Posted On 30 Sep 2014
Tag: Annual Staglin Music Festival, Bourgeois-Tagg, Bradley Cooper, Brent Bourgeois, Calipopicana, Carnegie Hall, Concrete Blonde, David Gray, Dolly Parton, Earle Mankey, ELTON JOHN, Hotel Cafe, House of Blues, Jeff Foskett, John "Fin" Finseth, John Ferriter, Kylie Hughes, Lindsay Lohan, Maliblues, Malibu, Michael W. Smith, Parent Trap, Room 5 Lounge, Staglin Winery, The Beach Boys, The Pop, The Runaways, The Tearaways, Viper Room, West Hollywood
From the beaches of Malibu come the singer-songwriter Kylie Hughes. Her Calipopicana album will be released on October 13th. Her fresh, yet retro-style mixed with tasty styled pop melodies and a little country and soulful Americana sound, inspired the and title track name – “Calipopicana”.
On Wednesday, September 25th, Ms. Kylie performed at the West Hollywood venue, Room 5 Lounge to an eager crowd. This intimate space proved to be the perfect space for her music. She played several songs that are on her album as well as a few newer tracks too.
To learn more about this talented songstress, check out the following interview with her:
Can you remember the first moment that you decided you wanted to be a performer?
I don’t remember a definitive moment when I knew that I wanted to be a “performer”. However, the feeling I get every time I finish playing a brand new song I’ve written for a friend and the feelings I have right after a show is so fulfilling… I want to do it over and over again.
HAHA, where did you find that fact?? Well, being well versed in marine biology is obviously something I take a lot of pride in and always will, since I am a beach girl. But I wouldn’t say I’m a Pop Star. I feel like I am an Artist and a songwriter with something to say in my songs.
You began writing songs at age 13. How has your songwriting inspiration changed over the years?
It has changed so drastically that I can barely even listen to my old material. We are each our hardest critics and I know that with time and practice and lots and lots of writing; I have improved exponentially. But sometimes you have to write a couple bad songs and a couple good songs to get one great song.
Have there been any surprises about the music industry since you have been in it?
It has been surprising to find how small the music industry is. Meaning, everyone knows each other. I have played/written with musicians that go on tour with a lot of successful artists and then they will come gig with me on a week night. Everyone is really accessible and amazingly talented and creative.
Calipopicana is the blend of three different types of music that I have trademarked. California, Pop and Americana. It’s really easy to fall into one column and stay in a box but as an Artist I like to never put myself in a box. So this genre is the perfect umbrella for me to be creative and different.
What was it like working with your producer, Earle Mankey? He’s worked with some major acts like The Pop, The Runaways and Concrete Blonde and his engineering credits include Elton John, David Gray and The Beach Boys! How did this relationship with him come about?
Well the whole thing came about very fast. I met my (soon to be) manager on a Monday and was in Earle’s Studio the following Wednesday. I walked into the engineering room with my guitar expecting a more casual ‘nice to meet you, I play song or two, kumbaya afternoon’ but instead I was thrown into a recording booth with my guitar while 4 men I didn’t know sat in the control room and told me to play whatever I’ve got. I played for over an hour with all my original material. What I didn’t know was that one of those guys was Jeff Foskett, who sings and plays with the Beach Boys. And Earle Mankey has become one of my favorite people. He has gray hair and brings me tea, so I call him “Earle Grey”. Clever, I know.
And what about your co-writers on your album- John Ferriter, John “Fin” Finseth of the famed Cali rock band The Tearaways, and Brent Bourgeois, co-founder of the veteran rock band Bourgeois-Tagg? How did the chemistry flow between you all?
Working with Brent Bourgeois was a game changer for me. We wrote together for a whole summer that really took my writing to a new maturity that gave me new ease and confidence. Same goes with writing with John and Fin. When you are collaborating with someone brand new or you have known for a long time, you can’t be afraid to express even your crazy, dumb or genius ideas. Even if you’re talking crazy, you might spark an idea in your writing partner. It’s always fun when that spark is there immediately though. It makes it a smoother day, haha.
What are you favorite songs to perform?
My Own? Just kidding, but seriously… I obviously connect with each of my songs because I always put a little piece of me in them that’s autobiographical. But it really depends on the day. If I am pissed off, then I like to sing one of my more edgy songs. If I’m in a lovey mood and Bradley Cooper is in the audience, then I’d prefer to sing a love song.
Living or dead, who would you love to work with and why?
Dolly Parton. Hands down. She is an amazing songwriter and I believe, a lovely person. I don’t think I even have to say why. She’s a legend.
Who have you already worked with or shared a stage with that has left a lasting impression on you? Who have you really learned a lot from in the industry?
I shared the Carnegie Hall stage with Michael W. Smith, or rather, he shared it with me.
Although we are in different genres, music has no borders and to be able to exist in a moment with him that could never be repeated or compared, I am humbled that he would even want to share that with me. I was singing in a choir and was pulled up center stage for a duet. It was insane. He is truly a generous and selfless man who has had an incredible career in the music industry.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands have been inspiring your through the years? Any newcomers that you are currently enjoying?
I have been exposed to lots of different kinds of music and more so at an older age, than when I was younger. My music library doesn’t exclude anyone, haha. I have everything from hip-hop to blue grass to rock to top 40. Actually I take that back, I have no opera. Being an ex-music/vocalist student, I can’t deal with opera.
You’ve performed at many of the famous LA venues, like Viper Room, Hotel Café, House of Blues. What has been a favorite venue and crowd?
Hotel Café is always a good experience. They have great sound! It’s a great venue to go to as an Artist AND as a listener. One time they even let me in without my i.d.! Which is saying a lot since I look like I’m 16. Luckily I think they recognized me from when I had played there before.
What was it like opening for Jewel recently in Napa at the 20th Annual Staglin Music Festival for Brain and Mental Health?
It’s what I like to call “my weekend of 90’s nostalgia”. I performed at the Staglin Winery, which is the house where they filmed the Parent Trap. Oh My Lindsay Lohan, my inner tween was dying. AND then I go and meet Jewel, another 90s icon. It was almost too much. I loved it.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with you (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
Well, in the studio, Jeff Foskett walked out of the engineering room on that first visit aka trial by fire… and gave me an odd compliment. He said, “I was surprised because you sang on key that entire time”… and I was shocked and kind of confused so I replied, “Isn’t that required..?”. We laughed.
When you aren’t writing new material or performing, what do you like to do for fun? I imagine fun beach stuff in Malibu?
I always like to have two bags packed. One that is ready to go for little weekend trips/adventures and the other that’s from the weekend before full of dirty laundry. It feels good to be on the go and changing up my scenery.
I would like it if you took the lyrics with you. Whether that’s because the words are catchy and got stuck in your head or, because they have become personal to you. Connecting you to a memory, another person or even me!