The latest female artist set to conquer airwaves and earbuds from across the pond is Kayla. Rewind to a time when the Southeast London native was a teen raised on Prince, Sade, and Kate Bush. She would write songs and poetry in her room, crafting makeshift demos of loose vocals she’d record. Kayla joined London’s famed BRIT School, sharing classrooms with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Jessie J, as the influx of BRIT School talent was just beginning. That experience ultimately prepared her for what was to come.
An initial 2013 EP release didn’t achieve the direction that Kayla wanted. Adam Wake brought Kayla to the Spotlight 87 Entertainment producer songwriting team of Brian Vibberts and Alex Houton, who helped her reinvent her direction. Vibberts has won five Grammy Awards and has worked with Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, and Houton has developed artists for several major labels. Wake, Houton, and Vibberts formed Metro 3 Entertainment and signed Kayla to their new record label as their first artist.
The result is her follow-up EP #ThisIsKaylaMusic, a five-track introduction to whom Kayla Griffiths really is.
Watch the official video for “Mojito,” a dark, powerful track observing the reckless behavior of a friend, by clicking the image above. It is directed by Ryan Andrews who has worked with Charli XCX on multiple videos. Award-winning cinematographer Luke Jacobs and fight director Kevin McCurdy round out the behind the camera talent. “As people we’ve all been through times where we’ve felt pretty crappy, and we’ve all done it — you go out with your friends, just get drunk, party the night away and just try to forget all of the stuff going on around you,” she explains. “It’s like a bullet wound that you’re trying to drink away. It’s the craziness we feel when we’re trying to anchor ourselves to one emotion.”
As for other tracks, “No Smoke Without Fire” and “How An End Starts” signify the end of a relationship, with the former highlighting the awkward phase before the end and the latter marking the point of love’s downfall. “The Angel Within” is full of intuition, as Kayla’s sharp songwriting shines through, detailing as she says, “that internal struggle we have with making the best decisions for ourselves.” However, the track “Mannequin” makes the boldest statement and is perhaps a culmination of the situations Kayla has experienced thus far as an artist. The song uses a mannequin as the archetypal result of societal conformity. “We nip, we tuck, we pluck, we suck and try to reach that ideal and we don’t focus on what’s important. ‘Mannequin’ is my middle finger to society.”