We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Herrin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kyle, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose to pursue a career in music because I’ve always wanted an outlet for my emotions. Before I decided to become a vocalist I would dabble in poetry and creative writing. Listening to music helped with my creativity when it came to writing. The hardest points in my life so far were when I was in middle school and high school and the only thing that helped me get through a day was music. There were never a day when I didn’t have my ear buds in listening to my favorite Alternative Rock bands or inspiring Hip Hop artists such as, Green Day, Blink-182, Cage The Elephant, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, and many other artists. Being mesmerized by the way these artists expressed themselves, I began to be inspired to do the same. When I realized I had a natural talent of expression through lyrics and song, I then realized that I would never stop creating.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is simply thinking of lyrics, structuring them into a song through writing, and singing or rapping over melodic trap influenced instrumentals.

What separates me from others in this artform is that I write from my own personal experiences of life and strive not to mimic popular artists. Another thing I do that separates me from others is harmonizing with myself during the the recording phase of the song. Taking up to ten or more vocal recordings for each chorus and/or verse in order to layer them over each other to sound like one atmospheric and harmonic voice making my voice more eye catching, or I guess technically more ear catching, for my listeners. (Wow did I just make up a new term?)

I got to where I am professionally by training myself through time and effort to sing better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Ariana Grande, or Billie Eilish (and I’m definitely not as attractive) but I had to learn to do little things like how to sing on key, improve vocal cadence, and most importantly how to not be monotone when I sing. Once I honed in these skills, I made sure to get a high quality Condenser recording microphone that didn’t disrupt my natural vocals where a phone, or ear bud microphone would. My first song was actually recorded on earbuds and although I was grateful to be able to record a song, my newer music shows a dramatic difference when it comes to a professional sound. The next step I took was to reach out to audio engineers to mix and master my vocals through effects that make my vocals more clear and pop out more. None of this was easy in the beginning. It took lots of time, failure, and motivation to keep going. I overcame these obstacles by being patient and telling myself that everything I was doing was for me and that I was not making music to compete with other artists to impress people. If I didn’t tell myself that then everyday would of felt like a failure because there will always be someone more talented than me when it comes to music and that success does not depend fully on talent. Also, instead of seeing music as work, I see it as fun and something I enjoy to make because to me there’s nothing better than turning an idea into a tangible creation.

Here are some of the lessons I learned since I began making music.

1. Take a step back when writers block hits me

I sometimes have experiences when I’m in the middle of writing a song or even before I start writing a song where I can’t think of what words or lines that I want to use. This can be really frustrating when I have a nice instrumental and want to match vocals to the melody of the beat. In the past my first instinct was to force my brain to come up with lyrics and when I couldn’t think of anything meaningful I would just write random sentences hoping it would all come together. Sometimes it worked but most of the time it lead to either lyrics that don’t make sense or simply not expressing what I needed to express in my life. This ultimately would give me the false feeling of failure, and negative self thoughts of discouragement. There’s nothing worse than thinking that you have to give up on something you’ve always dreamt of doing and it’s so silly that we all do this as humans even over the smallest things. I learned that if I take a step back or take a small break from what I was trying to write, the ideas would come to me naturally when I least expect it. If I already knew the idea of what I wanted to write but couldn’t think of how I would express it in that moment I would just give myself some time to think of how I will do so and come back to it later. Doing this gives me a solid foundation to work with whether it takes 30 minutes or even a week to build that foundation for the song. Also, if I completely forget about the idea of the song, instead of forcing myself to remember it, I just accept that it’s not worth my time and move on to the next idea. Stepping back is key.

2. Accept feedback! Especially before I release a song.

Not to get to deep or anything, but our minds can be deceiving and give of a false reality that something is great in the moment but when we look back at that thing later its actually the complete opposite and may seem horrible or not as great as you thought it was. This has happened to me many times. I’ve even sang out of key in a song, finished the song thinking it was quality, and then the next day listen to it just to realize that I have to record my vocals all over again to fix it. I’ve also recorded songs before and listened to them afterwards realizing that I should of structured the lyrics better. This is where feedback helps!!!! The best thing that helps me after I record is having friends or other artists that I trust listen to it and give their opinion. I can almost automatically know what to change in my song or future songs with feedback even when I show people that don’t make music but enjoy listening to music. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also had experiences where I’d show one person a song and they say its horrible but when I show another person they might say its amazing. That’s when I show a few more people and use my best judgement of what I should fix. At the same time I had to learn to only accept constructive criticism and avoid asking people for feedback that don’t care about my growth.

