Kylie Hughes Talks Her Creative Process
POParazzi: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Kylie Hughes: Currently – Elle King, Kacey Musgraves, HAIM, Lorde, LP, Shakey Graves, Goodnight Texas.
POParazzi: What’s your creative process like? Do you enjoy writing and working with others, or are your songs usually written by yourself?
Kylie Hughes: Creative process is always different but I’m always centrally involved. That way the song stays true to you. I enjoy writing by myself but have been collaborating more and more. When you find a winning formula or ideal writing partner, you usually stick with that / exhaust it until it doesn’t work anymore, [but] sometimes things just don’t click [so] there’s no need to [work with that person again.]
POParazzi: Is there anything you do to rejuvenate your creativity?
Kylie Hughes: I probably rearrange a room in my house once a week to feel like I’m in a new creative space. It always entertained my roommates…or drove them crazy!
POParazzi: When did you discover your passion for music?
Kylie Hughes: I always wrote poems and ditties when I was little that just got stuck in my head, but I also remember the first time I played something I had written for my friends. I [started] to play guitar in middle school [when I learned] the entire Spirit Room album by Michele Branch. [I] wrote my first couple of songs freshmen year of high school. Friends would also come up to me the next day and say “I’ve had that song stuck in my head all night!” That’s usually a really good sign that you’re on to something.
POParazzi: Do you remember the first song you wrote?
Kylie Hughes: YES! It’s so [moody and] embarrassing! It was called Bad News.
POParazzi: “Take Me Anywhere” and “Never Ever” are two very different songs with distinctive outlooks on love. Did real life experiences change your perspective from the time you released “Never Ever” to “Take Me Anywhere?”
Kylie Hughes: Oh, yes. The songs were written two years apart. “Never Ever” was about a really toxic relationship where [I] fe[lt] dragged along but still […] committed. “Take Me Anywhere” is about the healthiest relationship I have ever had [where we brought] the best out of one another and want[ed] to do everything together. It’s an exciting song and I wanted to show that in the music video [through] the natural ease of a road trip with two people [who] are crazy about each other and find the fun and joy in all circumstances.
POParazzi: How has your music changed and grown over the years?
Kylie Hughes: As I’ve been introduced to more music and artists, I now have all these new influences that you can hear in my songs. I think if you were to listen to every song I’ve written chronologically, you [could] probably tell what kind of music I was listening to at the time. It’s sometimes hard to find [a] unique sound because I love so many! I think the key is to not shove every song into one song.
POParazzi: What are your dreams for your career in music?
Kylie Hughes: I dream to have a long career. I know it is slow now, but I want to be doing this for a long time. I think ideally for a songwriter you want a GRAMMY or a “Number One” — something that acknowledges you on a national level. Even the little prizes along the way, [for example,] having someone come up to me after a show and say, “Thank you for playing “It Still Hurts”, that one really hit home.”
POParazzi: You’ve been doing some live shows. What’s your favorite part of performing live?
Kylie Hughes: The instantaneous feedback. I can tell by the end of the first chorus of a song if I have people’s attention and [if they are] into the music. I love that connection that I can have with a stranger, [and] the act of story telling [and being able to connect] with people on all levels of the emotional rainbow spectrum. Especially if I’m able to [lose] myself during a song. That’s a good show!