Kaya Stewart, a 15-year-old singer-songwriter out of Los Angeles, California, has splashed onto the scene with her debut EP “In Love With A Boy“. Quickly gaining wide-spread attention, Teen Vogue recently spotlighted her as one of “7 Singers We’re Obsessed With” and Entertainment Tonight proclaimed that she’s “poised to become Warped Tour’s next breakout” star.
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Sean Ritchie: Growing up in London, what was it like making the transition to living in Los Angeles?
Kaya Stewart: I was a very young age when we moved. I believe I was around five at the time. My dad was touring a lot working on his duo. LA was our permanent home. That’s kind of where my whole love for music started. [My life] was school, home and music.
Photo courtesy | Neil Kremer
SR: Describe LA’s atmosphere. What stands out to you?
KS: I think it’s very much entertainment oriented. All the people that live there are in the entertainment business for the most part. It’s a really great place to grow up if that’s the kind of lifestyle you want to pursue. I also like that it’s sunny all the time — never rains. It’s just such a positive atmosphere. I love living there now.
SR: Where did you vacation growing up?
KS: My family is very tropical. We would always go to the beach. A lot of the time we were in places like Jamaica — hot tropical places.
SR: How does music and travel fit together?
KS: That’s how I get my fans. Yeah, there are things like social media and the internet, but when you’re meeting people face-to-face it’s just a completely different feel. Those are real fans sitting in front of you. I find when I travel that’s the best way to get my music across, because I’m actually going from city-to-city or country-to-country. I end up meeting people who have a real connection with me. I feel like I get more personal; they actually understand me as a person. I feel like it’s the best combination if you’re an artist.
SR: Your father (Dave Stewart) toured a lot while you were growing up. Did that inspire your music in any way?
KS: I think it definitely inspired me. He’s an amazing producer, songwriter and performer. I always listened to great music growing up. I learned a lot from my dad, especially being tour side. I think what also really inspired me was being on the road and getting to share my music with all these amazing countries — meeting amazing people. I think it was a cool way to get introduced to that whole world — how it really was, because I was actually there.
Photo courtesy | Jan Karlo Camero
SR: Everyone has a bucket list. What are some destinations on yours that you haven’t been to, but are dying to see?
KS: Yes of course! I’ve never been to Asia. One place I really want to go to is Japan. I’ve heard the fans over there are awesome. My whole thing is very punk. I think that would be super cool over there. I’ve also always wanted to go to Brazil — never been. I’ve heard that audiences over there are massive. I think that would an amazing place to preform in.
SR: Have you ever been to South America at all?
KS: No! those are the two places I’ve never been — South America and Asia. That’s where I would really like to go.
SR: Every country has its trademark festival — Germany has Oktoberfest, the United States has Mardi Gras. Is there one that stands out to you?
KS: Rock in Rio I think stands out to me the most. I don’t even know if that’s the big festival over there, but that has always been a goal for me in a way. I feel like if I ever played there it would be almost an “I made it” kind of thing. It’s so beautiful if you like playing in front of an amazing crowd.
Photo courtesy | Cyro Silva
SR: One of the things that’s important to me when traveling is to get past the touristy destinations and become one with the locals. Could you say the same?
KS: I mean right now on Warped Tour we’re going straight into these amazing venues. All these kids from all over the place are coming. I get to meet such amazing people. The other day I met a girl who took two planes to get here. She was from a completely different country. It was amazing this girl had flown from Germany just to get over here. So even when I’m in places like Maryland, I’m still meeting people from all over the world. Warped Tour is an amazing place to actually do that. I feel like every band should do Warped Tour. It’s kind of like the bootcamp for rock and roll. Once you get it under your belt it makes everything so much easier.
SR: Lastly, are you on Warped Tour until the end? Any trips or tours planned after?
KS: I am definitely going to be staying till the end! Hopefully we’ll have more tours coming up. The album comes out September 4th. We’re definitely going to be building up and meeting a lot of people during this time.
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For more on Stewart visit her website and her debut album:
Additional thanks to Warped Tour: