We had the good fortune of connecting with Karli Webster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karli, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
I’ve always been one to go with my gut and be a bit stubborn about the things I want to do. This has both greatly benefitted and challenged me throughout my music career. Although I’m still a bit of a baby in the music industry, I’d argue that I’ve had a fair share of lessons learned the hard way… all of which I’m very grateful for. Because of this, I’d say the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far is that knowing yourself and trusting yourself is KEY to creating and achieving anything worthwhile. As a person, I’ve grown and changed in some pretty dramatic ways throughout the last three years and because of that, my music, my voice, and what my words say has changed too. It can be super easy to get caught up in the noise of what external powers might “want” you to do, but that’s nothing but noise. I spent the first few years of my career listening to those around me, assuming they knew better than me, only to end up with a product that felt more like a character I was trying to keep up, rather than something I was truly proud of. I’ve learned that it is SO important to hold my own ground and learn how to communicate the unique language of my authenticity. I’ve worked with people in the past who didn’t truly believe in who I am as a person AND an artist, which negatively impacted my confidence as a performer and growth as an artist in a HUGE way. It can be scary to have to stand your ground in a room full of people urging you down a different path, but it’s essential for artists and entrepreneurs of all types. There is a lane for EVERYONE in EVERY field, as long as you are consciously aware of your purpose and the nuances of your voice that make your words and your creation worth consuming. I’m still learning and growing a TON, but since recognizing the power I have in being EXACTLY who I am, I’m a whole lot more proud of my career and the art I’ve been creating.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been playing piano, singing and writing music since I was 4. It has forever been a way of communicating how I feel about the world. Because of that, my lyrics have always been incredibly personal and vulnerable, which is sometimes scary. Lately, I’ve been practicing removing “song form” from my brain and just letting loose, in a more poetic form, rather than standard song form. That has been such a beautiful challenge, from which my best new songs have been made. I write a lot about mental health. Songwriting, in a way, has always been a sort of therapy, allowing me to navigate what my brain is going through in words and imagery I might not have even known I was experiencing. It’s a lot easier to be honest with myself if I can pair it with a melody. To many who have listened, my newer music can come across as sad, but ultimately I hope listeners can recognize the intense beauty of change and growth, even if it stings a little. Since going to ACTUAL therapy, my songwriting has enhanced greatly… I’m able to dig deeper and spend time with “little” emotions and moments to make something big out of them. Finding every little beautiful and painful detail of a moment is a gift a lot of my favorite artists have and something I want to capture in my music too. I love exaggeration and dramatics, because that’s how I experience the world, and through my lyrics and new sound, I want others to see it that way too.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So the Los Angeles public transportation system is pretty whack, but I kinda love it and use it all the time. I’d use the metro and take my friends to a few of my favorite museums around the city, which, in reality, are the big ones that everyone goes to (The Broad, MOCA, LACMA, nothing unique here). After that, I’d probably take them bar hopping on Ventura Boulevard. Some of my most formative years were spent doing exactly that and for the sheer sake of nostalgia, I can’t wait to force my friends to do the same thing once the world opens up again, The best thing about growing up in Los Angeles is the people who come and go from the city. They’re the ones who make every hang out and location as iconic and special as it is, so as long as the city provides its typical dose of eccentric folks, any night can be magic. Food-wise, it’s essential to eat at Salsa and Beer in North Hollywood and get tacos from Guisados. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe infinite shoutouts to my whole family. They’ve been my biggest fans and support through every single twist and turn my career and artistry has taken. They love and accept me wholly which, I think, is literally the greatest thing life has to offer. I’m a lucky girl, for sure.
All photos shot by Paula Neves