I was fortunate to chat with Kaysha Louvain in Swansea Bay Records, before her appearance at SWNDFest 2022 at The Bunkhouse in Swansea. We chat about her influences, her proudest moments and her very busy schedule.
PD: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
KL: I like to say I’m different. I combine the Country element and 80s kind of Rock Pop influences all together. I think my sound is unique, so I’ll probably say that is the most interesting thing about who I am as an artist.
PD: Who are your musical influences and who or what inspired you to take up music?
KL: My dad’s a drummer, he plays lots of other instruments as well. So, when I was younger, he was always in a band. Music was just throughout my household. Rock and Roll records from my Grandparents, musical soundtracks, Shania Twain and Country music from my mother. The house was just flooded with music. Dad is a massive Simple Minds fan, so I’ve been to see them many times. I had the bug from an early age. There’s a photo of me, I’m about 4 years old and I’m on stage with a Britney Spears headset on, doing a song and dance.
PD: What’s your favourite song to perform live?
KL: I think, if it’s one of my own songs, I’d probably say ‘The Crown’, because it obviously means so much. It was actually written about my hometown and there’s a lot of me in that one. As far as a cover goes, I’d probably say something like ‘Somebody To Love’ by Queen. The Queen songs are always good to do live.
PD: What has been your proudest moment in music?
KL: I think that’s got to have come recently. The new music that I’ve been doing, being played on BBC Wales and I think hearing the likes of Wynne Evans and Behnaz Akhgar really praising it up and having interviews with them. I think this whole period since I brought the album out in February, these last 4 months have been a constant high and topped off then by playing Wynne Evans’ Town Hall Show. Getting invited by the BBC to come and play that was really good. These last 4 months have been brilliant.
PD: What would you say is the most important thing that you’ve learned from your career so far, and have you any advice to up n coming musicians out there?
KL: Quite plainly, I think is just to be yourself. Don’t try and fit in a box, I spent too many years from the age of 18 to 25, trying to fit in a box. I was either going down a rock route, ‘cos I love it, that 80s rock and even later bands like the Foo Fighters and stuff. And then I also love Country Music, so I also tried doing Country Music, more slides, and the picking. Nothing really fit, it wasn’t me. So now with this new music, I’ve combined the Country Music and the 80s Rock, so I’ve got the synths and the acoustics and it’s perfect.
I think you’ll learn that as you grow and don’t be afraid to play about with your music, try other things, try different styles. Don’t be tempted by someone saying you’ve gotta do this or you’ve gotta do that. If it feels right to you, try it and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I’ve got a few singles out that I really don’t like, and they didn’t work, but I learnt from that. Everything you do is a learning process.
PD: What has the reaction been like to the album ‘The Song Goes On’ and how is the new single ‘Red Lights’ remix performing?
KL: The album overall I think has been really good, a lot of people like it, they like my style, which is good, as we touched on before, you know, I tried really hard experimenting and finding my sound with this one.
PD: This is the real you.
KL: Yeah, this is me now, and it’s a challenge now for the next album to keep that going and not be tempted to go a little more Country or 80s and try and keep that balance, cos I think I’ve got both sets of fans in my corner when I combine the two.
And ‘Red Lights’, ‘Red Lights’ was just a bit of fun, the new remix, we wanted something Summery, something to fill the gap between the album and the new music coming out and it was a fan favourite on the album, everyone loved ‘Red Lights’. So, we did a little chill, dance remix and I love it. That kind of music has never really been up my street, but I really like it.
PD: I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised, but then soon got to really like it.
KL: It’s the track that I listen to most now.
PD: Can you tell us a little about the recording of the album, how the songs came to be etc.?
KL: Yeah, it was through Lockdown, I write the songs and do the demos and then send the demos over to Jammy (Harris), the producer, he’d take a look at it and then he would strip it all back and re record everything and send it back to me, I’d add some vocals in. And that’s how we worked through Lockdown. We didn’t record a single song together in the same room, but with his studio and my home studio, we managed to put together a really good album.
It was a difficult process, but again, it was something that I have learnt from, and I think you take for granted sometimes, the time spent in the studio. I think when you’re doing this in the house, you need to get it done and quick, so you kind of prepare yourself more for a proper vocal take. But on the other hand, I’m really looking forward to recording the next one in the studio, So we can spend a few days together and really make some magic.
PD: Have you got any gigs planned, where can people see you perform live?
KL: I’ve got one at the end of the year, it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it will be in my neck of the woods, around the Newbridge/Blackwood area. And I’ll have a special guest on that night as well. It’s a bit too early to really talk about, but there will be several other artists and maybe some new songs performed too.
PD: Will you be playing any new tracks today?
KL: I might play a track that’s not new, but it’s not on the album. It was one that didn’t quite make the album, but I really love the song. It’s kind of a more Country song, that’s why it didn’t fit on the album.
PD: Are there any bands playing today that you’re looking forward to seeing?
KL: I think all of them in their own right, I’m excited to see. But probably because we share such a similar love for Country Music, probably Gareth Lewis. I’m really looking forward to watching him play, I love his voice, he has a gorgeous voice and a great person. So yeah, check out his set for sure.
PD: How is the rest of 2022 looking for you?
KL: Good, yeah, a bit hectic now I’ve taken on a bigger role in SWND, I’m doing a lot more in PR and media and everything. It got a little hectic and the songwriting has stopped a little bit, but I’m getting back on track now and knuckling down. But lots of exciting things, whether it’s my music coming out or shows or something from SWND, I get excited for both. I think, as a whole, SWND the rest of 2022 is going to be brilliant.
PD: Many thanks for chatting to me today, where can people learn more about you and your music?
KL So, they can head to @kayshalouvainsinger on any of my socials, check out my website www.kayshalouvainsinger.com or head over to SWND website
Kaysha Louvain links:
Band/Artist location – Cardiff Wales
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