Artist: Elaina Kay
Hometown: Wichita Falls, Texas
Latest album: Issues
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): Laines, EK
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
The first thing that comes to mind for some reason is being on stage when I was 10 years old. One of my first times on stage and my whole family was there. I was singing to a tape, yes a cassette tape. All of a sudden it just stopped in the middle of my song. The MC quickly got it playing again as he joked about it.
From that moment I learned how to smile and recover. It reminds me of life. Show business is a lot like that. It’s not a steady path or always perfect, but that is what made me fall in love with it. That is what made me know nothing could keep me off that stage.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
The toughest time I ever had writing a song was when I wrote about my biological father. It really was a small memory I buried back into the back of my brain, but that’s how I knew it had to be written. That is why I write. To overcome something, to have more of an understanding, or just to get close to it for a while so I become at peace with it. That is what I did with that song, even though it was uncomfortable.
It was also hard because I got a lot of resentment and hate from people who didn’t like the story I told in the song. I was even afraid to put it out for a while. Then I realized this is MY story, MY song. I didn’t start writing to only sing about the happy times. That isn’t genuine. I am real, and I want real listeners, real fans. It can be difficult taking that risk.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I grew up on a working cattle farm and ranch. My favorite days are the ones I get to be horseback. There isn’t a better way to connect with nature in my opinion, than being on a live animal, in the country. I was fortunate enough to spend many days working side by side with my family on the ranch, and also competing in cutting competitions and rodeo. Farming and ranching is a lifestyle, just like music is a lifestyle. My music has greatly been impacted and inspired by it, and always will be. I think about being on horseback every single day.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I love watching and listening to stand-up comedy. The good ones are brilliant. It’s about writing, but the delivery is so important. Just like music.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
Photo Credit: Cal Quinn & Aly Faye