Category Archives: Interviews

Kaylee Keller wants to help her community with the release of her Christmas song

When we last visited with Kansas-born Kaylee Keller, she had just won the LA Music Critic Award for best lyric video for her collaboration with the Vinyljackers of her hit “Diamond.”

More recently, Keller released a duet with country singer Rusty Rierson of the Alabama classic hit, “Christmas in Your Arms.”  Check out the stream below.

Today we’re sitting down with Keller for another interview on what’s new in her career.  Grab a cup of coffee and learn new things about this amazing indie artist who, surprisingly, just turned 19 years old.

IVB:  What have you been doing since we last talked after your win for LA Music Critic best lyric video?

KK:  First, after I won, I was waiting to receive my Grammy.  But seriously, I have been in Nashville for the past three months working on my new EP.  I worked with some of the best songwriters in Nashville who have helped me craft my new six song EP, which I plan to release as a group of singles throughout 2017, and then release the collection near the end of 2017.  I loved working with my producer Nathan Meckel.  I’ve been thinking of calling the EP Ruby, as a spin-off to my first EP Diamond, so then you could look me up as the Gem Collection.  We want to test the waters with each single so that they will stay fresh.  I like to be a trendsetter and do my own thing as an independent artist.

IVB:  Tell us about your latest project “Christmas in your Arms.”

KK:  This one was a fun project.  Garden City, Kansas is my hometown and they approached me to see if I wanted to be part of their annual holiday compilation album, called Kozy Kansas Christmas.  It’s their fourth year of doing this CD and I was honored that they wanted me to do a song for the album.

The proceeds from the sale of the album go to fund local charities in Garden City.  They only print a limited amount of CDs, which makes them more valuable.

I’ve known Rusty Rierson for about three years after we met at a Joe Diffie concert.  I was doing the National Anthem, and Rusty was the opening act.  After I was approached by Garden City, I asked Rusty what song we should do.  He suggested that we do an Alabama song called “Christmas in Your Arms.”  My mom suggested we make it a duet.  Both of them proved to be great suggestions.  We had a blast turning the song into a duet.

The album is available on Garden City’s Facebook page and can be purchased there.  My single on the album is also available on iTunes.

The project is getting a lot of media attention, including The Ellen Show, as they begin planning for next year’s double CD.

IVB:  What’s next for Kaylee Keller?

KK:  I wanted my current EP, Diamond, to be country, but it turned out to be more of a pop project.  I’m using my new Christmas single to introduce me to the country pop community.  I’ve been called a mixture of Colbie Caillat meets country pop by local media.  The new project is much more country based albeit country pop, which is where my heart truly lies.  We are looking forward to bringing this side of me to my fans and to hopefully find new ones in the country pop genre.

 

Women in entertainment: Alyssa Jacey, the girl in blue

It’s been a while since our last article in the Women in Entertainment series, February 1, 2016 to be exact, but we’re back with another edition.  Fair warning – it’s a long one, but definitely worth the read.

Our feature today spotlights Alyssa Jacey, a pop/soul singer-songwriter out of Nashville by way of San Diego, who loves the color blue.  Why, you say.   Jacey explains, “About the age of 16, I got my first car and decided to paint it.  I was flipping through the color pages and had an instant attraction to the color Highlight Blue Pearl,  a bright royal blue with an opal coating.  From that point on, I could only see the color blue.  I would make a beeline to that color whenever I was choosing clothes, and always fell for the guy in the royal blue sweater.  I’m currently on my fourth car, and all of them have been blue.”

Jacey has turned that attraction to blue into her own brand.  “I always tell people when they come to my shows, ‘Bring your crew and wear your blue.’  My grandmother and I were very close when she passed away from Alzheimer’s.  I had just started singing and she never got to hear me perform.  I told myself that when I was able to support myself with my music that I would do something to help fight the disease.  Now, when my fans come to my shows, if they are wearing blue, I donate $1 from their ticket sale to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.”

Jacey had formerly been a hip-hop dancer, choreographer, and private dance instructor, had appeared in music videos and performed at the Super Bowl.  She assumed that her career would be in the dance industry.  But that all changed, literally overnight, when Jacey went out with her friends.   “One day I just made the decision to pursue music.   I had spent my whole life dancing but there was always something missing; Karaoke night changed all that and my life has never been the same,” explains Jacey.

