‘Finding your inner voice’: In conversation with Brighton-based musician Kymara

‘It’s the whole journey that makes it interesting’

Whilst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought chaos and a constant sense of dread into most people’s lives, one positive to come out of the lockdown is the newfound free time waiting to be filled by creative activities and newly discovered hobbies. Some found a new appreciation for animals, others celebrated a lonely birthday, and absolutely everyone wondered what life would be like at Sussex after the pandemic had passed.

We spoke to Brighton-based up and coming musician Kymara about her new single Unconscious Happiness and how the pandemic affected her creativity.

‘My style is a combination of things’

When chatting to The Sussex Tab, Kymara described her style of music and said: “I would say that it’s a combination of soul, blues, R&B, and hip-hop: they’re the best.” She continued to explain she was heavily influenced by her childhood and going to concerts with her mum. She told The Sussex Tab: “Becoming a musician or a singer was never really my dream or goal, so yeah I grew up with a lot of that music and I went to a lot of concerts with my mum, and I was always like ‘yeah this is nice, but it’s not what I want to do’. I wasn’t really analysing or focusing on who the artist was, or what the songs were about – I was just enjoying it.”

‘Going for auditions is where it all started’

Kymara was never certain in what she wanted to pursue, career wise. She explained:”Well I did musical theatre in Amsterdam: I went to high school during the week, then on the weekends I went to Amsterdam and danced and did musical theatre – but it wasn’t really my thing, I didn’t really like it.

“Then when I was 18, I was like ‘what am I going to do?’ I had no idea, so I started travelling in Australia and South East Asia for a year. When I came back I had a conversation with a good friend of my mum, and he was like ‘what do you want to do?’ I still had no idea – but then he said ‘you really like music, maybe you should just try to do some auditions in The Netherlands’ and that’s where it all started.”

Photo credits to Jade Hilton

‘My mum always told me to do what made me happy’

Kymara grew up in a musical household, she told The Sussex Tab. Her father was a musician who loved making music but he passed away when she was seven. She continued: “My mum always told me to do what made me happy and she would support that, but she was also very strict. She would say ‘OK Kymara, if this is really your goal and your dream then you have to work a bit harder because there are so many people who are talented and want to do the same thing’. She lives in The Netherlands, but she’s been to loads of my gigs here in Brighton: she loves it. She takes me to all the gigs, all the concerts – we go to Love Supreme Festival every year, it’s really cute.”

‘I released my first single at 25’

Kymara’s first single, You, was released when she was 25. She spoke more about her second and latest release – Unconscious Happiness. She said: “It’s been harder because I had loads of gigs planned. I really like doing gigs and I feel like that’s the best way of promoting your music, it’s a way for people to get to know you and your music so it’s definitely been more difficult. But I’ve got some lovely messages that have been quite personal because this one is more of a personal song. The reaction has been a bit less than You, but still great.”

“The first gig back will feel so good. And also for me, these are the first songs I’ve ever written so I’m learning all the time. I’m not expecting to be like bam, famous. It’s the whole journey that makes it interesting.”

‘For me, D’Angelo is a big inspiration’

When asked who else is a musical influence, Kymara was sure of her answer. She said: “For me, it’s just D’Angelo. I’ve seen him twice in Amsterdam with my mum. He’s just so talented, and every show is different – that’s what I love about his music and also music by others, like Prince. It’s not like ‘ok we have a show, everything is going to be exactly the same’ – because they’re such good musicians they can just play and do whatever they want to do and share the feeling or emotion that they’re feeling that night. That’s my goal, they’re my inspirations.”

Photo credits to Nuffhungry

‘When I’m by myself and there’s not a lot of distractions, I can write’

During lockdown, Kymara travelled home to The Netherlands to visit friends and family. She said: “When I was in The Netherlands, I was expecting to be very creative and healthy. But I hadn’t seen my good friends in four months so I’ve just been socialising a lot and I had a great time. Now that I’ve been back for two weeks, I’ve been so creative. It’s probably when I’m by myself and there’s not a lot of distractions that I can focus and I can write and get all these ideas out. I’m here now so I need to make a plan – what am I going to do in a couple of weeks, in a couple of months? Am I going to release? Now I’m switched on again.”

‘It’s really important to find your inner self’

When asked about advice she would give to students or young people trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry, Kymara said that for her “it’s just trying to find your voice, and to not be afraid of your own voice. Just say what you think and say what you feel, most of the time there will be other people thinking the same way and then you can connect with those people and that’s just a magical thing.”

Most importantly, “it’s really important to find your inner self, and by that you will find a group of individuals who all have their own voice and are beautiful in their own way. When you’re at uni that’s so important, to be able to establish a community.”

Future gigs and new music

Kymara sounded ecstatic to get back to into live performing, encouraging all readers to come to her next gig: “I have a gig at Komedia planned for the 5th of November, hopefully, fingers crossed. Bring all your friends! I’ve also got gigs planned in London, and hopefully Bristol too. I love the combination of travelling and doing gigs, it sounds perfect for me.”

Both Kymara’s singles can be found on Spotify and other streaming services, and more information about upcoming live shows can be found on her Facebook.