DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Keiandra | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time, alt-folk singer-songwriter Keiandra tells us about her upcoming debut EP Empty Palaces and her love of Suzanne Vega.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

Hey, I’m Keiandra, I’m 18, I’m from Newcastle and I write songs and play guitar. I play what I describe as “ethereal alt-folk” and I like to think that my songs can connect with people. I hope people can relate to the things I’m singing about.

What inspired you to first start making music?

I’m not sure that there’s a set point where I suddenly got inspired. Most people’s stories are significant moments like “I want to be him/her.” I think for me it just happened naturally, I’ve played various instruments from the age of seven (flute, violin, piano) but I didn’t start writing my own stuff till I was about 15 when my dad’s friend gave me a guitar. I started teaching myself to play by messing around with a few chords, and writing my own music came within a few weeks. So to answer the question properly, getting a guitar I guess inspired me to write.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Suzanne Vega, hands down has shaped my way of writing, and the likes of Carly Simon.

How would you describe your sound?

I’d probably say, a haunting vocal with an innocent darkness intertwined with sombre guitar tones.

“My set isn’t really the kind you can go mad and dance like a crazy person”

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

I don’t think there’s anyone offering the kind of songs I write, hopefully I’ll fit in just nicely.

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Keiandra?

The main word I can use to describe my set is “connection.” I like to think my audience will connect with my voice, through my songs connecting everyone in some way but who can say for sure. I’d also say you should expect to need to listen. My set isn’t really the kind you can go mad and dance like a crazy person. Although there are a few songs that are more upbeat like Empty Palaces and RockStar State of Mind!’

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

I’m working on my EP at the minute so I’m not gigging as much as I would like, but I’ve got a few over the next few months. Anyone reading will just have to keep looking on my website or Facebook page to keep up to date with them.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as an artist?

Biggest achievement would be on the radio side of things. I’ve been played a few times by Nick Roberts on BBC Introducing, and Amazing Radio, and of course playing Evolution Emerging and getting tipped as one of the five best artists to go and see, that was pretty cool! They’ve been the most surreal of my achievements; hearing yourself on the radio is strange but good. I’m still in early days really. I’ve been gigging less than a year so it’s nice to feel like you’re constantly progressing.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

I think it takes a lot of groundwork to break through the noise and for people to realise that I’m serious about music. It’s quite a challenge getting the people who don’t know you and don’t know what you sound like to click on that Soundcloud link.

What else have you got planned for the future?

My EP Empty Palaces; it’ll be my first proper release so I’m both nervous and excited. I’ve got big plans for it so hopefully it’ll go down well.

Keiandra releases Empty Palaces later in the year. Find out more on her Facebook page.

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