We had the good fortune of connecting with KayBe Seiler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi KayBe, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Discipline, for one. In every possible aspect you can think of. When it comes to my instrument, my voice… I have to be disciplined to warm up, train, practice, have the courage to fail and try new things and do it all over again… even when I don’t want to (which is more than you would think). But other than just practicing and training my voice… discipline is important in every facet of life because you are YOU and that bleeds into everything you do. My body IS my instrument, so I am very disciplined in taking care of it… how am I nourishing my body with food, exercise, thoughts, people and jobs I surround myself with? And even furthermore… it’s important to discipline my mental and moral state… from my psyche comes everything… the ability to believe in myself and to actually carry it out… the discipline to keep my mind, body and soul, healthy and active, physically and spiritually so I am ALWAYS working towards the greater good in life and love and that will TRANSCEND into every other facet and form of my art. Another habit that has helped me succeed is to learn, create and follow my OWN set of rules. Art is art… there is no right or wrong, but for some reason people try to tell you otherwise… so for the longest time I was listening to criticism of not being ‘mainstream’ or that I needed to modify MY work to mold it to something that had already similarly been done… I finally decided to follow my OWN heart and inklings because I felt unfulfilled doing it the other way anyway, and guess what… everything took off. We don’t need two of the same person or the same sound, or voice, or song… that’s why we’re different… we all have different stories to tell and songs to sing… it’s how we learn, live, love and move forward.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a recording artists and songwriter! My voice is my primary instrument, but I actually have been a pianist for over 20 years and it’s where I begin all the songs I write. I write love songs… yep… all about love… and people always ask (seriously) “Why so many love songs?” and it’s because it’s the main motivator for me. Mother Teresa said “We can do all things with great love.” So yes… I write about love, but that doesn’t just mean a romantic, passionate love affair, but if you really listen to the lyrics… a lot of the songs have multiple meanings. For instance, my latest release, “I Fall in Love” (love literally in the title, lol) is about falling over and over again for the love of your life… but also the song has an equal meaning to me falling in love with music OVER and OVER… and YOU can fill in your blank with YOUR passion or your dream and that what the song is about. I was thinking one day about how interesting it is that I’ve been doing music for YEARS and I am NEVER tired of it… it’s not like school or a task that you just can’t wait for the end… I’m like when can I play my piano! When can I get outside to sing! I keep falling love over and over. As far as genre… I’ve been on a roller coaster since I started, but that’s something that helped me get to where I am today and helped me discover who I truly am as an artist. Even still though, I think my work is pretty genre-bending and that’s part of just creating what I feel instead of what I think will work in someone else’s labeled category. But I’d say I’m releasing an Americana/Pop styled sound. Americana because it’s very organic and true to the classic 4 piece band instruments, however there are a lot of eccentric like effects and dreamy vocals paired with more pop sounding melodies and harmonies. Has the road to where I’m at been hard! Absolutely… and I assume I will continue to face my challenges… as the constant want to improve is an uphill climb. I have talked a lot about my past health struggles primarily regarding the attacks on my vocal cords… the whooping cough (10years of full recovery) and an oral form of erythema multiforme. However to talk about something else… I guess I could talk about all the negativity and people that cut you down along the way… not that it’s different than ANYONE else’s story, but I think it’s important to talk about for all those going through the same thing. I could fill a book with stories of people trying to tear me down, scheme their way into taking credit for my work, or just straight up haters, and there are FAR more of them than positive it seems, but I’m so thankful for that high number because every single time, it was an opportunity for me to grow… it was an opportunity for me to believe in myself, reaffirm my goals and purpose and to say, “Yeah, it’s still worth it… I have something more important to do here.” And it’s just like exercising and lifting weights… the more times you push against the opposition… the stronger you become… and I’d say I’m pretty strong. haha No need to go crazy into detail on all the negative stories, but for fun just one. I was in the studio with another songwriter and I had brought to him a couple songs I had written on my own so that we could possible work on them together. He absolutely tore them apart saying no would ever listen or consider recording anything with these sentiments (innocent love) and that nothing was commercial and it was too simple and elementary, not sexy enough. He went off about my word choices and that I was writing something way to overdone. I was ready to move on to a different song when he stopped me and said, “No wait, let’s change a few things, instead of “moonlight” you should consider “moonshine.”” AND THEN he proceeded to say… “You better make sure I get a writing credit!” For ONE word (that I did not change), but also… what a little weasel and also… why would he want to be associated with a song sooooo bad! He just wanted the credit from the get go. Anyway… I did NOT listen to his advice, but I DID release the song 🙂 Go look for a song that says “Moonlight” and see if you can figure out which one! It’s important to surround yourself with good people and people you trust so that you can hear and understand when they DO have good feedback that will help you improve and not just break you down or try to take credit for your work. If anyone can take anything from my story from these few snippets I’ve shared, I want you to know there is a place in any industry or any realm for your dream and your vision. Adversity is there to make you stronger… whether it’s people in your field or physical ailments that are attacking your very instrument, those are there to make you stronger. It’s all about how you look at things and how you choose to grow. And I choose to do everything with love and love always conquers. 🙂
