I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t roll my eyes each time an ex-child star embarked on a music career. In many cases, these pursuits stem from a sense of confusion as the whirlwind of early fame begins to settle; a sad attempt to secure relevancy before it slips away for good.
But Kira Kosarin is different. Though she starred on the Nickelodeon series The Thundermans during her formative years, the 21-year-old has always been a musician at heart. “People don’t realize that I’ve been writing behind the scenes for years,” she tells LADYGUNN. “Turning my life into R&B melodies in spare moments away from the camera, unsure when I’d be able to put my music into the world.”
And the snippets of live singing she shares on Instagram prove she’s the real deal. Between accompanying herself on guitar, her soulful tone, and masterful control of her range, Kosarin positions herself as a budding contender in pop music.
Today, exclusively on LADYGUNN, she’s premiering “Vinyl”, the first of a string of singles that will ultimately lead to a debut album in the spring.
She chatted with us about the song, removing herself from her Nickelodeon roots, and her plans for the future.
How has your transition from Nickelodeon star to a young woman in the music industry impacted you?
It was definitely a shift in mindset. The years I spent working on the show were great, but they were years I spent representing a very specific brand and contributing to somebody else’s creative vision and story. As a songwriter and artist, I get to be much more in control of what I create, the way I create it, and the way I share it, which is really liberating and exciting. I’m so much more passionate about music than anything else on this planet and getting to focus my full attention on creating the art I love most is so fulfilling.
Do you feel like you have to “prove” yourself or break any stereotypes?
There’s absolutely pressure to overcome the stigma that comes with being an ex-child star. I think a lot of people see me and assume I’m some influencer with lots of followers who woke up one day and decided to be a pop star. But people don’t realize that music has always come first for me. I’ve been writing behind the scenes for years, turning my life into R&B melodies in spare moments away from the camera, unsure when I’d be able to put my music into the world. For a while I was concerned with “proving people wrong,” but I’m not too concerned with that anymore. I’m just excited to do what I love, and hope it resonates with people.
Tell us about “Vinyl”. What inspired the song and what’s it about? What was the process like creating it?
I actually wrote Vinyl three years ago, coming off the disintegration of my first relationship. It’s about having fallen in love with someone who introduced me to the music that hugely shaped my adolescence and would influence the rest of career as a songwriter.
I feel like a big part of understanding my point of view as an artist is understanding the musicians who have inspired me the most, so I wanted to release Vinyl as the lead single to my album, despite the fact that it’s from a different time in my life. The verse references listening to “Chance on the radio, Gambino in the car, Frank Ocean on the stereo, Bublé under the stars, Tori Kelly with a melody, James Blake with a mellow beat…” The funny part is that even though I wrote it so long ago, the artists I reference are still some of my favorites. No matter how badly things ended, I’ll always be grateful for the music that underscored that time in my life.
What’s next for you? Any plans for an EP or LP release?
Vinyl is the first of several singles, leading up to an album release in the spring. After years of pouring my heart into music and lyrics, I’m so grateful to finally have the opportunity to share it, and I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter in my life.
Story / Catherine Santino
Executive Produced/PR / Joshua Althina @JoshuaAlthina
Photos / Jonathan Ivan @J0nathanIvan
Styling / Adrian Joseph @adrideki
Makeup / Lizbeth Hernandez @fabeauliz_
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