Interview with Canadian musician, singer-songwriter talented Carol Kay about what music means to her, and where she gets her influence from

Growing up in an enormous family in Canada with lots of music and creativity, Carol was surrounded with music since childhood. Music has always been a part of her life.  With her improv musical skills and technical proficiency Carol Kay has quickly grabbed the attention of many music enthusiasts.

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Carol Kay

Interview with Canadian musician Carol Kay

ML&L - First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Carol - I’m an acoustic singer-songwriter and composer. I’m kind of obsessed with creativity and can’t really sit still for more than 10 minutes without trying to learn something new. When I’m not making music I’m trying to improve my photography, videography, woodworking, or cooking!

ML&L - How did you get into music in the first place?

Carol - My father is one of the great heroes in the story of my life. He is a master musician, entrepreneur and craftsman. Growing up, there was never an evening that I can recall where he wasn’t sitting in the family room playing and singing. Music was a part of our home very early on. His passion for music, creativity and life in general inspired the same things in me. I guess you could say, I closely followed his footsteps. We’re very much alike!

ML&L - Do you remember the first cover that you posted to YouTube?

Carol - Yes! Back in high school I used to lock myself in my room, record my voice on top of karaoke tracks that I found on the internet, and then post them to YouTube. I wasn’t really a shy person, overall…but for some reason, I was absolutely mortified at the thought of someone finding out about these videos. So, for a very long time, it was my little secret.

ML&L - What gave you the idea to start doing that? 

Carol - I find that I have a tendency to obsess over things. When I do, I like to pick it apart until I feel like I finally understand it. Covering my favorite songs allowed me to explore my curiosity of the songs I loved. Listening to a song allows the listener to appreciate it. But, learning to play that song on an instrument, learn the lyrics, memorize it, and then add your own expression to it adds a whole new dimension to the experience. You get to jump inside the artists’ brain. That’s unbelievably fascinating to me.

Elton John - Daniel (Acoustic Cover)

Carol Kay started uploading covers song music videos on her YouTube Channel. Moving to California, which is commonly associated with the film, music, and arts industries, gave her more inspiration and opportunities.

ML&L - You sing lots of cover songs on your videos, especially 1970s California Sounds, how you choose your playlist?

Carol - I’ve gone through many musical phases in my life. My closest friends and family will laugh when they recall all of them. Especially, the country music phase. It’s just...I’m very extreme. I can’t just ‘like’ something without going all in. So, when my cousin introduced me to James Taylor, I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours listening and repeating all of his music, (~40 years worth of incredible stuff!). From there, I discovered Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel and all of the other amazing artists that were part of the 1970s Californian singer-songwriter ‘movement’. For several years, it was all I listened to. And, at times I felt like I was an alien from another era because I literally had no clue what was playing on the radio.

ML&L - Of all your videos, which one is your personal favorite, the one that you’re most proud of?

Carol - I’m honestly proud of all of them, simply because of how much effort I’ve put into completing them. However, I’m most proud of the videos I managed to finish when all of life’s circumstances were against me. For example, (self) shooting two videos, one of which was to be mixed, mastered, edited and published the next day, all before having to catch a flight in less than 7 hours. Whew. 

ML&L - Do you find it difficult to transition from performing cover songs to performing your own original tunes?

Carol - I haven’t officially released any new original material just yet. But, I’m hoping to very very soon. Once I do, I can’t imagine it will be difficult. I’m really looking forward to it.

Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You (Acoustic Cover)

ML&L - You came from Canada. How it has influenced you as an artist now?

Carol - I love Canada. It’s my homeland! I live in the US now, but Canada has influenced pretty much everything about who I am today. How? Growing up in an enormous family has a lot to do with that.

ML&L - What are your biggest dreams for your career?

Carol - I’m living my biggest dreams, honestly. I love what I do and I just want to continue.

ML&L - How do you think San Francisco, where you based now, as affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?

Carol - As much as I love Canada, there is no place on the planet (in my opinion) as beautiful as California. As an artist, first and foremost, being able to drive 15 minutes to the ocean, mountaintop, 90 degree incline street, and have access to all four seasons in one day, is incredibly inspiring. I’ve never really cared much for photography until I moved here, and felt morally obligated to photograph this incredible place. San Francisco is quite over populated, but somehow, constantly being surrounded by picturesque landscapes makes me feel the most free that I’ve ever felt.

California Dreaming - Cover by Carol Kay

ML&L - What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Carol - Apologies for being profane here…but the motto I like to live by is simply, "F*** It”. Stop overthinking everything, and just do you. Life is literally a game and nothing really matters. We overthink stupid things way too much and it often interferes with just doing whatever it is you set out to do. And that is a major waste of time…So I say “f*** it”. 

ML&L - What’s your advice for people who want to start showcasing their talent through social media platform like yourself?

Carol - Your art is a business. Treat it as one. You can be romantic about your passion for art, but not about your career. That means, stop overthinking releasing music. Stop taking 1 year to release a song. Post often, post quick, fail fast. If you’re just starting out, you do not need to hire people to do anything for you (i.e., production, music video, etc). If you have access to the internet, you can literally learn and do everything yourself. By doing this, you end up learning the most about who you are as an artist much faster because you’re not constrained by the expense of hiring a pro. Aka, doing more = learning more. If you’re an artist and you want to chat more about this, please email me.

ML&L - Do you want continue to create cover videos  or do you want  more focused on your original material?

Carol - I love recording cover videos. I’ve learned and grown so much as a musician by doing these videos. I definitely plan on continuing. I’d like to figure out a balance though, where I have time to focus a bit more on original material. All in time!

ML&L - Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us? 

Carol - I’m a total hobby-geek. I love cooking, photography, videography, woodworking and learning.

If You Leave Me Now Cover by Carol Kay

A gifted person is good at everything.Talented Canadian girl Carol Kay besides of singing, also talented in photography, woodworking and cooking.

ML&L - What you’re up to at the moment?

Carol - So much! Lots of juggling, but the main projects consist of keeping up with the weekly covers, upcoming acoustic album, and upcoming original music. The in-between stuff is studying online marketing, blogging, managing social media stuff, filming, editing my videos and finding ways to continue growing online. 

ML&L - Any last words?

Carol - Thank you to May.Life & Live for reaching out to do this interview. I really you finding me, and enjoying my music enough to ask me to do this. I’m honored. Cheers!

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