Kisos is a multi-talented pop artist whose heartwrenching lyrics reach out and grip the listener juxtaposed against a backdrop of cheery charisma and vibrant vocals. Their new self-released EP Sweet Nothings is out now and is a snapshot of a specific period in Kisos‘ life that explores the five stages of grief and is a fantastic display of their talents as a songwriter and performer. I asked them a handful of questions about their project and found out more about their life, their art, and the activism that comes with that.
Hi, how are you today?
HIIII, I’m dizzy as hell from this release but in a good way! The support has been nonstop and my heart is exploding.
Tell me about your new EP “Sweet Nothings” and the concept behind it.
The interesting thing about Sweet Nothings is that each track is a snapshot of a different stage of grief, and follows the order I experienced them in. I started writing these songs almost exactly three years ago, while recovering from a pretty devastating breakup. At first I spilled my emotional guts out as voice memos into my phone, but after a few months I looked back and realized how clearly some of the songs corresponded to my journey through grief, so I decided to base the EP on that concept.
What was your experience in putting the EP together?
This project was cathartic and traumatic at the same time, and procrastinating so that it spread out over three years didn’t make it any easier. Each song on here has such a distinct and powerfully focused energy that instantly transports me to how I felt at the time of writing it. While recording the final track on the EP, He Didn’t Want Me, even though it was 2.5 years after my breakup, I still broke down crying, and you can hear some of that in the final version of the track. I’m very glad to be done with this project so I can move on, but also excited to share this capsule of my life with everyone.
Do you have a favourite track on the EP?
I gotta go with the obvious and say ‘Happily Ever After‘! Recording that song with Kyle Patrick changed how I approach every song since. Plus it’s just a banger!! Aside from that the bridge on ‘He Didn’t Want Me’ is my favorite moment on the whole EP, and I love how different ‘#Perks’ is from anything else I’ve released.
Congrats on the success of Queerantine, can you tell us a little more about it, what inspired you to start that up and what your plans are with it going forward?
Yes thank you so much! So in short, it’s a weekly LGBTQIA+ music video showcase I run on Twitch (twitch.tv/itskisos). Each week a different co-host and I watch live and share new videos by indie artists with an audience that is HUNGRY for emerging talent. It’s been a dream, we just wrapped up season 1 after 15 weeks, and ended up raising $6000 for different Black Lives Matter focused causes in June.
For season two, musician Cory Stewart and I are working on pitching sponsors, coming up with ways to highlight artists more effectively, and potentially create an official aftershow interview segment as well. A lot in the works!! Look for it to restart in August.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
Aside from random dittys like ‘Lula Lula Buttbell‘ as a child (lol) the first real song I remember writing was called ‘Prove Them Wrong‘ around 2013.
What was it like?
It was this uplifting jam about how everyone says you have to live a certain way or follow a certain path in life, but that those thought processes come from fear to diverge from the mainstream. And all the fun of life is in saying screw mainstream I’m gonna follow my dreams! I actually just recently found the recording in my dropbox haha
How would you describe your music in five words?
Breaking hearts and healing souls
Which artists do you admire?
SO MANY!!! I’ll keep it to three here:
–Kyunchi is an amazing world builder, all of their music is SO specific and not what I usually gravitate to, but is undeniably great!
-Anna Wang and I have a collab coming soon-ish, she’s a super catchy pop writer, musician, and an amazing producer who mixed most of this EP too. MAGICAL!
-Lastly, my boo Jo Lee, another amazing artist who co-produced some of this EP, their voice is CRAZY and their musicality and vocal arrangements are pure heaven.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
JAZMINE SULLIVAN!! No doubt ever in my mind. She’s my favorite artist of all time, my favorite writer, vocalist, performer. I just had a dream last night she released a new album, and woke up depressed it wasn’t true.
Who/What are you listening to right now?
I stan indie music and run a weekly playlist of new releases by emerging talent focusing on LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists (link). A few of my faves this month have been:
“Get Over Yourself” by L E A
“Strawberry Skies” by Kid Travis
“This Isn’t Love” by Eddie the Kidd
I also rediscovered my love for India.Arie and have had her new-ish album Worthy on repeat!
Thanks for your time
Thank you so much for letting me share the story of my EP and shout out some friends!
Sweet Nothings by Kisos is out now. Photo credit: Laura Harding