Tag Archives: charity

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.

 

Artist/Activist ellee ven is starting a groovalution

Once a constant on the Los Angeles music scene, ellee ven has moved east to spread her Groovalution and encourage people to participate in Give Into the Groove, a non-profit that raises awareness of local charities and encourages everyone to become involved in philanthropy.

Ellee ven calls her music “groovetonic,” which she explains is non-genre specific music that makes you move.   But what is a “Groovalution?”  Read on and you will discover the answer within the interview we had with this amazing artist and activist.

ev-groove

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

EV:  About 12 years.  I was a school teacher, married and divorced and moved into Apartment 1111.  I felt that the numbers 11-11 were a sign from the universe that I needed to do something different, and my heart kept coming back to music.  My first gig was a group of Prince dancers that wanted a voice to add to their music.  From that point on, I was hooked.  I didn’t know if I could write my own songs, but I kept receiving music from friends and friends of friends that I would then remix and add my creative insights.

IVB:   Who are your influences?

EV:  Sade is my #1 favorite because she is so unique and her arrangements are very special.  I think that she is loyal to her band members and works with them to create heartfelt authentic music.  She is a true lady who doesn’t grind but dances elegantly.  I also like Nine Inch Nails, Portishead and Cher – my tastes are all over the board.

IVB:  So, what is a groovalution?

EV:  A Groovalution is a creative revolution, composed of a group of groovalutionaries, which are the individual people engaged in creative revolution.  There is a groovalutionary within us all.   I think you will see that all of my projects are truly connected.   I want to demonstrate that it’s not just music but all parts of our lives that provide balance.  Everybody has a talent and needs an outlet that allows them to contribute to the overall balance.   I specifically want to thank my parents for being the role models that enabled me to take my talent and share it with the world.

IVB:   What made you decide to DIY?

EV:  A couple of reasons.  First off, I didn’t know I could get someone else to do it for me or would pay me to do it.  My family was always a creative force for me, and believed that it was a personal choice to visualize your own artistic endeavor.  Who better to do it than the one with the vision?  As I moved along my career, I realized that this is the way to do it.  I can do it my own way with full artistic freedom.  Very grateful that I can redo my entire catalog if I want to and am responsible for creating content that moves my fans.  I’ve gotten better at marketing but wouldn’t mind getting the machine behind me to further my reach.

IVB:   Are you seeking to be a mainstream artist?

EV:  Not really.  I don’t care enough about being mainstream that I would sacrifice my own artistic vision.  I don’t want to have to dress a certain way, or have a certain look to fit in.  I understand their reasons for wanted to package artists in a certain way, but I want mine to be unique.  There is too much music today that seems to be copies of what’s already there so that they sound the same.  I don’t believe that music can be authentic that way.

IVB:  What are your future plans?

EV:  I recently spent some time in Southeast Asia and want to continue that.  I want to make my music available to more and more people and have spent a lot of time improving my YouTube channel.  Love my new video for Underwater.

I am planning to do a webcast at Kulak’s Woodshed in Los Angeles on November 9, which will be part of my annual 11-11 party.  I have a large collection of fans from around the world who will be able to tune in and see me perform.  Since I can’t take my whole band to places like Bali, this is a way for me to meet my fans digitally.

Give into the Groove in Lexington is another event that I have been involved with, but am taking this year off for personal reasons.  We have so much going on with my band right now that has taken priority and besides, I need a breather!

IVB:   Any good stories from touring/recording/performing?

EV:  I recently did a show in LA that brought together some of the people I worked with a decade ago.  Getting the chance to talk to you (IVB) today is also special since it has been a while since we connected.  I really love the community that this music has grown, and that’s the reason why I can’t stop doing what I’m doing.

IVB:  What social media platforms do  you use?

EV:  My website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.