05 Oct UPGRADE YOUR INDIE WITH KiSMiT’S POP-FUNK EP, COSMIC LOVE
Ahhh. Fall. The time we seem to refresh more than any other season. Think about it. We switch up our wardrobes. (Well, hello there, plush corduroys and darker palettes.) We switch up our food. (Pumpkin spice is everywhere—whether you like it or not.) We switch up our dwellings. (Fall cleaning is more or less a requirement.) We even switch up our schedules (to prepare for shorter days and possibly even factor in schoolwork). And there are many other things we refresh in fall without even thinking about it. I’m proposing we add something—which may have been previously overlooked—to this seemingly embedded autumnal seasonal change-up: our music. (Sure, those summer songs left you feeling salty and sunkissed, but it’s time for something a little more stylish. Something to keep you at peak performance when the temp drops.)
LA-based indie-pop-funk duo KiSMiT’s music is the upgrade your ears—and your playlists—need. The group’s debut EP Cosmic Love opens the door to Carly and Baz’s kaleidoscopic world, where bright colors, pure passion, and artistic imaginings combine to deliver an unforgettable experience. (Listen while you read.)
The five-song EP (which is always in heavy rotation for me) offers up something for each brand of discerning indie fan. The glamorous title track, “Cosmic Love,” finds me dancing every time, whether I’m in my car or on a nature hike. If you listen closely to the track’s luxe lyrics, it’s not too hard to decipher that these two dynamos are *actually* IN love—but, you know, it’s the best kind of love where neither loses any piece of themselves and they both remain whole. (Super swoon.) “Take the Stairs”—another track you can totally groove to—just may be my favorite of the whole EP. The lyric, “Feel the burn deeper than any doubt, I will always find an alternate route,” keeps me hustling past the obstacles I encounter in my own artistic endeavors. “Every Shade of You” sincerely embodies the sweet surrender of deep love. (Just be careful not to sway and gaze deep into the beautiful eyes of your barista while listening.) In “Panther,” Carly tells a true story too many women know all too well. Its mighty message will empower you and inject flashes of lightning in your step. “Love’shown,” the last track, oozes attitude while raising the bar for relationships. (Don’t be surprised to find yourself singing the chorus, “Cause Love’s not said, it’s shown,”—even when you’re not listening.)
Truthfully, I could go on and an about how KiSMiT delivers a higher dosage of danceable indie, but then I might not have enough room for their own words. And that’s what this blog is all about: unadulterated feedback from the artists themselves. In this interview, you’ll learn about: KiSMiT’s refined, five-song Cosmic Love EP; how Carly and Baz first met; the incredibly fun “Cosmic Love” + warmly mellow “Every Shade of You” music videos; what Carly does every day at 3pm; how the duo developed their posh artistic image (without compromising themselves); which songs they’re currently vibin’ on; what advice Carly and Baz have for aspiring artists; why you need a glitter bar at your next party; and what’s next for KiSMiT.
The conversation from our interview is chronicled below in a pure Q & A format.
Q & A:
How did you both find each other? And, when you first met, did you both sense that something extraordinary was about to unfold?
Baz: The moment I first bumped into her while backpacking in Patagonia, I knew I found my better monkey half.
Carly: We like to say a different story every time, but the REAL story is that we met in a songwriting class at Berklee. (All of the art schools are connected in Boston, so even though I went to Emerson, I also took some classes at Berklee.) I do really stand behind that I had never really felt that way before like, Oh, he’s CUTE! Who is this dude?! It was definitely all sexual attraction. At that time, I didn’t know our meeting would totally change my path and my focus. It seemed more like a nerdy school romance.
After that first class, I went to the bookstore to get my books with one of my friends, and Baz was playing with his band out on a little patio. And I was just like, Ugh! It’s the SAME dude! Of COURSE he’s like the lead singer of this band…
Baz: Carly was walking with a mutual friend, who was already in class with us. There was only one degree of separation. I would be trying to pay attention in class, but, it didn’t take me long to notice something epic behind her eyes.
