Kristyna Myles: "I used the same microphone as the Beatles which is an insane thought!"

Jeudi 16 Mai 2013

Interview with Kristyna Myles before the release of her first album which was produced by Ken Nelson (Coldplay). Kristyna Myles will sing in Paris (Mizmiz Café) on 16 May 2013 and in Lyon (No Man's land) on 18 May 2013.

Kristyna Myles: "I used the same microphone as the Beatles which is an insane thought!"
I can guess you draw your musical inspirations from black american music. What CDs did you have in your room when you were a teenager?

I had Mariah Carey, Alanis Morissette and Celine Dion’s albums. I loved listening to female singers who could really sing! Then I discovered the Fugees and Lauryn Hill who I fell in love with. I discovered in my late teens the amazing voices of Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan and of course Stevie Wonder & Marvin Gaye. Jazz and Soul music spoke to me in a way I’d not felt before.

You started your career by busking in the streets of Manchester. Isn't it the hardest way to make a breakthrough?

In my experience it opened a lot of doors and in this industry you need to pursue every avenue. For me and my guitarist Ben Williams who I busked with we wanted to see if we could earn a living just from perfoming and making music so we gave it a go. We had lots of people come and listen to us and got the attention of the local newspaper. One of the biggest national radio stations in the UK BBC Radio 5Live saw the artlice and entered us into a national busking competition which we won so 100,000s of people heard us on the radio opening lots of doors.

You recorded in the legendary recording studios of Abbey Road. Could you tell us more about this period, did you feel something in particular in these recording studios?

You can feel the legacy of the incredible people that have performed there. I was in studio one where they have recorded some incredible music. I used the same microphone as the Beatles which is an insane thought!
I loved the experience, everything was recorded live at the same time, I was recording my vocals in the same room as a huge string orchestra, the atmosphere was electric.

How did you get to work with Ken Nelson who produced the first 3 albums of Coldplay?

We sent him some of my music and asked him if wanted to work with me. I was so honoured that he replied saying he wanted to!

What lessons do you get from your first experiences of recording? do the musicians you're collaborating with have a required level that you weren't familiar with so far?

I’ve been performing with the same people since I was at uni who are incredibly talented musicians so I knew what to expect from them as soon as we started. We gel really well together as weve been friends for 10 years or so.

In one of your song, "My Lord" you thank God. Does religion have a big place in your life and will it have a big place in your music in the future?

My belief and relationship with God is a big part of who I am and how I write my music. The majority of my songs aren’t praise tunes but reflect my values as a Christian and I hope people will feel that in what I write. It means these values will always influence the music I write. I may decide to in the future do a more focused ‘worship’ album full of praise songs but right now I feel this is the music I’m supposed to make.

Where do you take your inspiration from? What are the themes that inspire you the most?

I love to write about lessons I’ve learned or draw inspiration from what my friends and family are going through. I was recently inspired to write a song about a campaign I’m supporting to help put a stop to the global hunger crisis. I’m a public figure for a charity called Tearfund who help some of the poorest people in the world. Tearfund together with 100 or so charities are coming together to support Enough Food If campaign. The idea is that IF enough of us stand together and sign the petition at and make enough noise then the world leaders will stand up at the G8 summit and make some changes so that every year 2 million children wont die of malnutrition and nearly 1 billion people a night wont go to bed hungry which is the harsh reality right now.

You have a magnificent voice but you know how to stay simple in the way that you sing. It seems like it's not your style to vocalize a lot to impress the public?

Thank you! I used to think the more vocal melismas you could fit into a phrase the more complex and the better a singer I could be but I’ve learnt the art of being simple to complement the lyrics of a tune which is more important to me. I still love hearing vocal gymnastry but in the right context. Expressing the message of a song to me is more important than to show people I can be a technically brilliant singer, sometimes a complicated melody can get in the way of communicating that message.

You're often playing with a guitarist but we see you perform on the piano. With which instrument do you compose songs?

I love to play piano and write songs on this instrument. I don’t play guitar but I would love to learn one day. It’s so freeing to be able to pick up your instrument and play wherever like with a guitar, you can’t be as mobile with a piano but it’s such a beautiful instrument and I love to play and write on it.

You sang in big venues opening for artists such as Mick Hucknall or Chris de Burgh. Do you consider yourself as a musician of stage or studio?

I absolutely LOVE to perform and I feel most natural when I’m singing. I do consider myself as both a musician on stage and in the studio but both are different skills. When you have people to perform a song to it’s a lot easier to get the emotion of a song out. I really need to zone in when in the studio and focus harder on what I’m singing about. Sometimes this means switching off lights or really focusing on a past feeling which can be tricky!

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