If you’ve been following the site recently, you’ll know all about Kayla Woodson – we’re massive fans at Belles and Gals. Her self-titled EP is just brilliant and this lady has a voice to be reckoned with. Last week I was lucky enough to grab an interview with Kayla – this is what she had to say!
Hi Kayla, We first featured you on Belles and Gals when we showed the video for “Fan for the Flame”. We love both the song and the video! Tell us how the song came about?
Yes, thanks for sharing the video! I co-wrote Fan for the Flame with Andrew Peebles. I went into the write that day with a song that I had a verse and a chorus for. I had one line in that song that he really liked that something like “burn a bridge and fan a flame.” We took that one line and just started a whole new song based off of it, and that song became “Fan for the Flame”.
I always say that “Fan for the Flame” is about that sense of strength and independence that we all have and about not tolerating someone walking all over or mistreating you. That first line of the chorus explains the song perfectly: “Fool me once shame on me, next time I’ll be ready.” Basically saying if you wrong me once, I’m not going to let it happen again. So don’t do it!
“Fan for the Flame” is the opening song on your self-titled EP. In reviews for the EP you’ve been compared to both Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood? How does that feel?
Haha yes! I love it, but its also a double-edged sword. Both of these women have been people that I have looked up to as artists, so it’s an awesome compliment!
But, at the same time, we already have a Miranda, and we already have a Carrie. I want to pave my own way in country music.
Listening to the EP, you seem to have a great ability to mix it up. There’s sassy numbers with attitude, summer anthems and those intense, wonderful slower numbers. I’d be really interested to know which of the songs go down best when you play live – are there fan favorites?
Thank you! That was my idea behind picking these songs for the EP. The songs were all inspired by either things I had experienced or watched that triggered something, not only in me, but also in my co-writers. These songs are about emotions that everyone has felt sometime in their life and can relate to.
You know when I play them live they all have gone over well, which is super exciting to me! But I think the favorites during my shows are usually” Fan for the Flame”, “Tearin’ Up this Town”, and “Crushin’”. Those are the fun, up-beat songs that make you just wanna move and rock out along with the band and me!
Where did that voice come from?! There must be a history of singing within your family?
So many people ask me that! You know what’s funny is that I have no idea! I had a great uncle that was a singer years ago in Nashville, but besides that I usually just say it just came from God. And it is just something I’ve loved my whole life!
Tell us how you go about the songwriting process?
Honestly, every time I write there’s a different process. It happens differently for different songs. Sometimes the melody comes first and other times the lyrics come first. Or it all comes together at the same time! I think the unpredictability is something I really like about this process because you never realize what you can actually come up with!
If you could choose the perfect gig, where would you be performing and who else would be on the bill?
The Grand Ole Opry for sure! That’s been my dream show since I was little! It’s such a historic place, and so many people I have looked up to have performed in that circle. Honestly just being there would make me happy, but my dream bill would probably include all of my favorites growing up — Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and more if we could all fit!
Here in the UK the country music scene is growing almost daily – we can’t get enough! Have you got a message for your UK based fans?
It’s so awesome how much country music is growing over there in the UK! I’d just love to say thank you for supporting and sharing my music, and I can’t wait to go over there meet y’all one day!
Which artists have influenced your music? And who are you listening to at the moment?
There are so many! Of course there are all the amazing female country powerhouses like Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Martine McBride, and Miranda Lambert. Then my favorite inspiration is probably Dolly Parton. She’s so sassy and such a greater singer and performer, but she’s also one of the best songwriters.
I also grew up with some 80’s rock like Guns N Roses, Journey thanks to my dad. I think some of my performance vibe definitely comes from artists like that. Also, I’m originally from just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana and being from there I also have R&B influences like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. That diverse mix of inspirations and influences is something that I hope will help to set my music apart from everything else that is out there.
At the moment, I’ve been listening to everything! I’m not too picky on genres or artists. But if I had to pick one, I’ve been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton lately.
Now for a couple of fun questions! You suddenly win a million bucks on the lottery. What is the first thing you buy yourself?!
Well the first thing I would do hands down is pay my student loans off, haha! Then, I would probably buy myself a house!
Tell us something completely random about yourself.
Hmm…alright! One super random thing about me is that I only eat Lay’s regular potato chips with Ketchup! I have never been able to eat them by themselves, even as a kid.
To finish, tell us about your plans in the upcoming weeks and for the rest of 2016?
2016 has been such a good year so far, from releasing my first EP since moving to Nashville and then also releasing my first music video, to getting to perform at CMAfest again this year! I really just want to keep reaching new audiences with this music. I’m really thankful for opportunities like this to reach fans in new parts of the world! We’re also working on a bunch of stuff behind the scenes in preparation for being able to play more shows in different parts of the country (and maybe overseas soon!) towards the end of this year and throughout 2017. Putting together a very strong live show is something I’m super focused on right now, because performing live is one of my favorite parts of being an artist! And of course I’m always writing and working on new music.
To find out more about Kayla Woodson hit the social links below and download her EP here.