Carly: Which is pretty much still how we are. I always say that I’m an open book and he’s a guarded fence.
Was “The Giving Tree”—a single you released a couple of years ago—the very first KiSMiT track? (That is one *beautiful* song.)
Carly: We started dating right at the end of college. Baz joined a cruise ship and I was working theater. We never expected to work together or join forces in this capacity.
Baz: Yeah, artists like James Taylor, Sara Bareillis, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer were our meeting grounds for music back then.
Carly: Well, I would ask him if he knew certain songs. Then, he would play them and I would sing. I mean, it was just a fun thing initially. But then, we were like, Well, sh!t, we could *make money* doing this! Our first EP was recorded in 2015 on a cruise ship. We were playing very folky, acoustic music under our first band name, Carly & the King. We even decided to sell that EP, Love Provides the Means, when we realized people would buy a CD if we had one to sell.
Baz: And we sold many copies, with pricing up to $100, because people really just wanted to support us as artists and support the music we were making. We initially released “The Giving Tree” under Carly & the King, but then it also became the first KiSMiT single, too. We were listening to a lot of Emily King at the time, so we were hugely influenced by The Seven EP. All of our new music is always released under KiSMiT. (We do still occasionally perform as the cover band Carly & the King, but that’s all corporate and events based—not our main focus.)
What happens when you two sit down to create new music? How do you prepare yourselves and where do you find your inspiration?
Baz: We recently started a new ritual to get ourselves in the mindset. We clear and organize the space, lighting it with incense—as corny and cliché as that might sound—because it activates the senses. And then, we sit and meditate for seven to ten minutes. Carly is always coming up with new song and music video ideas. She has one like every minute.
Carly: I think that Baz and I complement each other in a lot of ways. I’m very performance-driven—focused on the show, the costumes, the storytelling, and the lyrics—while he’s more of an engineer and composer—focused on all of the other layers of the music and how they support the emotion and intention of the song.
You know, it’s different every time. We also do take some space. He’ll write alone. I’ll write alone. We then come together and finish things. More and more, it feels like we do get that time onto the calendar, so we aren’t just waiting for inspiration.
We’ve always been super opposites, but now it feels like that’s a strength of ours. A big part of this, which we will touch on later in the image question, is that we really want to be our own specific people in a partnership—not two people who have melded into this one weird “Brangelina” thing.
You’re an indie pop funk duo. How did you land on your unique sound? Did it happen immediately, right at the start of the collaboration OR did it take some time to fine-tune the sound as we hear it now?
Baz: I think we’re still finding our actual sound, because we’re taking inspiration from artists like Allen Stone, Vulfpeck, Kimbra, Justin Timberlake, Florence + The Machine, and Marvin Gaye.
Carly: A lot of it is trial and error. We spent most of the last two years playing in LA. As a new band, you try to figure out things like: What makes people stay? What makes people perk up? I think it’s always linked to what’s the most vulnerable. I’m a dancer, so I’ve been trying to make our sound something that I can choreograph to and dance to. At the core of it, I think we will always be this guitar-and-vocals-laid back-acoustic music; but, recently, we’ve been taking a lot of inspiration from Earth, Wind, & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and classic dance bands. Great tunes that make you want to get up and boogie.
Baz: Carly is always dancing in every room. We can sing ballads and all that other stuff when we are sixty-years-old, but while we are young and full of vitality, we will be playing funk, dance, and disco music that activates and engages people. And it ranges from a toe-tap to swaying to full-blown dancing. Carly LOVES dancing.
Carly: I have a 3 o’clock dance break every day with my girlfriends. We have an alarm set on all of our phones. Each day, it reminds us to dance off the negativity and feel better. You are all welcome to join us!
Let’s talk about the new Cosmic Love EP. Can you tell us a little something about each of the five songs: “Cosmic Love”; “Take the Stairs”; “Every Shade of You”; “Panther”; and “Love’shown”?
