Slay Spotlight - Kaydence - Slay Sonics

Slay Spotlight – Kaydence

Kaydence, a singer/ songwriter & native new yorker who transplanted to LA in 2016, and hit the ground running ever since. In the last 2 years in LA she has signed a pub deal with BMG  working with Ariana Grande on Sweetener album “Better Off”, and both Ariana singles that went number 1 “Thank u next” and “7 rings”. She is currently co-executive producing Brandy’s next album, Mary J Blige, records on Normani’s forthcoming album to name a few, all on her own with no management or agent. Kaydence is poised to be a household name in the world of songwriting and will eventually be presenting more of her personal music career this year.

How do you approach song-writing?
I approach songwriting with melody. There’s different scenarios for how records come about. Many I’ve done from scratch, some from piano or guitar, some just topline. But for me, There’s nothing like building from scratch and watching nothing turn into something amazing.

We just saw that ‘Thank You, Next’ came out, how did that song come about?
Because we were absolutely past tipsy for 10 days straight I feel like I’m gonna chop the story so I’m sorry! Haha. But based on what I remember… We were talking about some documentary series that came out about a woman, and each episode was about her ex-husbands and how they molded her into the woman she is. We were like… that’s a fucking dope song concept. Thanking your ex’s. Ari’s always said “thank you next” , and jokingly Victoria brought up the phrase. That’s when the idea came to life. It fit like a glove and the message itself was so powerful, the icing on the cake would just be the name drops. They almost didn’t happen (for the briefest second) but so very glad it did. It made history IMO.

How did writing for Ariana Grande come about?
It came about when I first moved to LA in 2016. I had quit my job in NYC, dumped my 401k and decided I was gonna figure life out. Worked at a pet store and PF Chang’s for a while, and would go to the studio soon as I got off work. I was in a session that happened to have a hit boy beat that I wrote to. It got back to him, and he requested to work for a few days. We knocked out like 10 amazing records, we got a crazy chemistry. He told me Ariana was coming by to listen through some ideas and he wanted me to play some for her. The first record I played her was “Better Off”, which was on the “Sweetener” album. She stopped it after the “head over shoes” line and said she need to cut it. We spent a good few days working on that and cutting a couple others… so much so that people started asking who the fuck I was, and the publishing offers rolled in left and right. That woman for real changed my life.

What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?

It changes by the day to be honest. But the one that always lingers in the back of my head is this record I did with hit boy. It’s called “Freedom”. It helped me create my own closure from someone who never gave me some.

What’s a defining moment in your career thus far? 
When you see hope restored in creatives after being so jaded by this Industry. When they fall back in love with music like when they started. When I got a message saying “I’m negative in my bank account and I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore , but I see you and all I can think is if Kay can do it I can too”.I think the most important thing to me is that I can wake up and say that I do what I love everyday and there is no better feeling.

Do you have any tips for upcoming singers and songwriters?
Your network is right at your finger tips. Don’t be 1 dimensional, you’ll simmer out. Don’t write songs … write you. Have an “it” factor to your writing… so much so, there becomes a demand for it. No one is your friend, no matter how much they make it seem like it. You’ll feel like you’re back in middle school having to deal with cliques and conditional friends based solely on your career success. You’ll hear a million no’s before hearing one yes. You’ll probably sleep on floors, get so close to giving up about 100 times. But with patience, I promise you it will come. and it will make every moment and painful/wasted memory worth it. 

How do you know when a song is done?
know a song is done when I can listen through and not get bored. Simplicity is key, catchy is key. Just don’t waste bars. Challenge every line and make sure it’s not predictable. Push the wow envelope and say something out of the box. 

Where do you get inspiration? 
Everywhere is inspiration, everyone is inspiration. I treat people I meet and their energy as an experience I can draw from later. Just be a sponge to people who know more than you, and work just as hard as you.

How do you deal with writer’s block? 
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It just means your uninspired.

Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
Charlie Wilson, Tupac, John Mayer were all major influencers to me. Especially because I came up in that era when you can pop up on AZ lyrics to read along to copy & paste as your away message. So, obviously I cared about the lyrics very much. The concepts , everything. But now, I love James Fauntleroy, always have. He’s a genius and care free following his own rules to how music should be and one day I plan to do the same thing.

What are you listening to right now?
I love 6lack, he’s one of my favorites right now. Pardi, Tony E, H.E.R. , Ghoss…. and shiiid I listen to myself a lot on some non vain shit lol

How do you feel about the current state of music?
I feel like it’s going in a great direction. I came from 90s hip hop and Now people are back to caring about the lyrics again.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working on music?
Well, I run marathons, love hiking, and cross country skiing, surfing, and waterboarding… I do cross fit on weekends and I also draw. Sometimes I press all the elevator buttons and leave. Actually, I don’t do any of those things, just smoke weed and play with my dogs.

What’s a crazy experience you’ve had in the industry or a writing session?
Can anything really top Ari tipsy pulling up to the studio with a big ass bag from Tiffany’s handing us each an engagement ring ? 

Who would you want to collaborate with that you haven’t already?
Probably 6lack, Madison Ryann Ward, John Mayer, Kehlani, and a bunch more

Credits:Brandy, Mary J Blige, Normani, Ariana Grande, Cassie, & Kelly Rowland.