Shaylynn Hayes interviewed maritime singer Kylie Fox about music, and her upcoming work.
What was your inspiration for “Avocado”?
There is a trending app my friend was using a while back that tracked her pregnancy through videos that would consistently compare the size of the fetus to a fruit or vegetable, which is hilarious. I was lucky to catch the screening of the video for the sixteenth week of my friend’s pregnancy, which told us her daughter had eyelashes, eyebrows and was the size of an avocado. It got me thinking about how I would feel if I was growing a person, and all the things I’d wonder about them and the relationship we’d have. It made me think about my own mom.
What inspired “Cool Feet”?
I wanted to surprise my friend with a song for her wedding! I made a list of questions and interviewed the groom. I was looking for something personal and quirky from his answers…I asked him what he missed about my friend when he was working on the fishing boat for days on end, and he responded with “her cold feet”. I thought this was pretty odd, so I set out to write a song about my friend’s feet. I played it during the speeches and her brother helped accompany it. It was pretty incredible.
What’s it like being a maritime artist?
I love being a maritime artist because a lot of the musicians in these parts know each other, and an incredible community exists, especially here in Fredericton where I’m currently living. Everyone plays in each other’s bands, knows each other’s songs, and sees each other out running errands. It’s wholesome. With the majority of music being consumed online, as long as I can be versatile and tour, I don’t think a move to a bigger city would change the outcome of my career in a way that I’d compromise my life here for. I do think we have to work harder in the maritimes to get heard elsewhere though.
Do you feel there are significant challenges in the maritimes for musicians?
The challenges would be competing for the same audience that Toronto-based or Montreal-based artists have an easier time getting in front of. The majority of Canada’s population is central, so maritime artists have to put up a lot of money to tour centrally, getting over the eight hour abyss between New Brunswick and Quebec City. I also wonder if we are expected to pose some of the stigmatized “east coast” sounds people associate us with, like kitchen party folk music, and fiddles. I’m proud of that, and to be from a part of Canada that has such a defined musical culture, but I wonder if the title “East Coast” gives audiences an inaccurate idea of what to expect from us.
Which singer/songwriters inspire you?
Locally, I’ll say Christina Martin, based in Nova Scotia. She has the most incredible hustle I’ve ever witnessed from an independent artist. She’s become a great mentor to me, and she makes great music. On a larger scale, I’m inspired by Fiona Apple, Joni Mitchell, Ani DeFranco, Alanis Morissette..gals who make weird and beautiful music, and do it with absolute depth and honesty. They don’t waste a word, and they dont waste anyone’s time. And that’s a short list of the ones I love.
What advice do you have for other singer/song-writers in the area?
Make small, achievable goals. Once you play your first show, try to play your first festival. Don’t try to get too ahead of yourself or you might get overwhelmed and impatient. Also, treat it like it’s your full time job, and then sometime soon it will be.
Where do you draw most of your inspiration?
My environment plays a huge role in my writing. I write using images, and the images inform the listener of the feelings present in the song, and can help them picture the story. All stories in my songs are experiences I, or someone close to me, has had, and what I’ve learned from them.
What song playing right now on the radio is your favourite?
WAP. Is it on the radio? Probably not… preach sisters. Locally, I’ve recently discovered Jennah Barry and have been loving her song “I See Morning”.
How has songwriting been during the pandemic? Has it been inspiring or caused setbacks?
I was doing a songwriting residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts when the lockdown struck, so I came home a didn’t pick up the guitar for a while because I was grumpy the pandemic interrupted my incredible time in Banff, and was having too much fun quarantining, making forts and doing puzzles. The biggest setback during the pandemic was actually when I broke my pinky playing catch and couldn’t play guitar for two months. That was a true bummer. I felt emotionally cooped!
When can readers expect new music?
My full length album Green is available now on all streaming platforms!
Listen to Avocado now…