '89.'"
Being a do-it-yourself artist is something that West has been working at since she can remember. After many years of playing in countless bands spanning multiple genres (bluegrass, pop-rock, etc.), West is taking a chance and getting her music out into the world for the first time as a solo artist. "I feel like I've had a lot of time to explore what I wanted [musically] under the guise of a group, so now that I feel like I've gone down this path a couple of times I have a better idea of what I'm looking for in terms of goals. This feels like a great direction, and I'm happy and proud to be releasing these songs under my name."
I hear you steer clear of places we've been
you bear these crosses since we called it quits
and our friends think I'm the bad guy
they think that I'm so mean
but they forget that it was you w
ho hurt me
And now I just don't care how we just didn't work out
With this Kickstarter, West is working to put out her debut album as a solo artist. As stated, she's put out two fantastically catchy singles already, and the above lyrics are from the second entitled "You Drive Me Crazy." Are we sure that West is up for the challenge of creating enough songs for a full length? Absolutely! All of the songs for the album have already been written or are currently in the process of being written. You can look forward to ten songs where a lot of them are mostly happy sounding which tends to be a bit angry and very honest. "What I've been working on currently are my favorite things I've written so far. I've got a ton of songs, and I do that because everyone always says that you spend your whole life writing your first album, and that's true. I have a few I've started I think are going to be like the real standouts on the CD that I've started very recently I feel are very promising which I haven't finished just yet. The narrowing down of the songs will be the hardest part."
West has already received great response on these singles, so the sky's the limit for what's next for the album, but in the meantime she's posting weekly videos over on her YouTube page. All of the decisions have been made thanks to polls over at her Facebook artist page, which is how her covers range from Hall and Oates' "Rich Girl" to Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" to Oasis' "Wonderwall." With every cover West comes up with an arrangement off of one primary instrument, for example the banjo used for "Rich Girl," and proves with all of the hours she puts into arranging, recording, and filming that she's up for the challenge of whatever song you choose.
One of my favorite moments during our conversation was when I was leading up to my Inside the Actor's Studio-esque question thanks to Metric: "Who would you rather be - The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?" I could hear West buzzing with excitement, and while asking she shot back, "I love that you do this, and I was unprepared, even though I knew that you did this!" After a few heavy sighs West responded with full conviction, "I want to say The Beatles; I'm going to say The Rolling Stones. They've had their shit together longer than anyone, ever, and they probably have the most fun doing it. The Rolling Stones because they're ancient and lovely -- because I want to be saggy and rocking, that's what I want." There was no better way to end our time talking.
Kailynn West has proven with heartfelt lyrics and songs that get stuck in your head for days at a time that she's able to leave her own mark as a solo artist. Believe me, the time to jump on the bandwagon is now - before the train leaves the station. You do not want to be left behind without West's music.
If you’d like to listen to or find out more about Kailynn West, please follow the links below:twitter.com/kailynnwest
To donate or to find more about to West's Kickstarter, click right HERE.
Photo credit: Taylor Allen.