Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay Kay.
Lindsay, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My name is Lindsay Kay – I’m a Canadian singer-songwriter now based here in LA. Born and raised in Calgary, AB, I was a very musical kid and have been singing my whole life.
After discovering the music of Feist and John Mayer and Joni Mitchell in my early teens, I began playing the guitar and writing my own music. A few years later, jazz came into my life and became my new love and focus. I attended Berklee College of Music where I studied vocal and guitar performance and jazz composition, and I focused largely on contemporary jazz and improvisational music.
As time went on and I grew and changed as an artist, I began to crave more simplistic music with an emphasis on song structure, melody, and lyrics, and I found myself veering away from jazz and finding my way back into the singer-songwriter realm of music which I had begun in. Since then, I have been drawn to creating quiet, intimate, melancholy music and have released two EPs independently under my given name, Lindsay Kupser. I am now finishing up my debut, full-length album under this new name, Lindsay Kay, and the album is a meditation on femininity and womanhood made by an entirely female team.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I have always been interested in sadness and melancholy as it relates to art, and that is the shape my music naturally takes. I don’t tend to feel inspired to write about happiness and joy, or at least not in obvious ways, Perhaps that will change in the future as I evolve as a person and artist, but for now, my creativity seems to live inside of sorrow. After years of feeling like I was overcomplicating my musical expression while performing within a “jazz” style, I became very interested in how to achieve depth through simplicity, or in other words, how to make the listener feel a depth of emotion while still keeping the delivery simple and honest, and refraining from over-poeticizing. It’s been a several-year-long study, and I’ve found the simpler and more truthful I am, the deeper I can get emotionally.
The album I have been working on for the past two years, which I wrote and produced, is nearly complete, and as I previously mentioned, it is a concept album centering around themes of femininity. I explore the ways in which women compress themselves for their partners, make themselves quiet and small, the expectations women carry on their shoulders… Because of the vulnerable subject matter of this project and a personal yearning to surround myself with more creative women, I decided to create this album top to bottom solely with women and female-identifying people.
I tried to envision male musicians playing these songs, a male engineer recording it, etc., and it just didn’t sit right. I felt I needed everyone working on the project to truly understand personally the message of the songs in order for them to be realized properly and so I could be truly free in the studio. Every role, from studio musicians to engineers to mastering to album artwork design, has been filled by a woman. This album was made by women, for women and all feminine beings, and I feel incredibly proud and excited to share this music with the world in a few short months, Above all else, I hope that women and fem-identifying folks will hear their experiences mirrored back to them, and will find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in their pain.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
My album is definitely a direct result of the tangible stirring of women that has been taking place over the past few years (and of the feminine pain passed down from generations of women before me), and although I finished writing the album several months before the Me Too Movement began and before the Women’s Marches had taken place, there was still a definite feeling of fatigue in the air at the time, both in myself and in my female friends, that simply couldn’t be ignored. My only way to express my pain and confusion was through art, and I think the role of artists has always been to reveal some sort of truth, whether that be for the purpose of combatting injustice directly or simply for the artist’s own grappling with political and social pain and trying to make sense of it personally.
Artists have always been the truth seekers and the forward thinkers because we are the most sensitive, and I think a lot of the time we feel the effects of these issues first because of that sensitivity. Acknowledging a feeling inside of your body, taking it out of your body, and translating it into a tangible medium (words, a painting, a film) is, in my opinion, one of most powerful things that can ever be done. It brings comfort and reckoning to both the artist and audience member/listener/viewer, and that creates a connection, understanding, and a feeling of “oh my god, I feel like the artist made this just for me!” which is something we so badly need in times of adversity. Art feels like the bright spot in all the darkness to me right now… while the world is seemingly crashing down around us in a lot of ways, there is still truly great art being made, and that’s the beauty we need to keep moving.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The first single from my upcoming album, “Invited,” is available on all major streaming platforms now. A wonderful way to support artists is to purchase their music on Bandcamp, a platform that enables artists to see 100% of the profit from their listener. However, all I want is for this music to be heard, regardless of it I make $1 or not, so I hope you will listen to the song – and eventually the entire album – however you can, wherever you can! And truly, the best way to support any artist is to tell a friend about their work. Word of mouth is so powerful, and a personal endorsement goes so much further than a Facebook ad.
- Website: lindsaykaymusic.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/lindsaykaymusic
- Facebook: facebook.com/lindsaykaymusic
- Other: http://lindsaykaymusic.com/
Cover photo: Lex Gallegos
Tiggy Ara, Sandy Leshner