From Memphis to Spain and Back: Q&A With Pop Artist KadyRoxz
Memphis-native singer-songwriter Keturah Brown, also known as KadyRoxz, has taken her music from Memphis to Spain and most recently to Nashville. As an alumna of The Consortium MMT's SoulRight Music Mentorship Program, we wanted to catch up with Keturah and find out more about her new music following her recent iHeart Radio performance.
Talent Development Complex: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist. When did you decide you wanted to pursue music?
So my name is Keturah and I perform under the name of KadyRoxz. I grew up around music. My dad played reggae and 70's soft rock music around the house and my mother was a Motown fan. Most Saturday's growing up my aunt, Leora would take me downtown and we would always watch street musicians and bands and I remember just wanted to be able to create music that made me feel good. I wanted to be like the artists my parents listened to and the Memphis Blues artists I watched around Beale Street. And in high school I started performing my own songs under the name KadyRoxz. Kady was my nickname and I put Roxz on the end of it as a sort of confidence boost because I was bullied and that made me feel more confident, to be able to step out of "Keturah" or "Kady" and to become "KadyRoxz".
TDC: How would you describe your music and your personal approach to songwriting?
I love writing satirically, which is unfortunate because that doesn't always play well in songwriting and music. And most of the time I am making fun of myself or making light of a heavy load. A great example of that is my song "Nov 14th" which is basically me talking myself through an anxiety attack. I draw a lot of inspiration from pop culture and my own life. I love artists like David Bowie, Queen, The Runaways. Rhett Thomas, Beyonce, Anya Marina, Prince, Tegan & Sara, and Lykke Li. I'm all about authentic expression and theatrics. I can't wait until I'm able to do full production performances.
TDC: So you studied songwriting at The Consortium MMT before you got your masters in music business at Berklee College in Valencia Spain. Can you tell us a little bit about those two experiences and how they helped you as an artist and songwriter?
Being accepted into The Consortium MMT was great because it allowed me to have a home base here in Memphis, musically speaking. A place that I could go, that could be my "office" of sorts to work on songwriting. I even filmed my GoFundMe video for Spain at the Consortium so that was cool.
And Spain and Berklee were an amazing experience. It completely changed my life. It forced me to grow as a human, as a woman, as a music business professional, and as an artist. It helped me to become in tune with who I am and to sort through the parts of me that I wasn't so fond of. My writing of course was heavily effected by this. Just the way I began to process songwriting and musical elements changed. It was an incredible experience.
TDC: You’ve been slowly releasing your first EP. Can you tell us about that? (What singles you’ve released, name of EP, any features, who worked on it, where was it recorded, what inspired it, etc)
Strawberry Feels was my 1st release. It's a brain child that I started while studying Ableton at Berklee College of Music with Ben Encanti of Zebbler Encanti. I shipped it off to a close friend of that creates under the name GeS (O2B as well) and he prettied it up for me and helped me obtain that radio feel of the record. It was inspired by a self-realization that I had about the type of love I had been accepting into my life. The kind of love that comes off as strawberry bubblegum sweet but is really made of artificial sugar and bad for you.
Orange to Blue went through a similar workflow. I fleshed it out in Ableton and then sent it to GeS to be gussied up yet again for release. And our buddy Elliot Sabbagh did the mix work on both tracks, he's a well known DJ and mix engineer in Michigan so I was really excited to have him on board! And O2B was a memoir of sorts. An old friend that I'd fallen out of grace with while abroad contacted me one day in late summer of 2017 to congratulate me on graduating and the music and it warmed my heart so deeply that I wanted to write something to commemorate our time together. We had taken a trip to California the previous year and the chords that I found when producing it felt like waves to me so it became the perfect back drop to the story of someone I had once shared my life with suddenly becoming a stranger.
The EP itself, Coloured, is about how becoming who you really are or understanding yourself is a lot like going from black and white to living color. Every experience, every love, every failure, everything that we encounter colors our lives and helps to reveal us to ourselves and that's what the total project is about. I can't drop the name of the producer who's coming on board for the final 3 tracks because technically it's not official yet. But I'm excited.
"Becoming who you really are or understanding yourself is a lot like going from black and white to living color."
TDC: You’ve been having a lot of success with your music. Can you tell us a little about that?
It's been incredible and completely mind blowing! "Strawberry Feels" was really just this little ditty that I made in Ben's class and never even turned it in because it felt... flat. But it was so fun to vent over when I started to write lyrics. So I was really shocked when Kiss FM picked it up for the Newbie Contest... and then it won... and then it won again... and again... and again. And not even that, beforehand, when it dropped people were screenshotting theirselves purchasing the record and posting it to social media, it was incredible! I think it was just right timing and people following my story. So everyone was excited to see me release something and that helped radio get behind it which helped iHeart get behind it and so on and so forth. I'm still in awe.
TDC: Are there any fellow Memphis artists you look up to or hope to collaborate with?
I met Dkotic a couple years ago, accidentally via Lyft, and I really love what he's doing. We started a co-write before I left for Spain but never finished, so it would be cool to get that record done. He's such a humble and talented person. I dig his work a lot. And I heard the latest Newbee Champ, Decory, on Kiss FM and the song was dope. I'd love to meet him.
TDC: So what’s next for you and your career?
So Much. I'm really bursting at the seams to spill it all, but I know better not to. lol. But definitely the Coloured EP and the release show. So absolutely keep watching. Dates and songs are dropping in the near future!
TDC: Well we can't wait! Where can people find you and listen to your music?