Meet Switchblade-Carrying Singer/Songwriter, Kelsy Karter

Author: Mia Guevarra / Photos: Bukunmi Grace
07.20 / MB Series

Moving halfway around the world from Australia to America to pursue her acting career, singer/songwriter Kelsy Karter never knew she would end up pursuing music like the many musicians in her family. Inspired by the sounds of James Brown, The Beatles, and Bowie, Karter finds a way to take classic jazz, blues, and rock n’ roll sounds and give them her own modern soul touch. On May 18, she released her new EP titled, Bad Girl Sad Girl, which delves deeper into the person and artist she is and represents. If you haven't heard of her, remember her name, because she's only getting started. 

First off, tell us about yourself! How did your musical journey begin? Did you always want to be a singer/songwriter?
I did not, actually. I grew up acting and moved to America to pursue that. But my family members are all jazz musicians so I played instruments and was immersed in music my whole life. I guess it was just a matter of time until I realized I was meant to be a singer. Ha!

You carry a switchblade in your music videos. Is there a significance behind it?
I'm a greaser, baby.

What can you share about your EP, Bad Girl, Sad Girl?
I spent the last year in the studio figuring out what I want to say, what my true perspective is, who I am, what I represent, and how the f*ck I want to say it all out loud. There is a handful of people that have put their belief in me and invested their gifts in my project. Together, we're figuring it out. This EP is just one chapter of a very long story... A few moments I want to share as an intro into my world.

"Work harder than anyone and don't ever give up."

If you could collaborate with any artist living or deceased who would it be and why?
This is TOUGH. If I had to pick someone that's out right now, it would be Harry Styles. But of all time... James Brown or Elvis.

How would you describe your sound? Where do you draw inspiration?
I was brought up on jazz and blues and rock n' roll, so they all heavily influence my sound. But I am a modern chick and I want a 50-year career. So I love finding ways to hybrid old and new in my music. Modern soul is a good way to wrap it up in a bow. I draw inspiration from so many places. Everything I write is autobiographical. Love, pain, boys, childhood, etc... It all drives me.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?
James Brown, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bowie, and Elvis.

After school, you left Australia to pursue your dreams in America. What advice do you have for artists pursuing their dreams away from home?
Do it. GO. It will be the greatest thing you ever do. It's hard and scary and exhausting and will test you and punish you daily. But I wouldn't change it for the world. It built me into who I was meant to be. Work harder than anyone and don't ever give up. It was the greatest stupid decision I ever made.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Who knows. I'm more of a today kinda person. And today the sun is shining and I get to live my dream.

What does MISSBISH mean to you and who is your MISSBISH?
My MISSBISH is my mama. She is the strongest human being on the planet and a dreamer, like me. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

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