Check out the exclusive interview with Kayla Nettles below!
Tell us about being on American idol and what you learned about yourself from those experiences?
Words can’t describe the sights, sounds and feelings you experience being a part of one of the most popular shows in America! It was an overwhelming, chaotic at times but amazing journey. 400,000 people auditioned for season 11 of “American Idol” so I am very proud of myself for making it through “Hollywood week”. It was an honor when all three judges said yes after I performed and shared my story with them. Being on the show I’ve learned to appreciate my talent and how to connect with my audience on a personal level when I am singing. I am more comfortable singing a variety of genres and confident when I am on stage. It’s a life changing experience!
Tell us the biggest difference from actually being on a show like that versus what the audience sees or thinks?
What most people do not realize is, I had to go through multiple Auditions with the Producers of the show before being able to meet and sing for, Steven Tyler, Jennifer lopez and Randy Jackson. You get a total of three “Golden” Tickets throughout your journey!
Do you still keep in contact with the friends you made on the show?
I keep in touch with many of the singers I met on “American Idol” through my social media sites including the winner of Season 11, Phillip Phillips. A few of them live here in Nashville or have come to visit so it’s always nice to catch up, write a tune or play a show with them. I have become friends with a few of the past “American Idol” winners through various music events and we shared our Experience being on the show.
Tell us about your new EP that’s coming out in July and the process that goes into making an EP?
I wanted my EP to stand out from the crowd. A few ways I was able to achieve this was making sure I put the work into releasing a quality product. I have a structure to my EP, I took the time to pick original songs that I believe people can relate to and have a better understanding of who I am and where I want to go as an artist. I wanted to make sure the quality of the music was “radio ready” by taking the time to track and have everything mastered. Packaging is important as well, the cover is the first thing that people usually see. I created a relevant cover to increase my EP sale. Once I pressed my EP I am now Promoting and looking forward to the C.D. release party in the next couple months.
What do you want your fans to get out of listening to your newest EP?
We all have dreams, hopes and fears; we have all been bruised and broken. I believe music heals and god has given me a beautiful gift to be able to touch someone with the lyrics or melody in a song and it is an amazing feeling. I want my fans to know the songs on my EP are personal and I meant every lyric I wrote. Releasing my FIRST EP is a big step for me so I am so grateful for the support and encouragement everyone has given me.
What do you think about the end result?
Music Ep’s are a great promotional tool. They can be used in a variety of different ways, and are a lot quicker to make then an album or a mixtape. I wanted to give people something to remember me by and I am proud of this project and am grateful for everyone who helped out.
Do you ever feel like the music industry is very competitive and that people won’t hear your music?
Being an artist and living in Nashville, Tennessee I’ve been turned down more than once. There’s different ways you can deal with rejection and the way I deal with it is I turn completely to my music. Even if every time you’ve tried before you’ve lost. I believe it’s about getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again.
Who are some of your mentors today that inspire you and encourage you to keep going?
Being a songwriter as well as a singer, I look up to many of the writers here in Nashville. Taylor Swift being so young when she released her first single “Tim McGraw” has definitely made an impact on me, plus she is a great songwriter and performer. My vocal coach, Brett Manning has taught many successful artists and has always given me support and courage through my musical journey. It has been an honor working with him and for his studio “Brett manning studios” as well as writing songs with him. Martina Mcbride and Faith Hill have always inspired me. Their vocals are so powerful and I love the topics their songs are about, very personal and I can relate too many of them.
Do you have a favorite song you’ve written so far that you can tell us about?
I have a connection to every song I have written but I feel like my single, “Drive” is describing my life in a song. It’s ok to be scared, don’t let anyone bring you down. If you have a dream, take control and let that dream become reality. It is really up to you and how much you want it and how much effort you’re willing to put in to make your dreams come true.
Where does the inspiration come from when writing your songs?
I feel like the most important part of songwriting is when the song comes from your heart. If you mean what you say and have been through what you write about I believe your fans will appreciate you as an artist and be able to relate and connect to you and your songs on a more personal level. My inspirations don’t always come from boys or going through hard times. I love to look on the bright side of situations and feel like you can be inspired by your surroundings or a complete stranger.
Do you have an overall goal that you’re trying to reach with your music?
I feel what helps me stay on point is to create a “Game Plan” With a reasonable amount of effort on my part and a reasonable amount of faith in the journey.I constantly revise my game plan as my life, career and my goals change as well. Of course I have many goals I would like to accomplish and check off my list but I’ve realized in this business you are always learning new things to become a better artist, so even if I am able to headline my own tour in the next few years I know I still have a lot to learn!
Tell us about your family! And how they’ve played a role in your music
I want to thank my mother for taking the time to learn about the music business and do everything she can to help me live my dreams. Her love and support are always here for me when my journey gets tough. I’m so grateful that I was able to grow up where music always surrounded me. When I was three, my father shared his love of music with me and of course to my number one fan for singing along to every tune and never letting me forget the little things in life, my little brother Kaiden. To my friends and family, thanks for believing in this daydreamer from the small town in Florida. Their support is so important to me and always gives me the courage to keep going.
What advice do you have for other up and coming young artists today?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt
A quote I live by, when you dream and have ambitions, and actually work towards them then your future has a goal.. an aim.. Something in store for YOU. Never give up on what you love.