Exclusive Interview: Kerli, New Pop Act Breaking Boundaries
Of all the new acts emerging in music industry worldwide there's a musician that sticks to her principal in making her records. Twenty year old Kerli is on the verge of breaking U.S. market with her debut album 'Love is Dead' and she's one singer not to mess with.
The Estonia native tells AceShowbiz how she refused to be labeled, people have misjudged her, and how she can create music just by the noise of cars driving by.
ASB: To what extent has music influenced your life with all the fame and attention being put on you?
Kerli: (Laughter) Which fame and attention? It's not hard to be known in Estonia. There's only 1.5 million people living there. It might be a bit hard to be recognized though. People are all the same. Everyone has bad days and nobody is all smiles all the time. But when you are known, people want to believe that you are this horrible person who is full of herself and blame everything on your success. It's not really like that. Success and happiness makes you wanna be good for everyone. And misery makes u wanna hurt other people too. So it doesn't really make any sense. I think that has been the hardest part of being known. I sometimes feel like people have an opinion about me before they even get to know me. And that opinion is very often not positive at all. Like it is so easy for people to judge and so much harder to understand. I've had some sick experiences too. I've had people calling me and telling me they will blow their brains out if I don't talk to them about their problems because I'm their only friend.
ASB: Do you think your music falls into the Gothic category? Or would you prefer the term alternative pop much better?
Kerli: I don't identify myself. I write and perform music that comes from my heart. That's it. And if people are not able to receive without labeling things, it's their own problem. I don't believe in any restrictions and boundaries. I don't believe in identification. And that goes to everything in my life.
ASB: Being the first runner-up of 2004 Eurolaul, has it been easy for you onwards?
Oh, that Eurolaul was such a long time ago. I don't even remember it. It wasn't important at all. The only meaningful thing about it was that I was performing the first proper song I ever wrote.
ASB: How did you end up getting signed by Island Def Jam?
Kerli: It's been a long long journey. I'm not gonna list all the little stepping stones here. It's too many. I'd rather say that I created my life in my head years ago and then quietly started moving towards it. It has been so many ups and downs and so much hard work and I've felt like giving up so many times, but I'm glad I haven't. Things take time. And we face obstacles to learn. People can do pretty much everything they want in life. We just gotta believe hard enough and never give up. Five years ago I lived in a forest in Eastern Europe and now I'm doing everything I've always wanted to do. If I could do it, everyone can.
ASB: Where do you get your inspiration to write music? Do you relate personal issues on your songs?
Kerli: My songs are like a diary. If I would put them in the right order, people could figure me out really easily. Every depression, every moment of happiness, is captured in my songs. I only write about what I feel. And everything in this world inspires me. Sometimes, when I'm in my "mode", I even hear notes in the noise cars make when they drive by. I always write down things that random people say in the middle of the conversation too. This world is so inspirational.
ASB: Your debut album 'Love Is Dead' will soon be released worldwide, can you tell us a bit about it?
Kerli: Well, this album took me like four years to make. I have written at least 150 songs and it's been a crazy trip. I feel like I have found my sound now. I have also grown up and I don't feel like a little confused girl anymore. I guess it all took so much time for a reason - I simply wasn't ready before. It's been lots of hard work.
ASB: What do you mean when you say that 'love is dead'? Do you believe so?
Kerli: I did when I wrote that song. But I do believe in love. Not even like romantic kind of love so much but I do believe in universal love. Collective love.
ASB: Of all the tracks in 'Love Is Dead' which one has a special meaning to you and why?
Kerli: Oh, they all have such a special meaning to me. Love is Dead and Walking on Air are my favorite songs probably, but Butterfly cry might be the most meaningful one for me. It kinda symbolizes the end of my pain. It was the first song I wrote after coming out of a really bad depression. It was like being reborn.
ASB: Was it hard for you to break the U.S. market considering you come from a non-English speaking country?
Kerli: I don't know. I haven't broken the U.S market yet. However, I do believe that music is a universal language. It speaks to you no matter who you are.
ASB: What's with all the "weird" and "creepy" images that you generate for fans?
Kerli: I have a dark sense of humor and I like not taking life too seriously. I like a bit of a twist and darkness. It's just who I am. I also find things that are not so safe and normal way more appealing than the really nice ones.
ASB: You once quoted "everything is what we believe it is", what do you believe music will hold for your future?
Kerli: We will see. I guess. I don't even want to know where it's gonna take me. Life would be so boring if I would know. I just wanna be happy.
ASB: Have you found the 'mission' that you have always mentioned as the reason of your 'existence'?
Kerli: People really have only one mission. To live in the moment, be happy and trust their heart. Right now is all we have. The past is gone, the future is not here, and it might never be. All we have is now. But as an answer to your question, yes, I know what I need to do in this life.
ASB: What other interests do you have besides making music?
Kerli: The world is my interest. People, nature, absolutely everything. I love beauty, I love art, design, food, fragrance. Everything beautiful.
ASB: Last but not least, would you share wise words to AceShowbiz readers?
Kerli: Wise words are unnecessary. The biggest things are the most simple ones. Smile!
Kerli's album 'Love is Dead' will be released in 2008. Click here to find the audio streams of the album's singles, 'Walking on Air' and 'Love Is Dead'.
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