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Getting To Know: Kirsty Grant

Outerbody emerges as a triumphant pop anthem, poised to banish the January blues and whisk listeners away into a realm of blissful escapism. Kirsty, the creative force behind the track, shares her inspiration: "I wanted to make a song that would make me feel out of my body." Just days before its inception, she found herself in a queue for a concert, crafting a playlist on Spotify aptly titled "Outerbody." Each song added evoked memories of live performances or offered a form of therapeutic escape. Kirsty's ultimate goal with the track is to transport listeners out of their everyday stresses and immerse them in its euphoric embrace, encapsulating the transformative power of music.

Originally hailing from Scotland and now making waves in London, Kirsty Grant has honed her craft, seamlessly blending personal lyricism with hypnotic pop-hooks. Since her debut EP 'Chain Reaction' in 2021, Kirsty has garnered acclaim from BBC Introducing, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit, Euphoria, and Notion, amassing a loyal following with over one million Spotify streams. With her recent production debut, a captivating rework of Rihanna's "Disturbia," Kirsty sets the stage for an electrifying 2024, promising an array of unreleased material destined to define the year's most memorable moments.

1. Can you take us behind the creative process of your latest single, 'Outerbody'? What inspired the track, and how did the idea for the song come to fruition?

I created a playlist of all of my favourite songs that reminded me of concerts, memories and moments in my life, and titled it “Outerbody”. I immediately knew that was something I wanted to write about in my next writing session, so I kept the title in my notes. When coming into the session, I told the co-writers about how I wanted to make a song that would make me feel out of my body. After playing a few references, 444BOY (the producer) immediately started playing the MIDI keyboard and this grungy bass sound started coming through the speakers. It felt massive, so within a few minutes we (Nova May, ili and myself) were already singing elements of the chorus and adding onto each other's ideas until all of a sudden we had the whole section. I love listening back to the voice memos of that moment, as you can hear how each of us brought moments and pieced them together. It felt very right. I don’t always start with the chorus, so having the chorus just a few minutes into the session was a massive relief, as to me, that is normally the hardest part to get right. The verses came just as quick, and we were talking about the emotions of being at a concert or in a club, and the lyrics just came out line by line. It was one of the easiest songs to write, and once we finished all of the sections and tracked a scratch vocal, we danced to it all evening on loop. We even played uno for hours with it on in the background, and I remember ili saying “this feels like something really special”. When it came to tracking the vocals, I love to do them by myself in my home studio, so I spent hours recording everything until it was perfect. I loved coming up with the harmonies and adlibs, and ended up writing a whole new outro section with harmonies.  

2. The concept of 'Outerbody' revolves around creating a song that takes listeners out of their stresses and into a world of blissful escapism. Can you share more about the emotions and experiences you wanted to evoke with this particular track? 

With this song, I wanted to evoke a feeling of being free and limitless. Bring back that almost childlike feeling when you weren’t worried about what people thought of you, where you can dance as hard as you can and sing at the top of your lungs without being judged. The lyrics describe being taken out of a crowd when the DJ plays your favourite song, and it’s like you’re dancing alone in your bedroom, and all the insecurity leaves your body. 

3. The story behind the song involves a playlist named "Outerbody" that you created before writing the track. How did the act of curating this playlist influence the song's development, and how did the memories associated with each track shape the overall vibe of 'Outerbody'?

A few days before the writing session, I was in a queue for a concert and started to make a playlist on Spotify to listen to while trying to kill some time. I was attempting to add my favourite songs of all time, so they would all be in one playlist. I started to notice that every track I was adding reminded me of a concert I’d been to, memories, time stamps throughout my life or just felt like escapism. The title Outerbody came to me when naming it, as when listening through, it all felt like an outer body experience to me. This playlist ended up inspiring my song “Outerbody”, but it wasn’t a particular sound or song that I wanted to reference, it was the feeling it gave me. So in the writing session, I wanted each lyric to be about being in a moment, and hearing your favourite song and being taken away into a memory. 

4. You've expressed a desire for listeners to fully experience the song and get lost in it. What specific elements in 'Outerbody' do you believe contribute most to this immersive experience, and how do you hope listeners will connect with the music on a personal level? 

“Outerbody” is the most upbeat track that I have released to date, and I hope that the listener can relate to the lyrics, specifically lines like “In the crowd, might as well be alone cause nothing else feels like home”. Sometimes going to events or parties can feel overwhelming and anxiety inducing, but that lyric depicts that moment of when the DJ starts to play your favourite, and you are no longer surrounded by people, but in a world of your own. An example of this that I have experienced is when I recently went to a club packed with people, and the opening synth of “Break Free'' by Ariana Grande started to play. It was like a wave took over me and any insecurity or anxiousness left me and I just started dancing and screaming the lyrics. I am sure that is something many people can relate to, so I really aimed for the chorus of “Outerbody” to feel massive and hard hitting, so the listener can be reminded of their own “Break Free” moment. 

5. Having originally hailed from Scotland and now based in London, how has your journey and change of surroundings influenced your musical style and approach to creating music, particularly in your latest work?

My music journey only started to feel real when I moved to London. I moved when I was 18 as I attended the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, so it was there that I met like-minded people who were just as passionate about pop as I was. I moved so soon after high school, so I didn’t really get to experience the Scottish music scene, as I didn’t know anyone else that also wanted to pursue music around me. In London, I was able to start collaborating with the people I was meeting, and developing my style and sound from there. Ironically, the majority of my collaborators over the past couple of years are not originally from London, so I feel working with writers who have different influences has only enriched my approach to creating music. 

6. Your debut EP, 'Chain Reaction,' garnered acclaim, and you've received support from various platforms. How has this positive reception impacted your artistic journey, and what can your growing fanbase anticipate from you in 2024, especially after the success of your production debut with Rihanna's "Disturbia"?

The positive feedback that I experienced with “Chain Reaction” impacted me massively. I gained a lot of confidence during that time, as seeing the songs being written about and receiving brilliant reviews was very validating. I was still so new to writing and releasing, so it just fueled me to create even more and get better. Whenever I make a song that I am so proud of, it becomes a new mission of trying to write a track that’s even better than it. It was always my song “Bad Boys, Good Girls” that I wanted to beat; now the standard is “Outerbody”. 

I plan to give my absolute all in 2024, with release after release, each track getting even better. A big goal of mine is to entirely vocal produce my releases, as I already track/comp and arrange my vocals, but to take the full journey right to the final mix with my own vocal chain would be incredible. Dipping my toes in the production world with “Disturbia” was a moment that I never thought would happen, so I am so proud I have gotten to where I am. I hope to develop this passion and skill for production further and keep surprising myself.


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