Interview with Kari Lyn
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve been around music my whole life but I wasn’t really inspired to pursue it until I left home at 19 for a backpacking trip that turned into 5 years of travel. Those years of travel are what made me realize my love for music and that I didn’t want to do anything else. I’m not sure what I would be doing if not for music, but I am really into anything health related like naturopathic medicine, so maybe something in that field.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Travel!! Travel is what inspired my first album “Hit the Ground” . It greatly influences my creativity as my most recent music is based on doing the exact opposite: not leaving my house for two years. I definitely found it way harder to find new ideas and inspirations not being able to explore the world. I’ve always been a restless soul so other than all the new experiences traveling gives, it also helps me process my emotions which then turn into songs.
How long have you been making music?
Pretty much my whole life other than the few years I rebelled as a teenager and refused to sing (even in the shower). My parents put me in piano lessons from the age of four and were constantly encouraging me to experience the arts. Late into my teenage years was when I started songwriting, the perfect time to get out all of the teenage angst. I even wrote a song for my junior high’s version of America’s Got Talent called “Gulf Shore’s Got Talent” and won with an original song I wrote about graduation.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m currently based out of Toronto but I’m also very influenced by my East Coast roots. I think the music from the East Coast is very much where I get my Folk Vibes but then moving to the city I think it’s brought out my inner Rockstar and encouraged me to take my music to the next level.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I have two that came to mind, the first one was back on Prince Edward Island. I finally made it back to my hometown after being stuck in the city for the whole pandemic and decided to throw a delayed album release party. We filled up the whole (90 approx) venue with friends and family and everyone was singing and dancing along. The band behind me absolutely killed it and I couldn’t stop smiling. They created a cocktail menu based on my songs, made Gingerbread Women party favours as an ode to my song Gingerbread Woman and passed oysters around to keep up that kitchen party feel.
The second was more recent at a bar called the Dive Shop in Toronto. So many of my friends came out that night and there was a specific moment when I sang “Country Roads” by John Denver which was a request from one of my friends. The entire crowd stopped and used their phones as a flashlight, singing along with me word for word. Although the audience usually still sings to my songs. I can’t wait to be on a big stage with thousands singing back to me someday.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Recently I have been playing at the Dive Shop a lot, It’s such a cute intimate venue that definitely goes with my Cottage Core Rockstar vibe but I dream of playing at the El Mocambo. I think that was the first place I saw live music in Toronto and I always have a great time there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Johnny Cash (if he were alive)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Don’t be scared to show the world your music!! Music is such a good way to express yourself and if you can make it share it. You never know who is going to relate to it, if you keep trying you will always find your people.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I’ve written a lot of very personal songs and they all mean a lot to me but I think my most recent song Anyways is definitely one of the most emotional. I lost my dad a few years ago and it’s a song about how grief never really goes away. It’s about how I know that my dad is watching down on me, proud of what I’ve done but how I miss him anyways.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My most requested song switches between Daylight and Dark Side. Prior to the release of Daylight I’ve played shows where the crowd begged me to play Dark Side AT LEAST twice if not more on the same night. One of my favourite covers to play is I’m a Believer. I feel like everyone knows it from Shrek but no one expects me to play it. I love the joy in people’s faces as soon as they realize what I’m playing.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
Honestly it’s constantly changing! I’m usually inspired by my life experiences so during the pandemic I really had to find and try new ways to write music and get creative! I remember one time I was drinking coffee and got inspired by the lipstick on the coffee cup. So far I’ve written a lot of songs about travel and grief as those are the biggest experiences that have happened in my life but I’m still learning and growing so who knows where my inspiration will go next.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I think the biggest message I like to be taken from my music overall is to just get out and live your life. Life’s too short, so love your loved ones while they’re still there, become a gypsy and travel the world, find the place you love and just be yourself.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m definitely going to keep putting music out and hopefully start playing some more live shows. I have three more songs that are part of my EP Nightmarin’ that will be coming out in the next few months, each individually with the next one in June. I haven’t leaked the release date just yet but definitely follow me to keep updated as the next song is a super fun summer jam.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
I’m on most social media’s these days (instagram/tiktok/facebook/youtube) @karilynmusic
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