Jacey’s latest single, “I Want it to Rain,” is an incredible song that truly belongs on radio outlets worldwide.  Since it was posted on her YouTube channel just a month ago, the video has already received more than 3,000 views.

Jacey recently posted on her Facebook page that she has spent more time in the past three months in Europe than at home.  Not bad for an unsigned independent musician who is the epitome of the DIY artist.  In fact, that success has enabled Jacey to also become an international public speaker, and to open her own business, Image Twelve 28.  The business allows her to provide coaching for other indie musicians who want to achieve their dreams.

“I was 23 when I found my voice, 26 when I learned the guitar and 28 when I learned to drum.  I believe you can do whatever you want as long as you believe in yourself.  Don’t listen to the naysayers, just do it.  My true purpose here is to inspire people.”

But what inspires Jacey?   “What inspires me is the beauty that lies in the unknown. As a DIY artist, you never know what hand your career will deal you, and it’s BEYOND EXCITING. Opportunities come from all angles, in all shapes and sizes, and the fun part is two fold: Being surprised with ones you weren’t expecting and seeing how many you can turn into reality, and going through individual experiences, which are each so unique and so special. When I think of all the experiences I’ve had over the years and risks I’ve taken to get to them, my heart swells up. My favorite hashtag to use is #LivingWithGratitude, and I absolutely am, living with gratitude, every single moment, of every single day.”

Where does Jacey see herself in the future?  “My future plans have not changed since the exact moment I realized I was going to pursue music, and basically, that’s ‘I know I’m here, and I want to get there.  I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I know I will, and I will just take it one step at a time.’  I started playing music because I had a late calling. At 23 years old, I was convinced by friends that I had a voice.  I had never sung before, never written a song or played an instrument.  But after a year of singing karaoke and hearing the same thing on a consistent basis from random strangers from karaoke bar to karaoke bar every week, I knew I had to pursue it.  I was going to let absolutely nothing stop me from getting as far as I could go. Did I want to be famous?  No.  I wanted to see if I could ever make a living playing original music, and after that, the sky would be the limit, should I chose to continue. Just 13 months after moving to Nashville (and 8 years after being in the music industry), I started to earn a living.  I’ve been so motivated by seeing hard work pay off, that when it comes to “future plans,” all I can do is just keep doing what I’ve been doing.  In doing so, every six months beats out the previous six months, and all I’m doing is just following my intuition.”

For more info on Jacey, be sure to check out her website and Facebook pages, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to her YouTube channel.  If you like her music, you can stream it on Spotify or Pandora, or purchase it at iTunes.

 

 

Artists worth checking out: Brian Mackey

We are so happy to have the opportunity to interview an amazing indie artist named Brian Mackey.

Currently based in New York City by way of Florida, Mackey released his fourth project in 2015, which also happened to be his first full length release, Broken Heartstrings.  One of the tracks from the album, “Are you Listening?” was used in the PS game, “Until Dawn.”  As a result of that exposure, the song charted in the Top 100 in Germany as well as on iTunes Germany, generated more than 280,000 streams on Spotify and resulted in sold-out shows through Germany.

We took the time to do an interview with Mackey to help his fans find out a little more about him.  Sit back and enjoy the narrative:

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

BM:  Nine years.

IVB:  Who do you consider o be your influences?

BM:  I have many influences, mostly being music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, especially artists like Jim Croce, Billy Joel, The Clash and Nirvana.

IVB:  What makes your most recent release so special?

BM:  I think it’s the varied styles I used.  It was recorded in Nashville and had a unique flavor.

IVB:  What are your future plans?

BM:  Right now in the studio with produce Jon Levine in  Hollywood working on the next album and a tour to follow – stay tuned!

IVB:  Do you have any stories you want to share about your band – touring, recording or fan interaction?

BM:  I was warming up in a  hotel room before a show in Nashville when someone knocked on the door.  When I opened it, there was a shady looking guy with a screwdriver in his hands and he said with a southern accent, “I wanna meet the man behind the music.”  He was drunk and sizing up my gear.  Turns out he was the hotel maintenance man who was a “fan.”  I kept my stuff in another place for the rest of the trip.

IVB:  What types of social medial do you use?

BM:  All the usual places:  my website, Facebook, TwitterInstagram and of course, YouTube.