It’s not often that you come across an artist that is as well versed at traversing the realms of contemporary neo-soul music as Brighton’s Kymara.
Hailing originally from Driebergen in The Netherlands, Kymara has always stylistically harnessed hybrid blends of thesoft organic soul sounds she’s collected over years spent traveling into new sonic territories, to viscerally deconstruct herplight as a modern woman through music. With the arrival of the latest installment in her ever-expanding musicalodyssey, namely her debut EP New Road, the rising songstress has once again captured the full spectrum of neo-soulmusic and more across five deeply affecting tracks. In doing so, reinvigorating the genre’s best elements to tell unique personal stories that don’t always end the way that listeners would expect.
In the run up to the EP’s release on June 3rd, Kymara was home touring The Netherlands and revealed to us about her new musical chapter and further to become better acquainted with thewomen behind the music, and the things which move her to continue on her creative journey.
Growing up on the small village of Driebergen, her childhood was warm whenever she thought about it. With a loving and positive experience growing up with her parents and two brothers, Kymara always noticed that “There was a constant presence of music around the house because my mum and dad were really into music, food andeverything in between.” When Kymara was around 12 to 13-years-old, she began taking classical singing lessons and eventually got herself into musical theatre. “I think, because of the way I grew up there was always music around me. In my household, the passion that my mum and dad shared would often fall into the realm of music.” She says. Although it did take her a while to find her voice throughout her teenage years, it had only been within the last three years where she felt like things had finally shifted into place. As she strives with her band and explores new avenues with her music, she feels like it’s been a lifelong progression within her journey.
When it comes to her latest EP New Road, it was actually born out of some frustrations that the band and herself had from not being able to perform during lockdown. As they were stuck inside and not being able to rehearse together, they felt the urge to create rather than stop altogether. “So, I said to the band, “why don’t we create an EP?” and luckily they were all down. I think that was the catalyst for theproject; us all not wanting to stand still.”
With New Road marking a new step in her career where she can have a better understanding of music as a whole, Kymara feels like there has been a clear progression in the proficiency for constructing sounds that speak to her experiences. As she states that all her music that she’s released before has been her way of figuring out how to write alongside a live band, she believes that she’s grown in her understanding of how to make good music, too. When asked about how she wants people to feel when listening to New Road, Kymara explains that only wants people to connect with her stories wherever it hits them rather than her music have any influence over their feelings.
With her idiosyncrasies within her work coming from her openness that she has as an artist when sharing stories, Kymara believes that her songwriting allows her to experiment with unexpected endings and resolutions. "I think my musical superpower would be my transparency."
As she draws influences right now from her band, she tells us how each of her band members are so incredibly unique but also just great people overall. Outside of the band however, Kymara loves to explore gospel music as well as PJ Morton and Kirk Franklin, mentioning his most recent NPR Tiny Desk Concert which she thought was amazing. The creative process around New Road started with Kymara trying to write with a free-spirit and with constraints whether that be physical or emotional. "It often feels like I'm collecting snippets of the thoughts I'm having about the things I'm going through when I'm creating a song." Once she has enough of these thoughts, she then sits down to complete the writing process and sings verses over and over until a melody shapes itself organically, alongside the band.
As Kymara is a woman who displays a free spirit as well as how to navigate life as a young, modern woman, her advice to other women in their twenties would be for them to just go out and do whatever they want to. She also mentions that it's okay to feel insecure and that we all have days where we worry but that it's just part of the human experience. "Lastly, I’d say to girls everywhere that the goal is to find the things within yourself that make you feel comfortable and wonderful, and further, to make sure you give light to those things as much as you do your insecurities. Discovering new things about yourself is exciting, there’s always a new road within or without yourself to be traveled!"
Listen to New Road here!