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well, let me just tell you about the best time ever and it was when my sisters (2 out of 4) came to visit me in the great city of Los Angeles last summer. We had a jam packed week. They got in late Saturday evening. We got up early Sunday morning, started our week with Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood which is GORGEOUS! Left for breakfast at Bea Bea’s Cafe in Burbank; you MUST try the green tea matcha pancakes… to die for. And we ran off to the Broad, the modern museum of art with tYayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. Walked from the museum to the Cathedral downtown and enjoyed looking around. We then drove by JPL in Pasadena for my Space loving sister and ended the evening on the rooftop at the Perch! Monday we went to Venice Beach for our long-awaited surf lesson and surfed the waves Monday evening and then had my favorite Mexican spot for dinner, Salsa and Beer. Tuesday, we window shopped in Beverly Hills and snacked on some Macaroons. That evening I surprised them with dinner at Blue Fish sushi and tickets to “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Pantages. It was so much fun! Don’t think we didn’t stop for After’s Ice Cream afterwards. Wednesday we drove out to Malibu and visited Pointe Dume which is MY ABSOLUTE NEW favorite spot. We went there to walk down the stairs and enjoy the sea life on the beach, but the stairs were closed, so we kept walking and found sea lions, sea lions and more sea lions lying on the rocks just below the cliff. And nobody was there and nobody knew!! It is now my absolute favorite spot (seeing as sea lion’s are my absolute favorite animal.) We enjoyed the beach and had a picnic. In the evening we went to the Americana at Brand and enjoyed walking by the fountain and a nice dinner on the patio at Granville. Thursday was their last day and also July 4th! We went on a hike up to the Wisdom Tree and the Hollywood sign. Then we headed to the Dodger Game to watch the Dodgers win and then the wonderful firework show that evening. I highly recommend EVERYTHING! What a wonderful week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Easy. Zak Lloyd. The multi-talented producer, instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and friend. I always shower Zak with love and praise because it’s sooooo easy and warranted, yet still somehow it’s NOT enough. Zak has helped me fully realize my potential as a vocalist, songwriter and all-around artist. Any insecurity or doubt I’ve ever had about my ability or validity or quality in the music realm Zak has not only squashed, but exploited these as my greatest triumphs and charms. Zak breathes life into all my roots and songs and visions and translates them into something literally magical. He builds me up and makes me feel confident and proud on who I’ve become as an artist… Any and all elements of my voice and songwriting that had previously been cut down, criticized and an element that needed to be changed (according to ‘industry standards’) Zak has praised as my greatest strengths and has helped me hone in on my originality and true purpose created through music. And guess which songs and music has found the most success… that which Zak helped me create! What a concept! Zak is a true testament to someone that really believes in me and other artists and wants to see them succeed as the best version of THEMSELVES and the story and purpose they are trying to tell and create. In such a cut throat industry, Zak has far surpassed the ‘industry standard’ on humility, honesty, and TALENT! Did I mention that Zak is LITERALLY the best pianist I have EVER heard, seen, played with, met, in my life… and that is the truth. It’s what brought us to work together in the first place and is now one of the reasons on a long list that keeps us making music. Musically, Zak is a genius and it’s something that cannot be described, but it can be heard. I am HONORED to continue to work with Zak again and again and I still get warm feelings when I listen to the things we’ve created. Thankyou THANKYOU to my wonderful producer and friend Zak Lloyd for helping me get here and making me more proud and accomplished than I’ve ever been and thank you for the continued inspiration to want to grow and create more. And just a fun fact… since I want everyone to REALLY understand and appreciate what Zak does. I get a LOT of questions as to what a producer actually is so I’d love to elaborate a bit just so you can go listen to “Sweet Love of Mine” or “I Fall in Love” 😉 two tracks that he and I worked on and really appreciate his talent. So the production of the track is how something sonically sounds… how it’s being portrayed through all the sounds and instruments. You can sing a song a cappella… and the melody and lyrics don’t change… THAT’s the song… but the production is around it… it’s how you can have a Country version and a Rock and Roll version of the same song… the production is different. So when you hear “Sweet Love of Mine” and feel a sense of warmth come into your heart (seriously it will)… that’s that warm guitar lick… the drums that he’s put beneath… and the touching of piano keys and the way it’s been mixed and all the fun effects and everything that makes up the whole sound of the song. Zak played all the instruments and he absolutely created the warmth in these songs 🙂 Enjoy!
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3ZVWWSQdSJuNJz00dcD0Bt?si=EyfsQWoETQOhP9NyfpJkoA