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Life & Work with Kyle DallaTorre

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle DallaTorre.

Hi Kyle, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’m not sure how I survived this long, but I’m grateful to have had opportunities that got me to this place! I’m fairly certain it was in a large part due to art and artists that offered a beautiful respite in the hopelessness. I was lucky to have an active enough imagination to take myself out of my situation growing up. Singing seemed to be a constant way to self-soothe and to express the vocabulary I lacked in my own self-expression. Performing especially helped me by giving my depression and my anxiety something to focus on. I’ve never felt more at peace or at home than when I’m in front of people and getting lost in a song. It was magical when I was a kid, and it has never lost its magnificence.

I’ve struggled with mental health for as long as I can remember. Without realizing how hard I was pushing myself, I ended up developing an intense eating disorder that left me hospitalized financially broke. Even after getting help, I couldn’t rip away from the disorder despite knowing that it was killing me. Eating disorders are a real b*tch. They are a combination of behavioral addictions, deeply ingrained beliefs, mental illness and the deep need for control. I couldn’t even imagine a life without practicing the behaviors, let alone loving myself.

I believed no one would ever understand, no one could help and I was alone in this hell I created for myself.

Slowly, very slowly and without a fair share of relapsing, I began to develop a healthy relationship with food, in relationships, and started to really like myself despite my many imperfections (and I even started to like those too). I’m now a big believer in the power of love and songwriting. Which without a doubt helped me to get through the days, sometimes minutes where I didn’t think I could.

I wrote about pain, about anger, and about my own desires I had closed off. Turning pain into something beautiful is powerful and incredibly healing. I wouldn’t have survived without this outlet. I also wouldn’t have survived without some of the best people on the planet showing me what love looks like and how to accept it.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The struggle to survive and the struggle to now continue to grow are something we as people can relate to. I think that is what makes artists a special breed. We choose a profession where there is no linear road to success, no secure paychecks, and no guarantee that what we have given our life to will ever be heard or seen. Struggling with your own mind, creating your art, making ends meet, and taking care of yourself along the way, is an art in and of itself. There have been seasons where the inner demons seem to take a vacation. They hush down, some even seem to permanently move on. And of course there are others who seem to want to party again. It’s a similar pattern of falling and getting up again and again that makes it more manageable as time goes on. I’m grateful for all the times I’ve kept going, and I accept I have many more failures and triumphs ahead 🙂

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m deeply grateful to have the opportunities to live in music and make a living. I teach voice, music theory and songwriting to artists and hobbyists. It is deeply rewarding to watch someone discover their instrument and what they hold inside themselves. The voices I am lucky enough to hear are so beautiful, emotional, and brave. Most people think they have a terrible singing voice or believe they can’t sing at all. It’s simply not true. The experience of learning this incredibly complex instrument can be an emotional one, and I hold it very dear that I am able to share space with people brave enough to go for it.

KylEast is my outlet for my own material. The project allows me to become a woman who is fearless, raw, and unapologetically weird. The songs are ones I’ve written to help me process through aspects of myself that I can’t seem to get past. That’s what’s so powerful about the songwriting process, you take something so ugly and make it into something else. Something beautiful I can sink into.

How do you define success?
For me success is connection. It’s the ability to connect with people in a way that feels deeply vulnerable and true. For me that feeling comes with creating and performing. It’s having the opportunity to perform and an audience for which to perform. Whether it’s 5 or 5,000 people in that audience, the connection is really all that matters on my end.

A life spent writing songs, connecting through performance, and helping others to discover their own journey is more than I could hope for. Every minute spent doing what I love is success to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Michelle Shiers- Photographer (all images)

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