Kylie Frey on Growing Up Western, Song Writing and Her Own Goals for 2023
Country artist Kylie Frey’s family way of life is in the Western world.
When she was a kid, she was encouraged to play other sports, but she came back to what she knew best - tying goats, roping calves and being a rodeo queen.
Frey was a standout goat tier in high school, winning a State Championship her sophomore year of high school. Now, she uses that same consistency and work ethic to write and perform.
“I don’t think I could be doing this now if I hadn’t learned those lessons at such a young age, it’s cool, what most people see is just the roots of what we do, but it really is a grind, it’s fun, but there’s a lot of stuff that I would rather not do on some days,” she said. “So, just the ability to push through and show up and stay consistent is the key.”
In April, The Cowboy Channel caught up with Frey to discuss her Western background, career in country music, how she writes a song, her favorite types of performances and more.
TCC: What’s a hard part of writing music that people don’t realize?
KF: Usually, writing songs is a pretty grueling process for me, because it’s very sporadic. I write all of the time and most of the time it’s just practice. But you’re practicing and you’re working that muscle for that moment when the perfect song idea falls into your lap and the lord is just using as a vessel and you have the tools, and you’re ready to write it and put it down.
TCC: You said you’ve been writing songs for eight years, are you at the point where you have a true belief in yourself where you know what a good song is?
KF: I know what a good song is, I can use those tools (that I’ve learned over the years), I can bring them in when it’s necessary. Now, it’s just like let’s get down to the heart and the gut of what I’m trying to say and then I can always go back and fine tune it.
TCC: Do you have any advice on the process of writing songs?
KF: So my best piece of advice that I ever got, it was my first day that I moved to Nashville and I sat in a writing room with these two guys and one of them just look at me and was like ‘congratulations, you made it here. That’s a huge step and what I wish for you is to look out the windows because a lot of us get here and we put blinders on’, he was like the best songs and the best part of this business is when you can look around and take in what’s going on around you.
TCC: Is that something you carry with you, not just writing songs, but on stage performing?
KF: Absolutely. It’s really hard to stay present, especially in such a fast paced world. Staying present, staying grounded and looking around, noticing where you are and how good it feels to just be in this moment as a human being, I feel like is just a key part in writing great songs.
TCC: What is it like performing live?
KF: That part did not come naturally to me. The thing that came naturally to me was just playing guitar and singing songs for myself, preferably on the bathroom floor with the door closed and locked and just singing for myself. And so to take that step to share not only my songs but to do that with a band and keep people entertained was a challenge. It’s nerve wracking every time but I kind of like the nerves, they make me feel good and feel human. But it’s so fun because every crowd is different.
TCC: How do you perform different types of shows for different types of audiences?
KF: It’s kind of a lot like rodeo, you know, when you show up and it’s like okay we’ve got a goat that’s just going to stand still, I’m going to change my game plan and I’m going to ride a little but farther and I’m going to step off at the stake and be as fast as I can be. It’s just taking in the different elements of where you’re at. If it’s a hot day, I’m going to probably take my shoes off, but if it’s feeling cool and good then I’ll probably just full send the whole time.
TCC: Do you have a favorite way to play?
KF: I love theaters just because they’re there to listen and I can play my ballads and I can make people laugh, make people cry and just let my personality come out. It’s a total laid back vibe.
TCC: What does a show day look like for you?
KF: It’s always different. I try to get up and workout, does not always happen but there is always coffee involved in the morning. We have sound checks, normally if we’re playing a show that night, it is super busy the whole day.
TCC: Do you have any superstitions?
KF: I do. I will yell at people if they put my hat on the bed. That’s my biggest one, probably because I grew up with it.
TCC: Do you have a dream concert location and lineup to be a part of?
KF: I would love to play Red Rocks. That is big on my bucket list. It just seems like a whimsical place to play and I definitely would love to play with Reba at some point.
TCC: What are your big goals in 2023?
KF: So I have some fun surprises coming up this year so my big goal is to get a new tour bus because a girl in a van, it gets interesting, trying to get ready and share such a small space with so many people. And just to put out my album by the end of the year.