Carly: Yeah, we initially produced seven songs and then narrowed them down to five. We recorded them at a studio nearby, Kairos. During the whole process, we had to ask ourselves: Who are we as a band? What is our sound? What are we saying? What song do we lead with?
Baz: “Cosmic Love” is the first song. It’s the title of the whole EP and also the first song of our whole new sound. We were listening to a bunch of funky new soul stuff, and that’s how that one came about.
Carly: We like to write songs about a place to grow. Mantras. I figure out a lot of stuff through journaling and songwriting, but I also never want to continually generate a lot of bad energy with ‘I hate you, I hate you, I hate you so much’ kind of lyrics. If we’re going to sing these songs over and over again, we have to ask ourselves, what we are we creating? Music is powerful. “Take the Stairs” is about the hustle; get your ass in gear.
When we’re not being nice to ourselves, we are most likely not going to be nice to whoever we’re in a relationship with. “Every Shade of You” is all about ‘I’m in this, to win this.’ You don’t always have to be your best self, but I still see your best parts even when you’re being mean to yourself. I think that’s the most sacred part of loving anyone.
A week after the Women’s March, someone grabbed my ass at a club. It’s weird when I tell this story onstage, because I think sometimes people think I’m being funny, but it’s NOT a funny incident. I mean, it wasn’t the first time, and I’m sure it’s not the last time someone’s going to invade my privacy, but “Panther” was a really important song for the time and still is important.
I think it’s a really beautiful bridge we arrived at. I was raised on a lot of Alanis Morissette angst-y stuff—and I thought, Basti’s not going to want to write this song. This is MY perspective. How do we make this a KiSMiT thing?
And, he said, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me, and it’s important to a larger audience.”
Baz: With “Panther,” the whole conversation involves a listener, too. And, I guess we don’t necessarily have an answer for this, but there just has to be a better way of doing this. This is very frustrating. This is all the sh!t that’s happening. Let’s TALK about it.
Carly: I sat at the piano and before you know it, the last song on the EP, “Love’shown” just came tumbling out.
Baz: I’m not sure if you’ve been to any of them, but we love playing at these SoFar Sounds shows. They’re acoustic and intimate. And, when we play, everyone is singing along, “Love’s not said, it’s shown,” and we can see everyone there really FEELING it. “Love’shown” is like our “Let It Be” mantra.
Carly: We definitely love and are proud of the bow we’ve tied on the Cosmic Love EP, but you never truly escape the artist aspect of wondering what people think. I like to learn what people go back and listen to again and again. That’s important to us. My uncle always asks what our favorite song on the EP is, and we always respond that we kind of like them all.
Can you tell us anything about the incredibly fun “Cosmic Love” and warmly mellow “Every Shade of You” music videos?
Baz: This is what Carly lives for!
Carly: Yeah, so I’ve already mentioned that my background is in theater. My goal for 2017 was to dance in a music video. Our best friends Alex* and Amanda**—a director/producer pair—lived upstairs, and we told them that we needed to create this music video.
Alex, who directed it, had already been filming our shows as our go-to videographer. And he was really itching for a creative outlet, so this was perfect for all of us. We decided to shoot the “Cosmic Love” music video it at my mom and stepdad’s warehouse space down in Orange County, because we needed something we could make look like our own world (and we needed it to be free).
*Alex Cantatore (Director, QuickActCasual.com)
**Amanda Spinella (Producer, @amandaspins)
Baz: That was the first weekend of shooting. The very next weekend we went to Redwood Canyon with ten people, and we all stayed in a camper van after we finished shooting. It was intimate.
Carly: We have such a beautiful community of creative people here. The more we can turn each other on with our own projects and our own strengths, the better. That’s what the “Cosmic Love” video collaboration was all about as a visual medium. Watch the “Cosmic Love” music video.
