Last year, LA based singer-songwriter Kylie Hughes debuted her self titled album which spans genres, blending pop, country, folk, and alternative rock. Since then, she's directed her own music video for one of the songs on the album, and in her personal life, she's about to marry her perfect match! We got to chat about personal style, directing music videos, and the struggles of being a woman in the industry. Read on to learn more!
As a musician, your fashion sense plays such a big part of your persona. How would you describe your personal style?
It's really fun doing music and fashion, almost dressing to what kind of song you're singing or the type of venue you're going to be at, or dressing depending on what album or music video you're promoting. That's really fun for me ‘cause I love to change my look all the time. Mostly my style is pretty laid back. I'm a jeans, boots, tee shirt, and jacket kinda girl. But when I do get the chance to dress up, it’s fun! I like a lot of retro inspired things because I love everything high waisted. I just try to dress for my body and my color—I’m very pale! There are a couple colors I can't wear. Being a redhead too, I kind of dress for my coloring. I’m a huge fan of wearing denim on denim. I probably wear denim on denim most days of the week.
You’re getting married—how do you balance being in a long term serious relationship with touring and traveling?
Luckily, I have a partner who also understands the sporadic-ness of the schedule. He's a freelance cinematographer. Each of our weeks don't look the same so that's nice to have the freedom in our schedule to go meet each other. I'm in the perfect relationship for what i wanna do. You have take that into account when you’re dating somebody. Aside from them being wonderful and awesome and whatever, how do we want our lives to look? How do they intertwine? How do they fit?
You travel so much! What's your favorite place you've been?
I lived in Italy for a little bit in Florence. Florence is definitely my city. I like to find a classic or unique piece when I go somewhere so then when I look at it I can be like, “Oh, I got that in New York!” or “I got that in Florence,” something that's a little bit unique that you’ll never throw away.
What's a place you haven't been to that you’d like to visit?
For my honeymoon I’m going to Japan and I’m SO excited. I’ve been slowly obsessing over it for the past couple years, and when we were deciding where to go for our honeymoon, I was like, “Can we go to Japan?” So we’re going to Japan and then we’re gonna go to Thailand and I haven't been to either of those places!
What is the hardest thing about being a woman in music?
I think just...you have to get over the fact that it's so male saturated. There's men everywhere. As a guy, I feel like you walk into a recording studio, you walk into a sound check and they just assume you know what you're doing. But when you’re a girl they're like “Are you sure?” You almost have to prove yourself when you walk in, whereas I feel like some guys don't feel that. You just have to go in and you have to get used to it. It took me a while.
As a woman in the industry do you feel a responsibility to be an activist?
I've definitely felt the need. I've met with other young girl writers or up-and-coming artists I’m either gonna co-write with or just meeting up with. I try, when we talk, to tell them to follow your gut. I had an experience where I worked with a producer and I really wanted something and he kind of tried to change my mind about it. Because I was young and naive and thought, “Oh this guy knows what he’s doing!” I ended up with a batch of songs which, at the end of the day, I didn't like. They were not my ideas. Save yourself the time, the energy, and the money to do what you wanna do. At the end of the day you have no one to blame or be mad at but yourself. So I tell the girls follow your gut. Learn and adapt—and i feel like for a girl you have to be a little bit louder with your opinions.
You directed your last music video—I think thats so cool! What was it like being the director?
All my music videos I’ve done, I’ve art directed. They were all my ideas and storyline pitches. But because you're in the video so much, it's hard to be the director and be on both sides of the camera. With this one, you're looking at your budget, you're an indie artist, and you're like, “Why am I paying a director when I could literally do this myself and take the director fee and put it somewhere else?” I had such a strong vision for the "Leave It Alone" video, and my fiancé was the director of photography on it. I knew I was gonna be in 90% of this video, so the prep needed to be very, very specific. I had to trust him, trust the lighting guy, and trust the assistant director to be my eyes if I was in front of the camera. That video took probably a month and a half of prep work. Luckily me and my fiancé work together really really well and we did it as a team.
Are you gonna be directing more in the future? What about videos for other people
Yeah I would love to do that for other people and I would love to do it for myself again, but if I do it again I'm not gonna be in 90% of the video because that was really hard!
What's next for you in 2018?
I'm getting married in 16 days so I can't really see beyond April when I get back from my honeymoon. But I want to release lyric videos for all the songs on the album. I've already shot some visuals to start promoting the back half of my album. If you listen in order, it goes from pop to country to alternative rock to folk, so the back half is more mellow and acoustic. Now as I move into the back half, I'm gonna be playing with softer, natural, more feminine looks. And then I'll probably start writing the next album at the end of this year! I'm planning on spending long consecutive amounts of time in Nashville to start writing the next one.
Listen to Kylie Hughes'