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Raising artist, Krystl is one of the biggest dutch promises of this year. Signed with Universal and winner of several awards, such as the 3FM Award for Best Newcomer, the jazzy singer has just released her debut album, "Rolling", this past May and has already recived a lot of praise for it, charting at #8. The album is definitely one of the highlights of the year, with it's soul pop sound, very similar to Anouk's but with a much softer vibe. The "Bottles" singer recently answered some questions for me and the result is super interesting, so be sure to read the interview!

Interview and videos after the JUMP ...

Buy "Rolling" HERE (NL)

*How would you define yourself as an artist?
I'm a cheerful person who makes energetic, groovy pop music with some rock and soul influences.

*Who would you name as your biggest influence?/What is your dream collaboration?
I used to listen to so many artists so I really can't pick one!! My taste of music is huge; I like pop, soul, rock but I also love country music. I just love good songs with strong lyrics!! Songs that makes me happy or move/touch me. My music is influenced by; Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Beth Hart, Amos Lee, Michael Jackson, James Morrisson, John Mayer and so on...I would love to work with any of the artists I just mentioned and which are still alive.

*How did you get started with music?
Actually, I started making music when I was 16. I didn't know I had a talent for singing and in my youth I never dreamed about a career in music. I used to be a dancer; dancing was my passion! I was 16 when I met guitar player Bart Jan. He lived close by to my parents house and asked me if I would like to sing in his band. We did some gigs in the neighbourhood and that was really exciting. I discovered the feeling being on stage is magic. That's where it all started!

*I read you studied at a conservatory?What made you make that decision?
Actually, I never wanted to study at a conservatory! It didn't even pop up in my mind. It really happened by coincidence! The same guitar player Bart Jan did an audition at the conservatory and the band and I were there to support him. So we played three songs for the jury. Bart was rejected (which was horrible) and instead of Bart , they asked ME to sign up! I was so surprised, because I never knew I had the talent to sing. I've always believed in the fact that things happen for a reason so from that moment I really wanted to go for singing!

*Your first steps were as a backing singer, what did you learn from that experience?
Yeah that was a great time! I had the chance to see how it works in the Dutch music business. Because of that experience I knew what I wanted and what I didn't want for my own career.

*Do you consider that the artists you worked with influenced your own sound?
I guess nothing happens on purpose. I worked very often with Dutch singer Do because I did her backing vocals. People told me some years ago that I did the same things with my mic just like she does and I sometimes sounded like her. I didn't even realize it! The same thing happened with Beth Hart. She is one of my hero's and I went to a lot of her shows. Five years ago, I moved myself like her on stage. I became aware of that because I didn't want to act like someone else. It's ok that artists inspire you but as an artist you'll have to find your own unique style. For me, it was a long journey to find out who I was and what I really wanted. Now I'm not scared anymore to be just myself so I can finally say that I'm really me.

*Would you say that your singing style has many retro characteristics? 
I guess so, because I'm influenced by many artists from another generation and I wrote songs with songwriters with different musical backgrounds.

*Considering the success of artists like Adele and Anouk, who move in the same style that you do, do you consider that you can have the same success they did?
I can only dream about a carreer just like them! That would be amazing!

*Do you ever considered going for a more popular sound, like pop?
Do you believe that soul is the new pop? Well I think at the moment I make pop songs with rock and soul influences. It's popular enough to hear it on the radio so that's great! At the moment you hear a lot pop/soul music on the radio so it's hard to stand out.

*So your debut album, "Rolling", came out recently, what else can you tell me about it?
It's a feel-good album!! Before I started the writing I wanted to make an uptempo album, where people can dance. I think we succeeded with "Rolling". People who bought the album are sending me messages or writing stuff on the internet, that the songs are making them happy and that's awesome!! It's great for instance that the song "Leaving Home" moves people from 13 years until 60 years old. "Rolling" is also a track on the album and we picked that one for the title. It says something about the start of my career.

*You wrote all the songs of it? Where do you find inspiration when doing so?
Most of the songs were written with Martijn Konijnenburg and Blair Mackichan. They are both amazing songwriters and I have a "click" with them. The writing proces is different everytime. We're just jamming and come up with some lyrics. When we got some melodies, we start to discuss what we want the song to be about. The topics on the album are just the normal things in life.

*The first single was "Golden Days", what's it's meaning?
The song is about just the nice days in your life. Make the best out of it.

*That song was used on an ad campaign? How did that happen?
I was selected with three others singers for the ad campaign. At the end they chose me and the song "Golden Days" because it matched perefectly the brand and product.

*Tell me more about the song "Bottles" ...
It's about a break up between a man and a woman. They're not communicating anymore and that's the most important thing in a relationship. The relationship ends but not in a very heavy way, I don't like to give the songs a negative vibe. Peoples first impression is that it's a happy song because of the groovy beat and the happy melody but if you listen to the lyrics you'll know better.

*You filmed music videos for both of them, how was that like? Who came up with the idea of them?
Golden Days was shooted in Barcelona and that was so much fun! I was walking through Barcelona with love shaped balloons in my hand. It was funny how the people were reacting when I handed over one of the balloons. We recorded the video in just four hours. Some directors came up with the ideas for Golden Days and Bottles but during the process I also put my ideas into it.

*Which part of the musical process is your favourite? The one you most enjoy?
That's a difficult question because every process is very special!! But to perform and be on stage with my amazing band and to see smiling faces in the audience, is what I love to do most.

*Are you already working on a second album?
I'm totally ready for it!! I'm already making plans for some co-writes. Martijn and I called each other several times to discuss the second album. This week I will start writing for my next album! Looking forward to it!

*Are you aiming for the same sound as in the first album?
Well, we'll have to see what's gonna happen during the writing process but I don't think my second album will sound completely different. Although I'm aiming to bring my music to the next level. Think out of the box. Breaking my boundaries.

*What will you do to keep it innovative?
I don't know yet, I think we're going to try to use other sounds and instruments. First we have to write some amazing songs!! That's what it's all about!

*You recentyl won the 3FM Awards for Best Newcomer, what was going through your mind when you recived the award?
I really never expected to win the Award! So I really didn't know what to say to the audience so the only thing I could come up with was: THANK YOU!!!

*How does it feel now?
I'm still very happy and proud! It means a lot to me to win this award because it's a public prize. The Award stands in my room so every day I can look at it!

*Do you consider it has been a great boost for your carrer?
Yeah I guess so, because it's a great event and an important Award in the music scene. It was also great publicity.

*You've been nominated to a TMF Borsato Award, which names the most promising acts, how did you feel when someone like him chose you?
It was such an honour that Marco Borsato nominated me for this Award! He has been one of the greatest artist in the Netherlands for such a long time. He's a great singer and performer. It's amazing that he likes what I'm doing and that he likes my songs and album.

*What can we expect from you in the coming months?/What are your plans from now on?
This summer you can find me and my band playing on several festivals, which is great because it's a nice way to introduce my songs to a big audience. We have so much fun on stage and hopefully the audience will enjoy our show! In October and November we will be doing a club tour and I'm really looking forward to it! Since I started singing, I dreamed having my own club tour in the Netherlands. I think it's going to be great; it will be a very energetic show!!

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