Pop artist Kayla Dillon has been honing her craft for almost 20 years. She has worked everywhere from Minnesota, to Tennessee, to her home state of New Jersey. She has toured with Australian rock artist Turk Tresize, American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo, had her own one-man show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and was the star of the original rock opera, Day After Day. She was diagnosed with Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence in 2010, a very rare inner ear disease caused by a thinning bone within the ear’s semicircular canal. Her debut EP Skeletons was released in 2017; a short album filled to the brim with her songwriting skills and vocal talent. Oh, and did I mention that she is only 24 years old? Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Brick, NJ. How long have you been an active musician and how did you get started?
I’ve been performing since I was 6 years old. I got my start in musical theater. When I was 18, I started seriously writing my own music and have been going at it hard ever since. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
My music is pop with a dark twist. There are dreamy, ambient elements in the music production, but an overall edginess in my lyrics. I was inspired by artists like Zayn, Taylor Swift, Sia and Fiona Apple. What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
I released my debut (three-song) EP, Skeletons, on Dec. 5. The music tells the story of three crucial moments of my life. These songs represent the “skeletons in my closet.” The secrets, the mistakes and the emotional baggage that comes with toxic relationships, both romantic and non-romantic. It’s about facing these skeletons through self-reflection and eventually accepting and forgiving yourself. What is your writing and recording process like?
My writing process is always different for each song. However, two of the songs on my EP — “Under Rocks” and “Indecisive” — I wrote about four to five years ago. I sat with the demo versions for years trying to find the right producer for them. Then I met my producer, Ron Haney in early 2016 and we co-wrote the main track, “Skeletons” together.
After working together on “Skeletons,” I played Ron the other two songs and we decided to work on those as well. We completely redid them to fit my new sound. Most of the production was done at Ron’s home studio and the main vocals were recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park. What are current projects you are working on?
I finished recording Skeletons about a year ago. Within the last year or so, I completed a couple of demos that I am eager to finalize. The next release will be a single. But first, I’m going to let Skeletons have the time I feel it deserves. What is your favorite memory as a musician?
In summer of 2015 I toured the U.S. with a good friend of mine, Australian rock artist, Turk Tresize. My sister and I were backing vocalists and traveled with a band of eight Aussies. The entire tour was a something I could never forget. It was a great learning experience. What are your goals for the future as a musician?
My goal as a musician is to, most importantly, inspire my audience with my songs. Everything I write about comes from a personal experience. Whether it’s about anxiety and panic attacks, a bad relationship, or having self-esteem issues, anyone going through
anything like that will benefit because they’ll know they’re not alone. Other goals would be to increase my fanbase, play a bunch of shows at some amazing venues, and collaborate with artists that inspire me. What are your plans for the rest of 2017? 2018?
For 2018, I’ll be touring and bringing my music/live show around the East Coast. Where can readers find your music?
You can find my music on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal and anywhere else you can stream music. If you love music videos, you can also watch my debut music video for “Skeletons” on my VEVO channel (KaylaDillonVevo).