Watford’s Kyla La Grange is set to take the summer by storm.
Preparing to release her wonderful new single ‘Been Better’ – which you can hear at the bottom of this page – and with a host of festival appearances lined up, she’s coming for you – ready or not.
We caught up with her to see what she had to say for herself.
Hi Kyla, firstly then, briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, I’m Kyla la Grange and I’m a songwriter/musician from Watford/London.
How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard of you before?
A big mixture of angry and sad folk, rock, pop and indie.
Is there any band or artist in particular that made you want to make music of your own?
I always loved music as a child, but I think the artists that made me realise how moving it could be and how much I wanted to write were Cat Power and Elliott Smith.
You are about to release your (excellent) second single ‘Been Better’, tell us a little about that song.
It is about wanting to be better, in many different ways. Wanting to not want things (or people) you shouldn’t, wanting to be a good person, and wanting to be good enough to be wanted by somebody else.
How excited are you about people hearing it?
It always makes me happy to know that people enjoy a song I’ve written. You start off writing it for yourself but part of the success of the song is whether other people can feel what you felt when you were writing it, so I hope they can.
I understand you played SXSW in March. How did you find that?
It was amazing – such an incredible festival. I would like to go every year. Bands on every street corner, musicians everywhere, sunshine, trees and a river. It was perfect.
Did you get a good reaction out there?
I think so! We had a nice review and the people who came up to me afterwards were very enthusiastic, so fingers-crossed they weren’t all lying.
Tell us about the most memorable gig you’ve played.
It wasn’t my favourite gig, but once when I played at Notting Hill Arts Club a girl was dancing pretty wildly at the front and she started gyrating over the monitors then took her top off. I’ve never had someone bare their breasts at me before or since – so it was very memorable. I think security took her away.
You’re playing a few festivals in the summer, right?
Yes quite a lot of them – can’t wait.
Which one are you most looking forward too?
Secret Garden Party.
You have a very distinctive voice. Do you do anything special to take care of it?
I’m paranoid about getting a cold – I change carriages on the tube if someone is coughing, especially if we have a gig coming up. Does that count? The main thing that affects my voice badly is lack of sleep and smoking, so I try and sleep well and not smoke before gigs.
Which song do wish had been written about you?
That’s a nice question. Maybe ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ by Death Cab For Cutie.
And which song do you wish you had written?
There are so many! At the moment ‘What If’ by Bombay Bicycle Club. It makes me want to cry, in a good way.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Very difficult….I can’t choose a favourite, sorry. The ones I always go back to are You Are Free by Cat Power, New Skin For The Old Ceremony by Leonard Cohen, Either/Or by Elliott Smith, Blue by Joni Mitchell, and Revenge Songs by Jacob Golden.
Tell us something that not many people know about you.
I was a terrible violin player for over 10 years.
Do you have any superstitions?
No, I don’t believe in superstition.
What do you have lined up for the next few months?
We are on tour with Wolf Gang, then a bit of recording, then rehearsing for the launch night of the single on the 12th of July at The Lexington (tickets), then festivals!
Finally then, do you have a message for our readers?
Be nice to people.
Kyla La Grange – Been Better