Kristyna Myles: Singer-Songwriter
Kristyna Myles is no stranger to the big stage and a songstress whose currency is rapidly increasing, thanks to the success of two highly acclaimed singles, prior to the release of her debut album Pinch Me Quick, recorded with Grammy award winning producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paolo Nutini).
Discovered playing the streets of Manchester, Kristyna went on to win BBC Radio 5 Live’s Busker of the Year competition and artists she has opened for include: Will Young, Lisa Stansfield, The Wanted, Mick Hucknall, Nile Rogers and Chic. Other career highlights include appearing live at SXSW in the US and touring Europe with Chris De Burgh.
(Taken from Official website…for more, visit her website)
Jessica Gilbert: Kristyna, great to have you back in TSM for a follow-up, and hear all about the exciting things you’ve been up to since we last talked.
Kristyna Myles: Hi Jessica, thanks so much for having me back! I can’t believe it’s been two years since we last chatted! I’ve been blessed with some fantastic experiences since then and have also learned some valuable lessons.
Jessica Gilbert: Initially, I know you were signed on a major label, but became Indie. Nowadays, I think that being on a major record label isn’t always the best, as bigger doesn’t always mean better. What made you decide to just go Indie?
Kristyna Myles: I definitely agree with you there. For some people a major label is the way forward but for me it wasn’t meant to be. I’m very grateful for the opportunity DECCA gave me and some incredible doors opened because of that – I got to record my dream album with my band and Grammy award winning producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paolo Nutini), and met some amazing people who I wouldn’t have necessarily met otherwise, but we parted company in 2013; they hadn’t released the album in the three-year period since they signed me and I knew I needed to progress.
Jessica Gilbert: It’s really wonderful that your long-awaited debut album Pinch Me Quick is out now! Tell us about it and the inspiration behind the title.
Kristyna Myles: Thank you! I’m so happy to have Pinch Me Quick out! I started my own label and released it in March this year. I really felt I owed it to my band, to Ken and to all my amazing supporters to get the album out. The album spans a ten year period of writing, as it’s my first album and some tracks that made it on had been written since I was sixteen! They’re all about life lessons I’ve learned or observed from friends and family. ‘Pinch Me Quick’ is a line from one of the songs “Wouldn’t Change A Thing,” which I wrote with a fantastic American writer Stefan Litrownik when I was in L.A. It’s all about how you wouldn’t change someone, flaws and all, they’re simply perfect the way they are. I thought the title would also reflect how I was feeling about the release of my album – I had to pinch myself, I was finally able to get it out there! Also there are those ‘pinch me quick’ moments on the album with songs like “Sorrow” and “Betrayal,” which are the moments in life that take your breath away in a bad sense, and on the flip side songs like “Stay With Me,” which is about the realization you just couldn’t be happier than when you’re chilling with your loved one.
Jessica Gilbert: Your song “The Paris Match” by the song’s writer Paul Weller has been described as “absolutely stunning.” It is a really beautiful version that is unique and I love it! Generally, I know that you record your own original songs, so what is it about this particular song that you love? Any story behind the song
Kristyna Myles: Thanks so much! I’m so glad you like my version. I was over the moon when I saw the text Paul Weller had written when he’d heard my re-working of his song and I’ve had so much positive feedback from Style Council fans too. Yeah, you’re totally right, this is the first cover I’ve recorded. I always feel I should perform songs I’ve had a key involvement in, particularly in the writing process, whether that’s co-writing or writing by myself as I need to express the sentiment in the song. I’m yet to hone my acting skills, so I need to perform subject matters I’ve experienced, or have great knowledge in; I think people can tell immediately if you’re being fake in a performance.
I had the opportunity of working with Steve White (the drummer from The Style Council and Paul Weller’s drummer). I was a guest singer on his tour of thirty years in the industry. We performed tracks he had been involved in over the years and one song he asked me to sing was “The Paris Match.” I thought it was a stunning song with a beautifully, haunting melody along with a very unusual chord progression. I loved it! It was about Weller’s break up with a previous band member. I’ve experienced heart ache and knew I could tap into that when performing. Our performance of “The Paris Match” on tour had such a great response that Steve’s fans suggested I release our version as a single. I jumped at the chance and it was the first song to be released on my label. I received so many positive responses on social media, it was well worth it! Plus it was a new recording to add to the album I recorded with Ken.
Kristyna Myles: I recorded a new song called “Heaven Knows,” which I wrote with my friend, Jess Cook for an upcoming program for BBC 1 Songs Of Praise. Do you get any BBC programs in The States? It’ll be aired August 24th on BBC 1 over here in the UK. It’s a song that means a lot to me because of my journey. I felt like all my Christmas’ had come at once when I signed to DECCA, only to feel really super low when we parted company. I thought my value was in being a signed artist, I know now that’s not where my value is! This song is saying, although we don’t necessarily know which way our path is going in life and sometimes a few diversion signs pop up, Heaven does and I believe God has a plan and purpose for everyone; plans to give us hope and a future.
Jessica Gilbert: What do you love the most about performing?
Kristyna Myles: Wow, that’s a toughie! The best aspect is the response from the audience when a song has touched them or helped them in any way. I’ve been blessed that people have shared their journeys with me and that particular songs have helped them through tough times. “I’m not going back” has been one of those songs that people have taken on for themselves as their anthem – they’re not going back to a place in their life that was stopping them from fulfilling their full potential. That’s why I write songs and perform to get that connection, and the hope that I can help people with my music.
Jessica Gilbert: You’re an Ambassador for the homeless charity Centrepoint. Tell us a bit about it. When and how did you get involved with it?
Kristyna Myles: Centrepoint is an incredible charity who give hope and a future to young homeless people. There are 80,000 young people in the UK alone who experience homelessness every year. Being homeless is sometimes a reality because of making one wrong decision or not having the support from family or friends. I was invited to perform at the Centrepoint sleep-out, where thousands of people raise money to sleep rough on the streets of London and to make everyone aware that this is the harsh reality for many young people. Centrepoint provides incredible support, the young people are not only given a roof over their heads, but they’re given counseling, guidance and the opportunity of taking their school exams. A percent of my single sales from “The Paris Match” went to the cause, and I also went busking around the UK with my guitarist and good friend Ben Williams.
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share with all our TSM readers? And where can people connect and find out more about you?
Kristyna Myles: I’ll soon be starting a pledge campaign to fund my second album. If you’d like to get involved please sign up to my newsletter at www.kristynamyles.com, and I’ll let you know about exclusive pledges and when the album will be out! I’m also on Twitter – www.twitter.com/kristynamyles and www.facebook.com/kristynamylesofficial, and I’d love to hear from you.
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks so much for doing this interview and wish you success with all that you do in the future.
Kristyna Myles: An absolute pleasure Jessica, thanks so much for asking me. Look forward to catching up soon, hopefully a bit sooner next time!