kyla
A Sit Down With… Kyla

0 A Sit Down With / Music

When her Funky House-inspired single ‘Do You Mind’ was released in 2009, British singer Kyla created a legendary anthem and hence quickly reached the status as Queen of UK Funky. After it was used as a sample by Drake for his hit One Dance, her life changed rapidly over night and ever since Kyla has been majorly in the spotlight again. Being honored by Drake during the American Music Awards or supporting him on tour – Kyla’s Musical journey was without a doubt a very exciting one in the past year. Now the songstress has unveiled a brand new single, featuring Jamaican dancehall singer Popcaan. It once again represents a Funky House mood but is also strongly influenced by other genres such as R&B and Dancehall, turning it into a true summer tune. Pardon My Blog caught up with her and spoke about her origins, Drake vs. her own music and her collaboration with Popcaan.

How did you first start getting into music?

I was at my uncle’s when I was about 3 or 4 years old, and I remember he had a spare room with only a matress in there. So the acoustics were amazing, I was singing in there and it was so loud, I loved it. I started getting really passionate about it. So I already knew back then that I really wanted to sing. I did performances for my parents and all that. I’d sing the same song all over again. It went like this ´One and one is two, two is me and you‘. I’d sing that at every family party. When I turned 14 years old I started to write and I remember I wanted to be in a band. One band was looking for an R&B singer but it turned out they were a rock band, I must have read it completely wrong. I ended up learning Red Hot Chilli Pepper songs! I found my true passion in secondary school though, I was in a girl group and did everything I could do with music.

That’s amazing. So with ´Do You Mind‘ you obviously landed an absolute hit, and it’s still being played today. When you released the song, how did your life change?

With ´Do You Mind` I was actually concentrating on another song, I remember I was working on a song called ´Think About You‘ and I met my husband now back then. He’s a producer and it took us about two weeks. It was such a straight vocal and we were just concentrating more on the other track, but he kept saying ´Do You Mind´is gonna be a huge hit, I was just like `Yeah yeah‘. So it did really change my life, I performed it in all the hot countries. And then when it was used for ´One Dance`, it changed my life even more.

Did you ever expect the song to get that huge?

I didn’t! I don’t think you ever do, you just hope for it. When ´Do You Mind` started getting bigger, I turned on the radio and heard my song, and heard people singing it. And it felt really good. With ´One Dance` I was really happy and blessed to be on a track with Drake. I was really excited. It just changed my life, I went from being stay-at-home mum to travelling the world. It is amazing what music can do!

What was your first reaction when you found out Drake sampled your track?

It was overwhelming. I didn’t believe it, I brushed it off as a joke and I was kinda hoping that it wasn’t! I thought why would Drake ever contact me? When it came out it was actually true, and I was so shocked. I didn’t even have time to celebrate. It was amazing, but it was definitely the most epic moment in my life.

You also supported him on his UK tour for ´One Dance` in particular, how was that experience?

It was amazing. I remember he asked me when I was at the AMA’s. He bigged me up from the stage when he collected an award. Then I met him at the Afterparty and he asked me if I’d like to support, I said yeah but I didn’t think it was actually going to happen. But I remember- I was in America and when I stepped off the plane and got a text saying ´Are you ready, tour starts tomorrow‘. When the tour started he wanted me to come up the stage halfway through the song. When I went on stage I had my whole life’s journey in front of me, reminiscing how I sang to my parents at the age of 3, trying to be in a girlgroup and thinking ´Now I’m here´.

Do you feel like people associate you more to Drake now rather than your own body of work?

No, a lot of people ask me that. People have mixed emotions, some haven’t heard ´Do You Mind‘ so they associate me to ´One Dance‘ which is not a bad thing to be associated with. On the other side, some people say ´Do You Mind was my song‘, so it switches it up a little bit. I have always felt blessed with everything happening to me in music.

So about your new single ´You Ain’t Mine‘ featuring Popcaan – how did you guys first meet, obviously you have worked with each other before, right?

Drake actually introduced us. We shot the One Dance video in South Africa, so I met him then and obviously worked with him on the Naughty Boy release which was amazing. When I was writing ´You Ain’t Mine‘ I was really looking for a feature and my manager suggested to play it to Popcaan and see what he thinks. I felt like something was missing and when he wrote his part I knew it was him who was missing. It was an epic moment. He is a good friend, I got to work with him again, he’s just chilled and completely different from me which is nice for a change.

You’re mostly known for your Funky House music-style, how come you decided to go into a more R&B-esque direction with the new song?

I was originally singing R&B songs, ´Do You Mind‘ was originally with a bassline track. But then we remixed it and it was just a sound I had never heard, that’s how I got slotted into Funky House actually. I was learning all these different genres and sounds. I feel like I’m more diverse, with ´You Ain’t Mine‘ you can still feel the Funky, but all kinds of different vibes are added to it, also by Popcaan. Also, with the track I tried not to do the obvious as everyone calls me the Funky Queen. I felt I need to switch it up and give people the shock factor.

How did the video shoot in Jamaica go, how did the collaboration with Lil Internet come about?

When I decided to shoot the video, everyone said it has to happen in Jamaica. So it was epic that we went there after all, and I really wanted to see Lil Internet’s ideas. It was everything I imagined. I wanted it to be vibrant, and I also wanted to experience Popcaan’s culture, his family and friends. Jamaica was incredible, seeing the stars while being in the pool, it was epic.

Thank you!

Kyla’s new single featuring Popcaan is out now.

 

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