The sky is the limit for this multigenred rising songstress!
Enchanting, melodic, and passionate are only a few words to describe Kira Kosarin’s musical style. While this triple threat isn’t new to the spotlight, she is ready to show the world what her music is made of!
We caught up with Kira at Vidcon this year to discuss all things music and her new EP, career goals, and post-pandemic performances (try saying that five times fast!).
Congratulations on being signed to Republic Records! How does that feel, and how has the experience been so far?
I think it felt very validating. I had to fight really hard to be seen as an actual musician. A lot of people go “Oh cool…another Nickelodeon actor who wants to do music.” Absolutely no hate to anyone who comes from one job and wants to do another–I think we should all be able to do as many careers as we want in our lives. But it was very validating to have my dream label come to me and be like “Hey, we heard this song. We like it. We want to talk about your music!” It’s been really good having a team and it’s been a busy first year getting this EP off the ground. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I really wanted it to be perfect but I’m happy with it! I’m happy with how this first project has come out, and now that we’ve been working together consistently for a while, we’re starting to lock in the next year together!
This is the first project full of love songs I’ve done like ever! I wrote the project during a really dark time where there were a few really good things. I wanted to time capsule all of them into something I could hold onto forever, and that’s sort of what this EP ended up being!
In terms of how it’s different from the last projects, I think I’ve been able to grow into myself with more tools at my disposal now! I know how to use them and execute what’s in my head better just by having more time and practice under my belt bringing songs all the way to completion and release. I think of it as the older, evolved, big sister of Songbird!
To follow up on that question: how have you seen yourself grow as an artist when reflecting on past releases compared to newer/upcoming ones?
It’s hard to quantify until I go back and listen to my old stuff. I’m like “Woah, who is that?!” It’s like how other people’s kids feel like they grow up faster than your own because you don’t see them everyday. I see myself everyday, so it’s hard to feel the growth until I go back and I look at things. I think my voice has changed a lot, and I think that I’m very influenced by the music I listen to. I’m constantly listening to new music and getting new influences.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to stick to my guns creatively when it comes to writing and being in the room. I’ve explored with new sounds and just grown up and I think the music is growing up with me.
How do you go about testing different sounds?
I think every session is an opportunity to do that. At some sessions, I come in and I’m like “I want to make a song that has this, this, and this.” And sometimes I go in and I’m like “I have no idea what I want to make today. Let’s just go in and experiment.” Sometimes it’s trash, and sometimes it ends up being something really exciting and fun! I made most of this EP during the pandemic when I was in a quiet environment. I started playing shows and I remembered how much I wanted to make more upbeat, fun, music we can all scream and dance to. That’s what I’ve been working on for the next project after this EP. So it’s a variety of things that influence it.
We’ve been loving your latest single “goodbye & thank u”– it’s a topic that can resonate with so many people!
It’s the most common breakup we don’t talk about! Not everyone has been in love but everyone has had a bedroom that they had to leave, a stuffed animal, school, or summer camp–somewhere that had experiences that watched you grow and you have to say goodbye. You almost don’t realize how much sentimentality you put into the physical things around you until you have to leave them and then you realize.
Can you talk a bit more about what inspired this song and how it developed over time?
Broadly, it’s about leaving–for me– my first apartment. When I first moved in, I was a freshly moved out kid, and by four and a half years later, I’m an adult living with a partner, living my adult life, having had so many people come and go. But what really inspired it was this chalkboard wall that I mention in the song. It’s this chalk wall I have in my dining room area. It was covered by a rack of clothes (because I have too many clothes and not enough room). When my partner moved in, we moved the clothing rack to storage and it unveiled all of these drawings that I hadn’t seen in like a year! It was full of really intimate memories with people I have no contact with anymore. People who don’t know this version of me, and I don’t know this version of them. It completely thrusted me back in time and that’s where the opening lyrics came from.
When I went into the session, I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I had that in my head, and started telling the writers about the chalk wall, and they were like “Tell us more!”
Even with the chalkboard, we’ve all had our own version of that!
Yeah! It’s like your laptop with stickers on it. You realize how much you grow and change. When you’re in school, you’re in a classroom every year, so it’s easy to delineate. But I looked at my apartment and realized I have been fifteen different people since I’ve lived here. It’s crazy to look at yourself and see that development!