The “Every Shade of You” music video was SO random. My best friend Ashli*, who I’ve danced with a lot, is a filmmaker who lives in New York. When I found out I was traveling there last minute, I called her and burst, “Ashli, we’re coming next week! Do you think there’s any way we could make a music video? I have this idea involving all of these colors. My uncle is an artist, so he has a studio. Do you think if we have one day to shoot at his studio we could make it happen?”
“YEAH!” Ashli replied. She was all in. With her boyfriend Nate**. They also happen to be a couple team. (By the way, we don’t exclusively work with couple teams; it’s just worked out that way so far.)
*Ashli Bickford (ashlibickford.com)
**Nate Reininga (lookwatchlook.com)
Baz: It was CRAZY! We filmed for just under 24-hours straight. Then, we stayed up even longer in order to clean up everything.
Carly: Yeah, we started at 8am and finished at 4am the next day. Somehow the video for “Every Shade of You”—where we only had one week to plan as opposed to the two months of pre-production we spent on the “Cosmic Love” video—looks really good, too. We’re so grateful. Watch the “Every Shade of You” music video.
Are there other KiSMiT team members we may not see, but who play a large role in the music?
Carly: Totally! I love that you’ve asked that, because it does take a village, and KiSMiT is so much bigger than just the two of us. Our beautiful manager, Dana Fors, has been with us for while. Initially, she helped us with our marketing on a part-time basis. But, as of June, Dana’s been guns-a-blazing our full-time manager and dreamweaver. Having a third person to bounce things off of makes us so much better.
And I definitely have to mention my mom because I call her EVERY DAY to talk about KiSMiT and everything else. She lives in Orange County and has helped us in so many ways.
Baz: Yeah, Carly’s mom is definitely one of the MVPs!
Carly: My mom is an amazing woman. She started her own company when she was pregnant with me, twenty-seven years ago. I went to high school and college for the arts, and nowhere was it mentioned just how much you are going to be your own CEO. Baz and I can go to my mom with any kind of question, from budgeting-related to client quote-related. We’ve talked with her about so many things, and I’m so grateful for her. As a strong woman, she’s taught me how to take authority over my own life and be my own boss.
I would also say our band. We have a lot of Basti’s Berklee friends that live in LA that swap out and play with us.
Baz: They’ve become our family, too, in the past four years. Especially Balam Garcia (@balamgarcia).
Carly: Yeah, they keep us inspired with what they are doing. We don’t really have a set band. It’s our baby, and whoever is available for the gig swaps in and out. Because KiSMiT has not yet blasted off like it will, we can’t expect every single person to drop what they are doing for every twenty-minute festival slot in Echo Park—where it’s sometimes over one-hundred degrees. I’m grateful to anyone who is available to play our material.
Baz: I kind of like it that the band switches up a lot at this stage, because we’re still able to have the sounds change with how we are feeling that day. We don’t have to be as rigid. That makes it very fun to play. It’s great when the drummer or bass player or Carly does some cool new thing. We can improvise, and it’s good that everyone is always on their toes.
Carly: I’d also like to mention Amanda Spinella, my best friend, who has produced all of our music videos.
I saw some coverage of the Cosmic Love EP release party on Instagram. How did it feel to release KiSMiT’s first EP? And what was the best part about that fateful night?
Carly: It was so fab! We have a backyard that’s bamboo sheltered that we’ve named ‘The Bamboo Room’. We moved into this place maybe two years ago. At the time, I was looking to join an arts activist outreach, so I started producing these ALLIN* benefit shows in the backyard.
We knew we had this big Cosmic Love EP launch show to plan, and we were trying to figure out how to leverage that in order to land a venue we haven’t yet played at with a larger crowd.
When we couldn’t get a date that we wanted elsewhere, we decided to have it in our backyard and do it the way we wanted to do it. So, we had vendors. We had multi-media. I love when a show has different types of art, so there’s something for everyone as well as the music. We even had Tarot card readers and dancers. My friend Athena Kiapos, who did my makeup for the “Cosmic Love” music video, put glitter on everyone. I wanted a glitter station, so we created a whole glitter bar. And by the end of the night, I looked around at this party, and ALL of my friends—men, women, everyone—had glitter ALL over their faces and bodies. I felt like I was on cloud nine.
