Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Kylie Nelson: I have been creating in some way my entire life but never for myself. I was paralyzed by the thought of true, in-the-moment expression because I was consumed about what other people thought. For years I imitated what other artists sang and how they performed and it was not until my twenties that the need to authentically create music became so overwhelming, it literally spilled out of me. It was through heartbreak I found my voice. It was like looking through a new lens. All of the sudden I could hear the songs and melodies that were dormant inside me. I could finally see the steps to take as well as the people perfectly placed in my life to do that soul-baring work with. I ditched the over analyzing and realized the only thing I would regret at the end of my life is not ever trying.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
It starts with a “brainstorm” and puking out every line, every thought, every feeling, every note that comes to mind about the powerful emotion I am experiencing at the time or message I am trying to convey. In the writing process I try to give myself no rules at first to let ideas flow and then slowly force myself to simplify my message in a way that can allow for other creative influence. Sometimes you write a poem and then find the right chords and it becomes a song. Sometimes there is already a song or beat that inspires you and you improvise lyrics over what you are hearing musically. Sometimes someone will play one chord on a guitar and I hear an entire song and I rush to get my thoughts down and then recreate it with a producer or other musician that has the patience to help me dig this out of my brain.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
Powerful, overwhelming emotion that consumes me. The question is, do you learn by pain or by love? Whatever you actually experience in your life is what you are credible to speak to. People are no fools, we believe authentic energy and can see through what others try to hide. Often who we portray is who we want to be not who we are. If I can be the vulnerable one for all of the people who are not willing to “stand naked in a crowded room” and tell my story from the most unapologetic, confident place possible, then maybe at least one person will see that fear is an indicator of what direction to push ourselves. Being an “artist” scares the shit out of me and therefore this is my destiny and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
My first piece of fan art represents an image of where I see myself going and the idea of inspiring others to make art gives me chills down my spine - such a magical feeling of tingles all over my body.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Deep, dark depression, pain and hopelessness forced me to decide my WHY’s. Why do I get up in the morning? What purpose greater then myself do I work towards? Why do I matter? Why were we created if we are not significant, powerful beings? Changing the line of questioning in my head lead me to discover the fragile nature of humans and that accessing my own power and managing my emotional state is essential to attracting abundance. Abundance comes in many forms, such as: people who don’t want anything from you but your peace, resources and money to create platforms for people to experience your art, unexplainable difficult circumstances that reveal yourself to yourself and force you to grow, or even, moments of clarity in utter chaos. These experiences have affected my art because for the first time ever in my life I have zero hesitation and zero reservation. My music and my performances have conviction, electricity and fire! Absolutely every single thing I have inside me I give on that stage like it’s the last time I’ll ever sing.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
Live shows are where I express myself the most. When you record music, it will always be a fusion of the other talent it took to produce that product, deadlines, expectations and budgets. Live performances are 100% me reliving the place I was in writing that music. You can see me live at Capitol Hill Block Party July 21st 8:45p at the Barboza Stage, Art on the Ave July 8th 5:30p, Opening for Grace Love August 30th at Neumos AND Headlining Neumos January 2019! My Debut EP “Chapter 1” can be found on Bandcamp, CD Baby and iTunes and streaming everywhere. Social Media and my Website are the best way to stay up to date with new shows! @musicbynelson | musicbynelson.com
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Planning my 2019 headlining show and tour is the single most exciting thing I am working on. I have spent years in radio watching other artists. Learning from them, watching what works and what doesn’t, framing the kind of human I want to be and kind of professional that inspires excellence. I have made so many sacrifices to prove what I am capable of, and in that journey, I found there are very few performance platforms that showcase different-sounding artists all in one show and therefore resulting in a culture of competition. This show will be an opportunity for me to find worthy talent and worthy causes to showcase at my event.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Black Americano or my guilty pleasure; a lavender latte at Café Zingaro in Seattle.