3. Not to be overwhelmed with how hard it is to be financially stable off selling music.

The music industry is very hard to get into! If you don’t have ties and/or money to promote and get your foot in the door then, unless you get lucky, it can seem impossible. Sometimes I tell myself “I’ve put in so much time and effort and people like my music so why am I not on the radio yet!?”. Thankfully I know to diminish those thoughts because I know I have to be patient but at the same time, have consistent growth. If Newtons first law of motion applies to my music career then I best not rest! (Just thought of a new song title haha) Sadly, my success in making money off my music is not an object. It’s my mindset and the way I use it to efficiently act on what I need to do to sell my music or brand. So I’ll have to rely on good ole Albert Einstein! After all he did say, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.” With that being said, instead of feeling overwhelmed and scared of failing at being financially stable off my art, I just focus on giving my energy to the growth of my music and enjoy the ride while doing so. The goal is not money and making music to me is not working for money but when I do make money off my music and it supports my life, I will be appreciative and have more time to work on art that I believe will give value to the world. The goal is not money. If I didn’t love making music I would of never started it. Instead I’d be pursuing a different career that I loved and believed would provide value to the world and fulfill my heart.

Here are some things I’d like the world to know about me.

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 29th, 1999

I moved to Southern California at the age of 7, moved to Central Florida at the age of 10, and then moved back to Southern California at the age of 17 and am now happy to call California my home at the age of 21.

I’ve had a few setbacks in my life. The biggest one was getting diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 10 and learning that there is no cure for it and that my whole life I’ll have to manage my health to stay alive and healthy. Another small setback that I have to cope with to live a happy life is my Major Depression which goes along with my addictive personality.
Luckily drug addiction does not control my life anymore but it is definitely always tempting. In Highschool I cared more about drinking and using substances instead of focusing on my grades and my future. I always wanted an escape. I ended up dropping out of high school at the age of 17 and have been struggling to find a steady job to this day because of my past mistakes. Thankfully I have learned how to live and enjoy the present moment and have been steadily becoming better, and growing to be the person I’ve always wanted to be. Some of my music is expression of when I feel the most depressed or unmotivated in life. I use music as an outlet to get it off my chest so that I don’t feel trapped. My latest album release Blissfully Drowning shows a steady progression of knowing my worth, capturing my journey, and the ups and downs that came along with it. While not all of my music is about my depression, every song I release is full of emotion. I continue to do this because I’ve had people tell me that when they listen to my songs, they relate to the emotion and that it helps them through rough times of there life. That impacted me because growing up, and to this day, when I am feeling down, listening to emotional music helps me remember that I am not the only one that can feel lost in life or overly emotional. Music helps me to keep pushing on!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in LA are San Pedro, and Venice Beach.

I used to live in San Pedro and I loved it because I used to Cycle and mountain bike around the area. The hills and incredible views were my favorite. Venice beach was also a really cool experience because of the culture, art, and creativity that surrounded the board walk.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When it comes to where I am in music and the support I’ve had to help get me here, the top person I’d like to shoutout is a producer by the name of Born Hero. Before I discovered him I felt I was all on my own musically. Although I knew that I enjoyed making music, I didn’t realize my own potential for growth.. I discovered Born Hero through YouTube. In the beginning of my creative journey through creating music I would browse YouTube for free instrumentals that I could use for my songs. Born Hero was a very common name to pop up when I searched for instrumentals related to the genre I preferred. I eventually subscribed to his channel and even made a few songs using his instrumentals. One day I got a notification on my phone saying “Born Hero is live! Listening to your music and giving feedback.” This is the first time I’ve ever seen a live music review. I joined the livestream and to my surprise began to hear a lot of underground artists that sounded very similar to my style of music. I was very nervous and hesitant to submit my music due to the fact that my music was very low quality compared to some of the other artists submissions. I overcame the fear of judgment and turned the fear into open mindedness. I submitted a song of mine and told myself that even if Born Hero or any of his viewers in the comment section said it was bad, I would take the criticism to learn what I need to change to improve my music for future songs. I was surprised when Born Hero was listening to it and said that I give him “Mac Miller Vibes.” Also, instead of bringing my hopes down and saying it was bad, he went into detail of how I can improve and what I would need to do to sound more professional. I will never forget that day because it motivated me and made me hungry for creating quality music. To this day, after improving so much, I can look back and be thankful for that experience. After continuing to come back to Born Hero’s livestreams, taking in all of his wisdom, and even joining his online community, I finally found my scene and began to grow, work with, and start new relationships with the people that I now love and can be proud to call my friends. Even after three years of knowing Born Hero, he continues to push me to do better. He was truly born a hero. Thank you for being you Borno! You deserve way more recognition for the things you do to help artists improve. I am beyond grateful and it gives me joy to be able to call you my friend! Don’t ever stop being yourself, for the world needs you.

Instagram: instagram.com/tgikofficial

Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wcblyU4Of4iWGG7l8gyTg?si=i9nqTLEmSFeU2JAChZ1ORw Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/thankgoditskyle Itunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/t-g-i-k/1440804697

Image Credits
photography credit: slickshotstein on instagram

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