I think the best part about the party was celebrating with all of our friends. Three of our girlfriends are in a band called Luci, and they opened for us. It was a REALLY special show. Our friend Gabby Lencka (@lencka818) came onstage to play violin. We had more guest performances than we’ve ever had just because so many people were there supporting us.
We closed the show out with “Cosmic Love,” but then we had an encore. I KNEW it was my only g o l d e n opportunity to convince Basti to perform “Wannabe” by Spice Girls!
Baz: It was a very cool turnout. The whole event was my favorite part. At first, I was honestly quite stressed. But I was SO happy as things began. And now, having done it before, we know how to plan and do it again next time.
*ALLIN is an organization that’s committed to artistically curating events dedicated to community outreach in LA. To learn more about this awesome philanthropic team + their events, follow @allinlosangeles on Instagram.
Can you tell us a story from one of your many recent performances? (Uplifting, terrible, or sentimental in nature—really anything you want to share that meant something to you both.)
Carly: I wake up in the morning to get up and perform onstage. I thought about this question when you first sent it to us, and tried to think of what was whacky that we wanted to share…
We were at South by Southwest, and it was our third show–
Baz: Oh no…
Carly: It was our third of three shows. We were at this tiny, tiny bar, but we were AT SXSW, so that’s all that really matters. Our drummer Dylan Hayden was setting up.
Baz: The stage was all wooden, and there’s all this flaky paint coming off the wood.
Carly: So Dylan grabs his symbols or something and somehow gets a HUGE splinter that went HALFWAY through his thumbnail, you know, like down into it.
I am CRINGING right now!!!
Carly: I know! It was RIGHT before we had to go onstage. So, you know, I’m putting my lipstick on and getting myself ready. That’s when Baz and Dylan ran over to me, and told me that they couldn’t find a first aid kit. The bar didn’t have ANYTHING.
I went into FULL MOM MODE. We ran down the street to a drugstore, quickly purchased peroxide and tweezers, pulled out the monster splinter, carefully cleaned it, and put the Band-Aid on. Then, we rushed back to the bar, gave Dylan a shot of whiskey to shake the experience off, jumped onstage, pressed play on Instagram Live, and realized at that very moment, WE NEED A MANAGER!
We obviously loved the performance, but that felt really crazy. Although, I guess it’s inspiring, too. I mean, crazy things happen when you travel. The more we tour, the more stories we’ll have to tell. Just wait until next year.
Whether we love it or hate it, there’s no denying that IMAGE is the pulse of social media. KiSMiT’s pictures and videos reflect a bright, ultra-colorful, almost other-worldly vibe. It’s like every pic you post is part of a themed gallery exhibit. The design elements are always on point. Your expressions always appear genuine and never phony. And the images never seem to compromise the spirit of the group or the nature of your real characters—quite the rarity compared with many of the other posts we’re inundated with. How did you both decide on what image to portray as a duo? And how did you both manage to become that very image over time without compromising yourselves?
Baz: I think it all really started with Alena.
Carly: Oh yeah, you’re right! That’s important. My girlfriends Alena and Danica have an incredible company called D+A Photography, who we often tag. They created all of the collage work for our Cosmic Love EP cover. Our image definitely happened naturally. One time we made a big floral arrangement in my hair. It was just the start of feeling larger than life.
I had this music coach, Cari Cole, and—I remember in one of her classes—she said that every big artist has an iconic look. You know, Adele has her bun, Michael Jackson has his glove, etc. Whatever your look is, it has to be genuine, but also be larger than life. And I remember thinking, HOW can you be genuine AND larger than life? Like, if I’m ME, with no makeup on with my hair up in a bun, that’s natural. But, how do I make that artistic?
