HER RISE IN THE MUSIC WORLD : KARA CONNOLLY
I love hearing and learning about the stories of women stepping their authentic greatness. When we use our talent and find purpose, it’s a beautiful blend of the biggest possibility for us all. What I love about Kara’s story is that she found that connection of taking her gift and sharing it with world.
What was your inspiration to create music?
Creating music truly began as a way to process my emotions and understand what was going on within and around me. Writing something out is incredibly cathartic. For better or for worse, I feel like I'm only able to embrace the process of moving on from a situation once it's expressed in a song. Songwriting allows me to get out of my own way, tap into a wiser part of myself, and view the circumstances of my life more objectively.
You are very intentional with the words in your music. You mentioned that the songs are now about your own personal life. What was the song that most reflects who you are? What was it like to create it?
What a great question! Although I love a great melody, I do believe that words (and in this case lyrics) hold a lot of power and so I am definitely intentional with what I'm writing. Especially in any form of a pop song, you have the opportunity to get a concept stuck in someone's mind and I would rather that message be either enlightening, comforting, empowering, or something I can stand behind. My honest answer is that I think that all of the songs reflect a little piece of who I am and when you put them together you get more of the full picture. If I have to answer one song though I would say that it's my song Magic, which will *hopefully* be on my second project. It's a song that more so drops you into my headspace, my world view, and struggle with perfectionism, but ultimately is about realizing that you have to let go and let life happen in order to find the magic -- the moments we can't plan for. This current record, Life in Rear View, is more storytelling driven in the sense that I'm reflecting upon and learning from very specific moments shared with other people in my life. If I have to pick a song off this project I would go with Like I've Never Loved Somebody because, at my core, I truly am just someone who wants to love and be loved; to talk about life and all its intricacies into the wee hours of the night with someone meaningful. It was created over the course of getting vulnerable with someone, with me adding little tidbits as the relationship progressed. I liked writing that song because it felt simple and pure. Just me and a guitar, being honest with someone new.
You are very passionate about helping women find their strength and empowerment. Can you share a bit about how you bring this in through your music?
Yes! I wrote these songs as a young woman myself learning to navigate some difficult life lessons and situations in my early 20s. I had to make tough decisions and let go of some of the relationships, people, and environments that no longer served me and my growth, which was only possible through first realizing my own self-worth and that I didn't have to settle; that I was worth the career, love, and life I wanted. These themes are all found throughout the album whether it's through recounting my own experiences or writing about a friend's. You'll find that there is actually a lot of love on the record, but the romantic love I was looking for only came after I first learned to love myself and realized I didn't need to wait around for the guy who was ghosting me and what not. As young women, we are fed so many messages that we are not thin enough, smart enough, whatever enough and I hope this album empowers women (and men as well) to recognize their worth and to never settle for less than the love and respect they deserve.
If there is a woman out there reading this and scared to move forward in her own passion, what would you share with her?
I would say that, of course, it can be scary at times to move forward with anything, especially something you care so much about, but that you just have to take the first step, and then the next step, and then the next step. I try to remember to take things one day at a time because when you look at the mountain as a whole it can appear scary and like, How the heck am I ever going to climb that?!...but then once you're halfway you're like, Huh, this is really difficult, but I see the top and I think I can keep going. I think it's important to have a specific vision that you can work backwards from. If you know what you want it becomes much easier to figure out what needs to happen first to work towards it. For example, my passion is songwriting and so I decided I was going to move forward with that by making an album. Since that was the vision, I knew I would need to find a producer, revise some of the songs I'd written, come up with the sound, maybe take more vocal lessons, etc. That would then mean I would need to make a list of producers in my style, find a way to contact them, perhaps join a songwriting workshop group to work on some of the songs, make a list of other artist's songs with a vibe I connect with, etc, etc. You see what I mean. Anyway, the point of all this is that you can do it! And if you're lucky enough to have a passion and to know it, you owe it to the world to share it!
How did you get past challenges while developing your career?
I got past challenges, and still get past challenges, by surrounding myself with kind-hearted, wise, skilled people who have my best interest at heart and will be there despite it all. There will inevitably be challenges, but at least the people around you should lift you up and remind you of how capable you are. I also, similarly to what I was saying above, try my best to tackle problems as they're in front of me. It can be easy to become impatient, but I've had to remind myself that this is something l plan to be doing for the rest of my life and so everything doesn't have to happen immediately on my timeline. There will be setbacks and that's okay.
How do you find balance between all the work and commitments you have taken on?
I have to admit that it can be difficult. I think that it is important to take some time away to recharge, but I'm admittedly not the best at that. When I do so, however, I do find that I can think clearer and usually am more productive upon my return. There always seems to be an endless list of things to do so I try my best to prioritize and get things done one at a time, expecting that 50% will still be left over at the end of the day and that that's ok.
Any additional wisdom you want to share with our FEMS?
You are so capable and worthy! If you ever find yourself comparing and feel like you're not enough, please remember that nobody is you and that that is your superpower...we can trailblazer our own paths!
What’s next for you?
Promoting this first album, playing a bunch of live shows, a big summer bash/album release party and then writing and recording the next project. I have so many ideas that I'm excited to get back in the studio with!
ABOUT KARA :
Kara Connolly has it all: charisma, a commanding stage presence, an emotive voice, and that rare gift for writing songs that are simultaneously heartfelt, sincere and undeniably infectious upon first listen. Given her ability to connect with an audience, it’s no surprise that Kara sold-out the iconic Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, the very venue that Katy Perry and Sara Bareilles got their start, before ever having released a single song. And now with a full-length album on its way, Kara Connolly has the opportunity to reach an audience as universal as her songs themselves.Her debut music video for first single,Life in Rear View, has garnered over 190K views thus far and the song and its video both received high praise in a variety of popular publications such as Pop dust andPop Matters.
“My goal was to create something fun and honest that you could sing to, with hopes that after a second listen you may realize you’re singing something empowering,” she explains.What began with Kara singing,Man! I Feel Like A Woman at a summer cruise ship talent show as a young woman...of 6, led to her writing fully formed relationship songs back when the only man in her life was a stuffed animal named “Doodle Bear.” Since then, the San Diego native has continued to write what she considers "relationship songs with a twist," although she now draws from her own life.“I feel very called to empower and connect with the next generation of young women and hopefully inspire them to acknowledge their own worth and not put up with the kind of treatment that my generation and those of the past have experienced. I believe in the power of music to inspire and I hope that through humor and heart my songs can provide a new perspective for both women and men.