Amalie Bryde – Talking About Contemporary Women & Self-Confidence In Music (Interview)
Instagram posts might be hiding the truth
Like cosmetic usually do for inner beauty
Actually femme fatale stuck inside mental box
Hermetically sealed but this close to open up for disclosure
And then discover this crystal clear picture of her self worth she’s never posted yet
Confusing self-conscious with self-confidence, like in a H.E.R.‘s song.
Amalie Bryde, aka Kool Kat, London-based, Danish artist Kool Kat has released ‘Mentality’ on September 7th, 2018. This new song, which follows her debut single, Hermetic Beauty, is helping listeners open their minds to the reality of living in an era of post-truth.
A world of post-truth is indeed defined by the opposition between reality and social media. This can go beyond and address politics and the global mentality of our society.
Along a smooth recording, blending delightful neo-soul flavors with jazz infuences under a 90’s hip hop groove, Kool Kat is delivering a meaningful message with several layers.
Her voice, soft and elegant, breathes irony and reality check all along her music. Addressing feminism, body positive movement, woman’s worth in the music industry,… she expresses herself in a way to be the most original, poetic and cleverest.
That way, her official lyric video for Mentality leads the listener to play the song at least twice in a row, for she unveils many different meaning and stories behind the same lyrics.
Along the following interview, she’s giving us an explanation in depth of her thought and creative process.
SSB: Mentality is a great track. The base line is smoothly setting the groove, setting the mood. Irony and confidence in the tone during the verses, and a chorus quite cheerful indeed… Tell us about your creative process for this song.
Amalye Bryde: Summer 2017, I was in Brazil and influenced by their use of percussions and movement. I liked the idea of combining Hip Hop, jazzy celesta piano and Brazilian beats.
I had the lyric idea ready so the combination was just perfect: a track with a conversational tone, sad feel in the verse yet a groovy and optimistic vibe in the chorus. I look forward to hearing people sing along to: ‘Can’t go down with me with your mentality’.
SSB: Throughout all of this mesmerizing songwriting, there’s a message being delivered. What is the message behind Mentality?
Amalie Bryde: The lyric idea came to life when I came across the “Bow Wow Challenge” and the news that Lil’ Bow Wow had been bragging about flying private jet when actually flying commercial.
A song needed to be written about how we, on social media, have the need to project our lives better than others and show off to feel and be loved.
We don’t treat luxury as luxury anymore. We show off and communicate with the things we buy. Love is so loosely used today. We constantly try to impress.
SSB: A video is in the making. What’s your vision for the visual of this single? And why is there a car on the cover?
Amalie Bryde: The single-cover is the picture Lil’ Bow Wow posted of flying private jet.
I want my visuals to be ironic, showing how much time we spend on shopping and posting, seen from a human’s and a dog’s perspective.
SSB: What about Hermetic Beauty? How did this song come to you?
Amalie Bryde: It is inspired by fourth-wave feminism and how today’s women live through social media and how they ‘think’ they should look like.
We are so obsessed about wanting everything to be perfect – our body, partner, and lifestyle – so it is hard to let anything get underneath our skin. Eventually we will break down.
SSB: You present yourself as “a Danish London-based musician who believes in [her] art that combines neo-soul, jazz and Hip Hop.” The word “believe” seems strong here. How do you deal with self-confidence in your music?
Kool Kat: I remind myself every day why I do what I do. I struggled with “finding my sound” but it all changed when I let go, changed focus, stopped trying to please but instead make music I would listen to myself.
We can only relate and admire people who truly believe in themselves. As artists we are such perfectionists. We start but don’t finish because it’s never good enough. But how do we know what other want? We mix a lot of genres today so we tend to have a hard time describing our art and we want, so badly, people to like it.
We tend to please more than making music that we would listen to ourselves.
So sometimes I experience musician go defensive saying: “Why do you want me to label my music?”. But it’s not about labeling it’s about understanding.
Music is a sensitive and personal thing so of course, when you’re turned down, you have to stay strong. Being my own PR and manager, ATM, is a challenge because I have to stay focused and not get emotional when someone gives their opinion.
SSB: Have you ever tried to rap too? Or do Spoken Word?
Kool Kat: Great question! Yes, I have and I wish I could pull it off.
SSB: How do you define the fourth-wave of feminism? And how do you apply it to the music industry?
Kool Kat: It’s such a relevant subject but some still have a hard time facing it and I still get the “we didn’t feel the lyrics”. This is where I know I have hit a nerve which is why I make music. I want music to move people to make a change.
The internet, social media, plays the biggest part of the fourth-wave and allow women to build a strong online movement.
It has many branches and I’m mainly focusing on the body image. I want the body-positive movement to be in focus and the diversity to thrive.
SSB: How do you appreciate the evolution of women in music and social media?
Amalie Bryde: I really admire hard-working and dedicated women who believe in themselves like Jessie Reyez in “Gatekeeper”. That song really moves me with the male dominance in the music industry.
We women have a hard time supporting each other because we compare ourselves and it’s very competitive. I, myself, can be tough to impress too because I search for honesty, musicality and personality.
Here in London I appreciate there’s being networking events for women where we can talk, interact and support each other.
SSB: You told us you have supported and discovered beautiful women in our online community. Which one of them has been the most memorable? Why?
Amalie Bryde: The article about Shameem’s EP – ‘Time Does Not Revers’ was very strong to me.
Women are mainly performers in the industry and so the pressure is very hard. We dedicate our entire life to music but get caught up in looks, fortune, and unfortunately evidence to be promised a career in exchange for sex (Jessie Reyez – Get Away), or anything else than what’s important and has to do with talent, passion, and dream. It sucks out the energy and makes us depressed and lose the passion.
SSB: In this London music scene, which hard-working female artist that inspires you and could you name and recommend?
Amalie Bryde: I am inspired by Mahalia, her body and inner beauty empowerment.
SSB: September 6th was the day of your release party. When you go on stage, how can you describe the experience of your music live?
Amalie Bryde: Having a musical conversation, carrying your mood and motivate. But most importantly you’d like to move your hips and enjoy!
SSB: After Mentality, and this release party, what’s next for Kool Kat’s prospects?
Amalie Bryde: Stay tuned and you’ll see. This is just the beginning.