Megan Gnad

Kylie Price on pushing boundaries and reinventing her sound

Megan Gnad
Kylie Price on pushing boundaries and reinventing her sound

Kylie Price was never going to release music purely for the sake of it.

When she returned to the national stage, she wanted her music to challenge perception, push the boundaries and explore the limits of her writing.

Standing by the message that ‘good things take time’, she’s now back with the dynamic new EP, BONES, and it’s certainly turning heads and attracting attention.

This is the rebranded Kylie Price 2.0. While still holding dear her country roots, this time around she’s verging into blues, pop and electronica territories, and it works.

With a polished sound that speaks to a message of keeping it real and expressing the truth, the release marks the singer-songwriter’s first foray back into the charts since her 2014 debut EP Wanderer // Wonderer.

For fans of her previous work, you won’t be disappointed with the outcome. Rather, it’s a remarkable step into a marketable sound that captures the essence of a serious songwriter and a voice that demands to be heard.

When lead single Here With Me was released to offer a glimpse into this new style, it quickly jumped to #4 on the NZ Heatseekers Chart.

The venture back into the industry comes after a busy few years for the 24-year-old, who recently completed a Bachelor of Music at Otago University.

Her lecturer at the Dunedin campus was Maddy Parkins-Craig, who just so happens to run the city’s Funky Cat Studio, and pitched that she would love to produce Kylie’s next body of work.

The collaboration has proven to be a winning formula and allowed Kylie to achieve a balance between quality writing and the EP’s overall sound.

“Maddy is so smart,” explains Kylie. “She's a doctor in songwriting and production and it’s good to have a mind that's not so emotionally attached to the songs.

“It's always all about what's best for the songs.”

There’s nothing else I could ever imagine doing.

Following the release of Wanderer // Wonderer, which hit #1 on the iTunes Country Charts, Kylie has kept busy writing, recording and learning along the way.

She was presented with the Gold Award for ‘Outstanding Excellence in Music’ outside of University in 2014, adding to the five Gold Guitar awards she picked up in 2012.

And, most recently, she was honoured to win ‘Female Overall Artist of The Year’ and ‘Best Acoustic Performance of The Year’ at the Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards America 2016.

While her background is rooted in country music, BONES also demonstrates that Kylie isn’t afraid to explore and experiment with other genres and influences.

“Last time was more organic,” she says. “I just want to keep pushing the limit and boundaries.

“I've always struggled, because I've always been too pop for country, and too country for pop, so I became more mainstream and, no disrespect for country, but this music is more pop.”

Kylie is quick to point out how much she respects country, and the foundations it gave her to carve out a career in the music industry.

She says it taught her stage presence and she formed close friendships with other artists who she remains in contact with to this day.

It also formed her initial sound and, for that reason, the production of BONES sticks pretty close to the basics of quality guitar and vocals.

“I want to get on stage and replicate what they hear on the record,” Kylie says.

When it came time to finalise the EP, the duo settled on five tracks, including the stunning, I Don’t Want To Go and My Love.

But, this quickly turned into a six-track compilation when Kylie heard Australian artist, Betty Who’s inspirational a capella number, The Valley.

“I thought it was the most awesome way to introduce an album, because it sets the tone,” she says. “So, we wrote the song Bones and recorded it the next day.”

As she settles back into the swing of touring and release obligations, the best part about the whole project is the knowledge Kylie’s done it in her own way, and in her own time.

She’s always wanted to be a working artist, and there’s no doubt she’ll always do what feels right for her music.

“This is a career for me,” she says.

“There's nothing else I could ever imagine doing.”