And the music video was just released! What was it like bringing the song’s concept to life?
It was interesting. I had a lot of big ideas for the video! I knew I wanted the beginning of the video to start with me sitting on the floor, surrounded by moving boxes, having one last look around realizing that this is a last goodbye. I wanted it to have all the ups and downs, firsts and lasts, and goods and bads of the time that you spend in an apartment. We shot it all in one day which is crazy having to do all the flashbacks! I brought all my own clothes and jewelry because I wanted it to be real pieces from my real life. I was like “Okay, what did I dress like when I was 19?” In the scene where we’re sitting up on the roof, I’m wearing the hoops I wore everyday when I was a teenager.
The girl who played my roommate was an absolute delight! It was the first time we had met and I had no idea what to expect. We just had the best time– it was super magical! It was really special and I was super involved in the editing process and everything. I’m so glad it’s out there!
I love the video! Seeing you cry made me cry.
You know what’s funny? I really wanted to be able to cry in the video because I cry every time I listen to the song and I felt like it was important. I was SO nervous like “What if I get on set and I can’t cry?” And I got there and I was like “Oh I can cry!” It was the easiest acting I’ve ever done!
I’d like to describe “parachute (plan b)” as a song that sounds like what falling in love feels like. Is that what you were intentionally going for in the creative process?
I love that so much! We definitely wanted the bridge to feel like falling the way the production gets bigger and bigger then drops out. Every part of that song is in beat with love because I wrote it with the person that I love. And then the person that I love produced it! So it’s filled with that whole period of my life that’s squished into that song. I’m so glad you get that from it!
What’s the process from creating the idea for a song in your head, to developing the concept and finally getting to produce it to get that specific feeling or sound you want to get across?
It’s changed over time! When I first started for Songbird, it was a lot of songs I had written alone on a balcony on a summer night with my guitar. Then I would bring it in to a producer. These days I tend to go into a session with an idea in mind of what I want to do. I usually start with a guitar riff–I like to start with me, a guitar, and a producer. We’ll start doing melodies from there, then usually when I’m mumbling melodies some word will come out. We’ll go “Oh that’s interesting” and we’ll build the story from there, and flush the whole thing out. We’ll then end up with a day one demo, which sometimes is the final song. For “goodbye & thank u” that was the song essentially. I think he polished it and cleaned it up, but it’s basically the same from day one. And then sometimes I’ll come back in for days and days and days working on every bit of production–I love getting into the nitty gritty on my tracks. So it’s pretty different every time but that’s the main process.
Your performance at Vidcon 2022 is one of your first performances post-pandemic. How does that feel for you, and what can fans expect to see?
Fans can expect to see a good bit of the new EP. I’m also announcing the title of the project and the release date onstage. I’m also doing a new unreleased song called “Hurt My Feelings” that I teased on TikTok last week that I’m really excited about. I’m going to perform it as much as I can so everyone asks for it and the label has to let me release it!
And to be performing on the same stage as SZA!
Oh my gosh, don’t get me started! I might say “Stick around for SZA” just so I can say that onstage because that feels like a dream come true. It feels really good knowing that when I get offstage no matter how I feel about my set, it doesn’t matter because I get to watch SZA perform! If it was great, I’m gonna be celebrating, and if it wasn’t, then I’ll be like “Whatever. It’s time for a concert!”
The sky’s the limit– what are a few career goals you hope to accomplish?
That’s a good question: I go back and forth on it. Part of me wants to take over the world and another part of me wants to live in a house in the mountains with no phone so nobody bothers me for a year. I would like to build a career where I can be involved but also disappear whenever I want to.
In terms of actual career goals, I want to host and musical guest SNL; I want to do an NPR Tiny Desk in a few years when I’m really confident that it’s the perfect show; and I want to go to the Grammys. I want to perform at the Grammys but not yet–I’d be too scared.
Anything you would like to add?
Stream my EP Something New!
If you haven’t caught that love bug yet, we promise you’re going to want to after giving her latest EP a listen!
You can catch Kira on the road this August as she opens for Stacey Ryan! Find dates and grab your tickets using the link here, and be sure to follow Kira on all her socials (Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, Website)!