South African, Sydney-based musician Kymie is an anomaly for the Western Sydney music scene—an R&B singer with a smooth, soulful voice—an area predominantly known for its rap and hip-hop artists. But the area’s influence has oozed into her sound, particularly through collaborations with artists like Kwame. Her dynamic, trap-influenced music brings to mind artists like Tkay Maidza, Tinashe, and Princess Nokia, and her latest offering, ‘Can’t Relate’ is a sassy slice of beat-driven R&B.
The last two years have been productive for Kymie—in 2018 she supported Ja Rule on his Australian tour, and more recently she brought her captivating live set to Brisbane’s Bigsound festival, but we get the feeling this is only the beginning for her. We caught up with Kymie to chat about her new single, the first album she spent her own coin on, and to get a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into the music video for her latest single.
Hi Kymie! When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Hey Cait, how are you? So at 14 I had my first stage experience with my school jazz band, and it was that very moment the fire ignited and I realised I wanted to pursue a career in this!! Soon after, I started to develop the vision and work on my own sound.
Growing up, what type of music did you listen to? Do you remember the first album you purchased with your own money?
Well growing up in a South African household, music was always playing around the house, so I listened to whatever my parents were into! I grew up on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, and many more. Basically funk, motown, jazz and R&B! The first album I ever bought with my own money was Michael Jackson’s Invincible—I was OBSESSED with MJ!
You released your latest single ‘Can’t Relate’ and the accompanying music video last month. What was the process of putting the video together like?
I wanted the video to contrast my world which, at the time, was super male dominated—not a bad thing but I was keen to bring on the girl power! The producer of my music video Nadia Roosens connected me with the music video director, Connor O’Connor and we started building from there—we brought onboard some incredible extras to emulate those strong girl gang vibes. Our DP Matt Toll was legendary and we were so excited to have him on board. The video was a big collaborative project and took a couple months of planning. Seeing the end product was one of my proudest moments thus far and I’m excited to create more exciting videos and content!
You served some serious looks at your recent Bigsound shows. Who inspires you style and beauty wise?
Thank you so much!! We put a lot of work into those looks haha. Where do I start!? I gather inspiration from every aspect of life—my surroundings and my music. If you were to see my mood boards you’d see a lot of Jada, Aaliyah and Bad Gal RiRi! My next phase will incorporate some more modern vibes channeling Doja Cat, Jorja Smith, and Kehlani. Bigsound was a MOOD—such a big week and we wanted to bring the most. I had an incredible team around me researching and sourcing looks specific to my brand. I worked closely with my stylist Nadia Roosens and my creative director Connor O’Connor have helped take my branding to the NEXT level! Connor connected me with the amazing Jools Purchase who nailed our hair brief and Sarah Smith who is such a talented makeup artist—I was so lucky to have collabed with such awesome creatives. It’s all about the people you surround yourself with and keeping a strong creative energy.
What’s your experience of the Sydney music scene been like?
It’s exciting to be in the midst of such an emerging scene—there’s so much happening at the moment. I believe there is a lot of work to be done and it’s important we continue to push to make that change happen! I feel like it’s a good time to be a Sydney artist!
I’m a Libra and I know you’re also a Libra—do you consider yourself a textbook Libra? Are you looking forward to Libra season?
The joys of being a Libra!! I’m a day-to-day case honestly, one thing about me that is textbook, is that im hella indecisive, it drives me crazy!!! My rising sign is Sagittarius and I tend to lean to that side quite a bit. I’m currently very invested in the app called The Pattern and it’s got me feeling a type of way about Libra season so I will have to wait and see…
What have you been listening to/watching/reading lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of females, right now I’m listening to Dreezy and Megan Thee Stallion. Best believe I’ve been watching Top Boy, its pure madness! I’m excited to start reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck lol.
What’s up next for you?
Whats next for me is another release and music video for the year and this one is for the ladies oh and my hot boys too, this one is perfect for the summer! I’m excited for what’s to come!!!
For more on Kymie follow her here.