Exemplary ukulele playing skills, vocals that swoon your soul with earnest, heart-felt lyrics – would be a succinct way to describe Chennai-based singer-songwriter Krishna K. They were initially nudged towards Carnatic music at the age of six but left it shortly after. The singer proceeded to express emotions and experiences through songwriting a couple of years ago, closely followed by self-teaching ukulele. Last month, on November 27th, they released their 6th single titled ‘Pieces To Keep’. The Ticket Fairy spoke to Krishna to discuss ‘Pieces To Keep’ and everything music!
“My music tends to be just for me,” said 18-year-old Krishna for whom music and songwriting have always been an outlet to express and connect with themselves. “Mostly, writing is just the one way I can connect to myself and really stay sane (haha). I can’t call music my passion, but I know I can never live without writing it, listening to it, or playing my ukulele,” they added. Since the release of their first single ‘Dragon’, Krishna extended their music for the people who relate to what they write about which reflects in ‘Pieces To Keep’.
Talking about their latest single, they said, “‘Pieces to Keep’ was a song that came from a really vulnerable space that unfortunately a lot of listeners have resonated with. When it comes to ‘Pieces’, I’m just glad any listener knows they aren’t alone in experiencing loss, and that acceptance and growth after loss is possible. The song is about how even after separation, people tend to retain pieces of one another to keep. And that – as much as that hurts, love is still a beautiful thing even if it ends in a loss.”
The Ticket Fairy: How has the response been so far?
The response has been INSANELY unexpected. I would have NEVER thought any of my songs would hit more than 100 streams, and that too from my friends without whose support I’d be nothing at all. But here we are with ‘Dragon’ hitting 36,000 streams and with ‘Pieces’ on its way to 5000 already? I receive so many DM’s that I am ridiculously grateful for. I have been tagged in stories of people listening to my songs; have seen screenshots of people sharing my music and actually liking it! It’s insane and I can’t comprehend this response and the number of people that listen to my music and actually resonate with it.
“Pieces To Keep” marks your 6th single in 10 months! How did you pull it off in such a short period?
Honestly, I never thought I’d ever put my music out. I write regularly and have a lot of thoughts I end up penning as songs. This ended up with me having forty songs ready to stay hidden in voice memos and notebooks forever. That was until my 18th birthday when I decided to just start bedroom producing them and putting them out, just like that. All of my music is extremely minimalistic and this is because of a couple of reasons. Since I write primarily for myself, I tend not to want to re-work because there’s a chance I’ll lose my connect with a song the more time I spend on it; every song I write has come from some fleeting experience or impulse and so the music ends up reflecting that, if that makes any sense haha. The second reason is that I want listeners to feel like I’m sitting there next to them singing it; so the music is simply focussed on voice and ukulele, just like it was when I wrote it. This definitely makes producing and releasing easier since I just record in my room and upload it onto a distribution site before I can change my mind haha!
How has it been for you to write, produce, record, and mix your songs, and also be involved in the artwork creation?
It’s been super duper fun! Like I said in the previous answer, my music is pretty small; so it’s super easy to do it all by myself! Working solo is actually how it feels most natural to me since the songs happen very impulsively. And about the artwork, it’s almost always my lovely best friend River who does it. Since they know where each song comes from, they make artwork that represents each song perfectly without us even sitting through a planning session or anything. They are a brilliant artist (you should check them out @canyoucatchacloud). For pieces to keep, I had the REMARKABLE experience of working with Akriti, an artist who I actually ended up getting close to after I approached her for the Pieces to Keep project. She works absolute magic. Working closely with her on this project has been an amazing experience.
Will you be releasing Music Videos for any of your released singles?
While music videos have been something I’ve been interested in trying my hand at, I do think that they deserve a lot of effort and time that my impulse-based relationship with my music might not allow for just as yet. Sometimes I think that as I grow as an artist and start looking at my music as less of a journal/diary and more as music I’m releasing into the world, the more confident and inclined I may become towards actually working on music videos for them.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Most people who know me guess this answer immediately. Halsey and the artists from the indie scene. They inspire me beyond compare!! I’m so happy to be friends with so many of the musicians that inspire me. Besides Halsey, Dodie is also an artist I love and look up to.
How would you describe the music that you typically create? And what’s your creative process like?
I would describe my music as simple? I typically write for voice, ukulele, and a bassline. I think it’s the best way to express what I want to express through most of my writing. I would also describe my music as small. My creative process is very very impulsive. It’s super emotion-oriented and the musicality tends to come from there. Sometimes it starts with a melody, or lyrics, or with some ukulele chord progressions/plucking patterns, but all of that usually starts with an emotion, a thought, or an experience that needed to find its way out of my system and uses music to make it happen.
When did you know music was your calling and when did you figure out why you needed to pursue it?
I definitely do not think music is my calling. It’s more like my best friend. It’s so important to me, I’m deeply connected to it, I can’t imagine life without it but I also can never picture it being all that I do. If it becomes all I do and I start depending on it financially, I might lose the relationship I have with music. That being said, doing paid performances and gigs is so important to me because it gives me this sense of confidence and a semblance of independence that I never thought I’d get to experience; at least not this soon, and I’m so grateful for it.
How do you feel the internet has impacted your career in music?
As scary, overwhelming, and dangerous as the internet can be, it is also definitely a safe space for me. I have been lucky enough to find my kind of people on the internet; people that have become family. Music-wise, the internet has been the only way that my music has made it out there and has received love from other people. If it weren’t for the internet, I definitely wouldn’t be able to confidently call myself an artist right now. It helped me come this far, for sure.
What are you working on right now? Will we see an EP, Album, or more singles?
I’ve actually had some really incredible opportunities to work in the commercial music industry and that’s what has been happening with me music-wise. I’m super nervous about it all to be really honest. But also, inevitably, really excited and grateful for the experiences! When it comes to my originals, I do hope that come 2021 I release an EP and a few more singles that I’ve been procrastinating recording! Really excited for what I have in mind haha!
Fun quick insights for Krishna’s listeners:
Are there any hidden messages in your music?
Well, not so much hidden messages as it is River, Akriti, and I having fun with the art. If you notice, the baby dragon (whose name is Cloud, and is River and I’s child) who is the cover art of “Dragon”, is the same dragon that is on the cover art of “Indigo” along with two people- River and I. Akriti and I continued the Dragon easter egg by putting Dragonflies in the Pieces to Keep art. Long story short: these incredible artists and I love putting our own little easter eggs into the artwork of songs. So grateful for them!
Your current favorite songs?
Oh no the list would go ON and on! I’ll have to narrow it down to the first 3 that pop in my head. Butterflies by Nida Siddiqui, Georgia by Emily King, and Trampoline by Anoushka Maskey.
Your all-time favorite artists/bands?
Halsey, Dodie, Arctic Monkeys, and so many of the indie artists I can’t pick less than 10 they’re all amazing.
Your current movie/series recommendation?
The Queen’s Gambit – a short series I’m in LOVE with. I’m rewatching it!
What is the last thing you gifted someone?
Handpainted wooden pins!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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