Since having her recent EP Pieces That Were Stolen rolling through the speakers for a few weeks now, we caught an interview with artist and songwriter Kris Angelis to find out more about the music and her hopes for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Kris – thanks so much for your time today, and congratulations on the EP. For those who don’t know, how would you describe your sound and yourself as an artist?
My sound is folk/pop singer-songwriter. Story songs with acoustic/organic base and sometimes a bit of electronic flavor.
What sort of music did you listen to when growing up, and what have you been listening to throughout 2018?
I listened to my parents’ and grandparents’ records and old musicals on VHS so The Eagles, The Beatles, The Platters, Nat King Cole, Elton John, The Archies, Roger’s & Hammerstein and Strauss waltzes. This year I’ve been into Jeff Hahn, Sia, Caamp, The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart.
Who or what has inspired you the most to pursue music professionally?
Hanson and Brandi Carlile are the biggest catalysts to my wanting to make music and pursue it as a career. They made the kind of music that inspired me and they are incredible musicians, writers, and people who have stayed authentic to themselves and used their success to give back to their community. I aspire to all of that.
When did you write your first song, and how would you say your approach to writing has changed or evolved since then?
My sister says we wrote our first song together when we were about 3 years old. I remember the song – its about being a little girl, feeling cold outside, and wanting to go inside and get warm – and I actually put the melody of it in one of my later songs. Obviously my songs have a bit more structure now and are longer 😉 But I still tend to write about what has been weighing on my mind or heart and things that I feel people would relate to.
What does Pieces That Were Stolen mean to you?
About a year before the EP came out, I was coming back from a tour and my car got stolen with all my instruments, gear, clothes, computer, everything in it. That affected me, as you can imagine, practically and emotionally. So the songs while not about that event, were flavored by that and could be said to be about things that were kind of taken from me in an emotional way and they are my way of letting go of things that weren’t serving me, bringing the pieces of myself back, and becoming whole again.
Which song from the project is your personal favourite, and why?
Oh man…this question is always so hard. I guess I’ll go with Photobooth today. I like it because it’s very personal – based on something that really happened – but still relatable. I like that it came from trying to deal with something that turned out to be sad and hurtful but it’s an upbeat song that holds on to the good memories and feelings. I also like that I wrote that one by myself. I love co-writing too but it does feel good to have something that is totally personal yet still relatable.
What do you think makes a song really connect with its audience?
I think people connect to a song when it says something that is a base human experience that a lot of people can relate to but says it in a slightly different way that touches the heart or mind. A melody that sounds familiar but isn’t the same as what you’ve heard before also helps.
Did you get any help with building the soundscapes or producing the EP?
Yes! That’s all Billy Lefler who produced all the tracks and made all the soundscapes. He was great to work with because he understands the root and soul of what I’m doing and made sure to keep that true while adding some stuff that I wouldn’t have thought of and pushing me to bring my best.
If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be, and why?
There are a bunch but right now I’ll say Gregory Alan Isakov because his melodies and lyrics are divine, Hanson because they are so fun and it would be a full circle childhood dream come true since they were the first band that made me want to really pursue music, and Paul McCartney…do I need to explain?
Is live performance an important part of your plans?
Yes, I want and hope to keep performing and creating a show that is a great experience for audiences and to get to perform in some of the venues where I’ve seen inspiring shows.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
This is a tough one because I tend to be kind of an open book…I can sew and used to make some of my clothes and I also took an old destroyed Victorian couch that I found on the side of the road, stripped it to just the frame and repainted, stuffed, and reupholstered it myself.
What’s one of your biggest dreams or aspirations for the future as an artist?
Getting to work with the people who inspire me.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for supporting music and artists! Please consider not using single-use plastic as much as you can! The earth and the ocean are all we have!
You can find all of my socials and music at krisangelis.com.