[Interview] Living The DIY Life with Kitten

21 year-old LA-based powerhouse, Chloe Chaidez, is the front-woman of one of the most promising acts out there today, Kitten. After releasing their self-titled debut in 2014, which made its way into the ears of big league music publications such as Rolling Stone, giving it the title of one of the “Top 20 Pop Albums of 2014,” the band, with Chaidez at the forefront, decided to part ways with their major label, Elektra Records, to develop their own creative vision – something that has been Chaidez’s number one mission from the get-go.

With a forthcoming EP in the works, we got to chat with Chaidez on future goals, living the DIY life and what we can expect from Kitten in 2016.

Catch Kitten’s upcoming headlining show at LA’s The Fonda on January 30. Tickets here.

I think it’s safe to say you’re pretty much on top of the world now – you just turned 21 (Happy Birthday!) you’re officially free of major label drama and you’re about to drop a new EP. How have the past five years shaped you into the artist you want to become? Would you say there’s still more to work on? 

Thank you! I think the freedom of currently not being on a major label alongside where I am at creatively definitely makes me feel that I’m in a really good place. Yes, I’ve learned a lot over the past 5 years, too much to mention but mostly just to trust the music and appreciate the fans that Kitten has. They’re really special.

Your 2014 self-titled debut has sparked some solo dance parties in the dark, not gonna lie. What do you hope your music invokes in others? If there is one thing you want Kitten to be known for, other than epic 80’s pop feels, what would it be? 

To be honest I don’t really know if I want to be defined by an 80’s pop sound. I think that’s just one avenue of creativity that we explored. Mostly, I want people to feel uninhibited by Kitten’s music. To forget about the nonsense of the the world in that moment, and just enjoy the songs. The melody’s rhythms, lyrics, whatever. Just for people to get lost in it and for our music to move people the way that others have moved me.

The first song I ever heard of yours was “Like a Stranger” and I remember thinking, “Holy shit this is massive!” How would you describe the difference between your previous material to what’s in store for this year? Any major changes sonically? 

Thank you!! I think that “massive” quality is still there and is something that will hopefully never leave my music.  In addition to sort of soaring melodies, I think there are different references in the music than might have been evident previously. Phil Spector’s work was a big influence and I think you can hear it, along with a lot of British bands of the 90’s-London Suede, Pulp, The Stone Roses, etc. I’ve always loved these bands, but I don’t think they’re influence was as present in the sound as it is now.

We’re big on DIY artists here and I commend you for taking that big step in becoming independent. What was the hardest part of leaving Elektra, if any? 

To be honest, it really wasn’t that difficult for me. I had a pretty decent deal that had me covered in ways that gave me security depending on what I wanted to do after my first album. Maybe the hardest part is currently not having quite the budget that I did previously, in order to get the music out to the fans but these budgets were always pretty small anyways.

Your fanbase is pretty stellar for the fact that they’ve championed Kitten since the beginning, using the power of word-of-mouth and social media as an essential tool for indie artists. What has surprised you the most out of your journey in the music business promotion-wise? Do you think this more organic PR approach reaches more listeners than traditional PR? 

I think that being great live will always be the best piece of PR that a band could have. That’s been our ethos from the beginning and I think it has worked out pretty great for us. Just be as good as you can and let the rest take care of itself. That said, we’re not done. We still want to reach as many people as possible!

Finally, we never close an interview without being nosy. Give us your top 5 artists you can’t stop listening to lately! 🙂 

Hmm, lemme think! Right now probably Prefrab Sprout, Sufjan Steven’s last album, Nelly’s new single “The Fix” (which is really just Marvin Gaye ), Formation, and Todd Terje. This week…

Kitten’s self-titled debut is available now here.

Tina Roumeliotis

Tina Roumeliotis

Tina is the founding editor of The Daily Listening. She's also a professional music nerd for BUZZNET. You'll most likely find her where she finds most of her inspiration: introverting in her bedroom with her music collection and a pair of headphones.