As KiSMiT, Baz and I just started making bolder moves. I had been wanting to dye my hair pink for a while, and I finally did it one week before the “Cosmic Love” music video shoot. That stuck. Now, I imagine it to be just like if I was twelve or thirteen again and someone dared me to go to school dressed up in crazy clothes. I mean, only the dare is every day now, and we’re not going to school—we’re performing. We push a little further every day to wear things we definitely wouldn’t wear at home for these shows and shoots.
Baz: I’ve been inspired by Carly to choose clothes from vintage stores that are quite outlandish. And sometimes, Carly will say, “Really, THAT one?!”
Carly: Once, when I was getting ready for a show with my two best friends (who were singing backup vocals), Baz came in. He saw that we all had our glitter on, and he asked, “Are you going to put glitter on me?” I nearly fell to the ground. I was SO happy that, for the first time, I didn’t have to force him to wear a little glitter for the show.
Now, I think we’re just trying to have fun. In all of our photo shoots, we always make sure we’re not taking engagement-like, cheesy photos. We don’t need to appear intertwined, looking off into the distance dreaming about our future together. I mean, we are in love, and that’s obviously a big part of our story.
Baz: But that doesn’t define us. It’s not like it’s the only thing we are about.
Carly: We just want to be genuine. It’s taken us a long time to get where we are in our shoots. It’s so easy to be really judgmental about yourself and to pick apart every detail you see. Now, when I look at the images from the shoots, I have to tell myself, Be nice.
Baz: Honestly, I swear that my trick is to always look at the camera like I would look into Carly’s eyes. Looking like an impersonal robot that doesn’t blink is just weird.
Carly: You know, I’m into acting, but Basti’s always like, “I am NOT going to do this staged sh!t. I am a canned human.”
What do you both like best about living in LA as rising indie artists?
Baz: The people here are so, so inspiring. Any night of the week we could go out and see world-class entertainment. If we did that, though, we would have no time to work. The culture of ambition is here. Hollywood is just down the road, and there’s a whole population of worker bees in that realm.
In terms of living in LA, John Legend is walking down these same streets. Will Smith is here. Janelle Monáe is here. I’m from Cape Town, which is a tiny little village in comparison to this Mount Everest of creative endeavors. This is the biggest mountain that’s so inspiring, and there’s enough room on this mountain for everyone to do their own thing, and to click into their own internal song. There’s enough space for everyone.
Carly: I want to add something about the people here as well. Our friends, too, are running at full speed. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in our late twenties, and we aren’t so fresh out of college that we’re wondering, What are we doing? What’s happening?
We are all purposefully heading towards something. It seems like our friends are always in the midst of some awesome new milestone—like opening up for notable artists or just launching a tour. It’s amazing to watch their efforts pay off.
In LA—and you know this because you lived here and experienced it, too—there can be people at parties or at shows just staring at their phones and not participating, but there’s also so much sunshine and spirituality here as well. We have a really great yoga teacher and wonderful place where we practice, and there’s a lot of grounding in that, which keeps me, as an artist, focused on the WHY, rather than on the how and the superficial.
Baz: Yes. Keeping the ego tame. LA is SUCH an ego city, but it’s also the opposite. The yin AND yang—both sides of the intensity—are here.
Yes, absolutely. You can look at LA like: You can get lost in your vices. OR You can look at LA like: You can make yourself and your art into something that can really inspire people.
Carly: Totally. I lived in New York for two years, and what I was doing then wasn’t attracting the things I am attracting now. You have to figure out how to make things happen for yourself, and how to line your goals up with passionate like-minded individuals in order to make something bigger together. It just feels SO collaborative here, and that’s so beautiful.
Baz: We love LA; and, even when we travel and enjoy our time away, it feels like there’s an invisible elastic band that keeps bringing us back here.
What was the last song each of you listened to on repeat?*
Carly: I have two: Janelle Monáe’s “I Like That” and Kimbra’s “Everybody Knows.”
Baz: “Cool Your Heart” by The Dirty Projectors. I’ve probably listened to it thirty times in the last two days. The production level of that man is crazy.
