Q: “I can never be” captures the feeling of self-doubt and imposter syndrome in a raw and honest way. What makes this song really stand out are the choices you made production-wise. There are so many interesting sounds going on as the song progresses, especially the distorted crashing sound in the chorus. How did the production for this track come together?
KYNS: Thank you so much. The biggest challenge of this song was getting the emotions I was feeling when writing the lyrics to have a sonic representation. The verses tell a story of feeling like I’m not enough, essentially, so I portrayed that feeling intimacy with a soft piano, and started building a feeling of uneasiness with eerie violin samples that I ran through several plug ins to create a choppy and fragmented feel. Then building up to the jarring crash in the chorus, I was trying to mimic that stinging/pang feeling I get when I can’t quiet my self-doubt and everything in me just feels like its crashing down. And that crash is probably 20 different types of crash cymbals mixed with kitchen appliances clanging, random pitched up “impact” samples found on Splice, etc.
I threw a lot at this track while also trying to keep it as minimal as possible haha.
Q: What inspired the visuals for the lyric video for “I can never be”? They’re quite unique.
KYNS: This song is kind of a letter to myself, to the part of me that’s always had trouble seeing beauty in myself, so with the visual I wanted to keep it simple, DIY, and intimate. The way that the video pixelates and distorts represents the distorted way I view myself and the discrepancy between what others tell me they see when they look at my vs what I have always seen.
Q: Vulnerability is at the core of your music. Why do you think vulnerability is so important in music? How important is it for you to show your vulnerable side?
KYNS: I think staying honest and vulnerable in my music is the only reason I want to do it. It’s healing for me to release these parts of me through song. It actually helps me let go of them quite a bit. I don’t often express myself the best in conversation, as I can get nervous and awkward, but through song I feel that I can really speak my truth.
Q: All 3 of your releases so far have had a cinematic soundscape to them. How long did it take for you to discover your sound?
KYNS: It’s taken years to understand what “my sound” is, and I still think I’m discovering how to achieve what I’m hearing in my head. These are my first 3 self-produced songs and though I’m happy with how they sound, they are very much a timestamp of where my skills are at the beginning of my journey. Now as I’m moving into a space where I’d like to collaborate with other producers to elevate my songs, I’m really interested to see how my skills and my sound evolve.
Q: What is your musical background? Do you have a musical family or did you just fall into songwriting and producing all on your own?
KYNS: Not having a musical/ artistic family is actually what made it so difficult for me to realize that art can be a job. No musicians in the family, but my mom did start me in piano lessons as a young child. I wasn’t a very disciplined player though and gave it up quite early on, but it helped plant the seeds. Coming back to the piano in my later teen years is what helped me start turning my poems into songs and I’m so grateful I had the foundation from my childhood.
Q: You’ve contributed original compositions to several independent short films such as Let’s Eat and an upcoming animated short film centering LGBTQ and BIPOC narratives. What did you learn from those experiences? Are you interested in composing for more films in the future?
KYNS: I’m so interested in creating more music for film! Music and film are two things I’m highly passionate about, and to merge the two is a dream. Working on these animated projects, I’m learning so much about the relationship between a character and how I might embody them in a musical sense. It can be incredibly challenging, but it’s some of the most fun I’ve had.
Q: What can we expect to hear from you next? Is your debut EP coming soon?
KYNS: I plan to be releasing a bunch of singles this year, with an EP closer to the end of the year. I was going to release an EP sooner, but as a small indie DIY artist, personally, the benefits of doing singles are much higher vs dropping a body of work all at once. But you’ll be hearing much more from me this year!
Q: What advice do you have for other artists who are dealing with Imposter Syndrome?
KYNS: For me, I’ve found that 1) not identifying with my thoughts, and 2) realizing that the “story I tell myself” in my brain is not always reality, have helped immensely.
Things that are meant for me will be, and the rest, I release. If I feel like an imposter, I recognize that feeling, and try to give myself the grace to release it. We’re all just trying to do our best <3.
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant