Has music always been a huge part of your life?
Thats definitely an easy question. I have always loved music. My parents have a video of me singing “Part of Your World” at 18 months in my onesie. And I had to stand on something to sing it. (Just like on Ariel on her rock) My 5th grade teacher called my mom 3 times during the year to tell her that my constant singing during class was “disruptive” to the other students. Apparently no one appreciated my impromptu concerts. My dad really influenced my love of music. He had music playing every day, all day on the weekends off of his MacIntosh speakers and Bang and Olufsen turntable and amp. My dad made it a point to have anything from jazz to classical to rock. In fact, my incredibly large family all love music.
How did you first get into singing and song writing?
As for singing, its kind of an insane story. I was very young, down in Naples, FL. I was swimming and singing in a pool, channeling my spirit spirit “The Little Mermaid” when a woman called me over and started asking me questions about how much I loved singing. She told me that if I loved to sing, not to give up on my dream. Little did I know, that woman was Celine Dion! So, if that wasn’t a sign that I should probably start doing more with music, I don’t know what is. Ever since then, my mom kind of nurtured my love and put me in choirs. I have luckily been blessed with great teachers as well. I went to work with Lisa Hinz Johnston in Chelsea, MI through high school to begin opera training. Then from there, when I began college, my voice instructor, Dr. Georg here are loyola is really amazing. He has helped my music grow exponentially these past few years. Because I have always played piano from a young age, teaching myself, the song writing was instinctual, also.
Are there any musicians that you look up to and that influence you during song writing?
Adele, Adele, and Adele. I absolutely love her. She is probably my number one favorite artist. However, I also really idolize both Sia and Lady Gaga. I think they are both such talented, extraordinarily gifted musicians, producers, and song-writers. I would definitely say those three are the musicians that I really idolize and look up to.
Kaleidoscope was the first song you ever recorded in a studio (that was your own), what was that experience like?
You know, the special thing about this song is that one of my best friends actually helped write it, which I think really gave it a special place in my heart. I also think that it was the perfect song to first record because I was so comfortable with it. It was exhilarating because its the first song I really felt an emotional attachment to. This was something so raw which also made it a bit frightening to kind of be vulnerable, especially to someone who listens to musicians record all the time, you know?
How did you decide on recording “Wake Me Up”, and why was it so important that it made it onto your EP?
So this song sparks a lot of personal memories which helped bring some emotion into my personal recording of it. I think the lyrics are just so beautiful but unfortunately, because the original version is so fast-paced, most people don’t hear the message. So, I thought that stripping it down would give me a chance to play the soft acoustic voice for a song that I think most people might want to hear.
You are a very busy girl between school, music, and your social life…How do you balance it all and still find time to sing everyday?
I don’t sleep. Haha! Singing and music always comes first to me. The rest is easier to balance. I study very hard to maintain a strong academic standing here at Loyola, which is hard to do while thinking about the hundreds of other tasks I have to do to keep up with my music. As for my social life, I have such an amazing group of friends here. I am part of a sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, so having those 150 sisters around me who know my passion for singing and music has made this journey all the more easier.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Creating music that people will relate to and love. And of course, utilizing my Finance degree by managing my success. Right, Dad? Haha. Living near the beach wouldn’t hurt either! 🙂
If you could tour with one musician/band who would it be and why?
Its funny because when I am asked this question, most people who know me would expect myself to say Adele, however, she’s Adele which is very intimidating. I would love to go on tour with someone who is a similar genre but also does the different paced songs like I do. Someone like Lady Gaga or Sam Smith or Meghan Trainor would be a good example of musicians who jump around from doing a slower ballad to an upbeat pop-song that people can dance to.
Are all the songs included in your EP based off of personal experiences?
Mostly. Well, as I said before, Kaleidoscope was written with the help of my best friend so that wasn’t necessarily based off of personal experience, however, all of the other original songs are based off of personal experiences. I think that when you use your own life experiences to write songs, it helps bring a whole new level of emotional attachment to it. With that, I think you dive more into the song when you feel more emotionally attached to it. I think listeners can hear when a singer feels more attached to a song.
Of all the songs on your EP, which one was your favorite to write and why?
Thats easy, Stories. My cousin Hannah and I sat down the weekend of our aunt’s bridal shower and wrote it. It was one of the easiest songs I have ever written and the memory of it has made it even better to sing. My family is the most important thing in the world to me so Stories obviously is my favorite because of its relevance and importance to myself. I also love the music, and the indie vibe that it gave off when it was produced.
You can listen to Kenzie’s EP by clicking on the link below!