Carly: Together, what we’ve listened to the most on repeat lately is YEBBA’s “Evergreen”—we’ve driven around a lot listening to that song.
Baz: YEBBA is incredible. One of the best vocalists of our new phase.
Carly: She’s going to smash it for sure. You should check out “No Peace”—Sam Smith’s song, which features YEBBA. She’s currently recording her own album, and it’s for sure going to be a tidal wave.
*You can hear ALL the KiSMiT tracks + what the duo’s currently vibin’ on by listening to this exclusive Spotify playlist: MMM: KiSMiT
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Carly: I have to reference an Ira Glass quote:
“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I have this quote next to our bed, because it’s so important. When you start something, it’s going to be shitty, because your taste is going to be so much better than what you are making. There will be years and years where what you are making is not what you are listening to or looking at, and people tend to quit in that time. You have to push through that.
Now, I feel like I’m a little past the point of being new to making new stuff, but I still feel like it’s just so easy to be mean to yourself. I know I was meant to write songs, sing, and perform, but for so many years I was just so critical about what I made or did.
Baz: Listening to other people’s narratives and comments can really affect you. My suggestion for aspiring artists is to be patient, persistent, and consistent. Every day, just keep chugging away. We listened to this conversation the other day—Marianne Williamson was quoting Michelangelo. When Michelangelo was commissioned to make a sculpture, he would go out and find the piece of marble. He sought to find the sculpture inside the marble, as though it already existed. So, in other words, his job was to chisel away, every day, until the sculpture emerged. We have to do the same with all of the creative work we do.
What’s next for KiSMiT? Are you already working on new music? Do you have any upcoming shows?
Baz: We are recording a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in twenty different languages using only bouzouki’s and recorders.
Carly: No! Our same friends that shot the “Every Shade of You” music video visited in February, and we made another music video for our next single called “No Turning Back.”
Baz: It feels very us. “No Turning Back” is like a merging of “Every Shade of You” and “Cosmic Love.”
Carly: Yeah, so we’re looking to release the track, along with its music video, soon.
We’re constantly wondering whether to save our new tracks for an album or release them as singles. For a while, I was hell-bent on having albums that were whole bodies of work; I didn’t want to feel like we were just releasing singles. But—with the indie train that we’re on—I think it’s more beneficial to release songs as soon as we have them. Our goal with this new single “No Turning Back” is that it WILL be a part of an upcoming EP.
Baz: And don’t forget to tell them that we’re opening up for Harry Connick Jr. at the Hollywood Bowl.
Carly: Basti, you are quite the comedian today! As far as recent shows, we played the Moroccan Lounge in downtown LA at the end of August. I was REALLY excited to perform on that big stage. We had backup dancers, and we rehearsed for a month. It felt like it was a proper show where we had the space and the visuals to create an entire experience.
Our last show, Friends Fest—our first festival—took place on September 29th at The Bamboo Room. We produced the very successful event with ALLIN Los Angeles. It included six bands, ten artists, various vendors, and even a food truck!
Our next show is Saturday, November 10th at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood.
(Learn more about the event on Facebook + Purchase tickets to the show!)
Besides our frequent shows in and around LA, we’ll also be touring in early 2019. We hope to see you at one of our shows!
Would you like to thank / and or draw our attention to anyone?
Baz: I’d like to thank Carly. She’s inspired me to get out of my own way more. I sometimes tend to retreat into my introvert nature out of fear. Carly, being the person she is, always encourages me to shine and be loud.
Carly: For the record, I didn’t pay him to say that. Basti definitely grounds me. And all of our friends who are putting their whole hearts and souls into their own passions inspire me on a daily basis!
Connect with KiSMiT:
Listen to the Cosmic Love EP:
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cosmic-love-ep/1378693623
Watch the “Cosmic Love” music video:
Watch the “Every Shade of You” music video:
Listen to what KiSMiT is Listening to (our exclusive playlist):
Spotify Playlist MMM: KiSMiT
Photo by Danica x Alena Photography @danicaxalena