Singing her own tune
Kaelyn Kastle has learnt a lot about the music industry in the past few years.
Topping the list is the importance of speaking up for herself; she had been represented by Meshach Media, but in April left with her manager, L.A. Reid.
“If you don’t take control of your own career, other people will take control of it for you,” the 23-year-old singer said.
“At the end of the day, no one knows what you want, except you. The scariest day was asking to be released from my contract, but after that day it got easier and easier.”
She is now independent and blowing up the internet. A video with influencer Funny Marco helped; together they played a prank on comedian Cheating A** Myron.
“He does a talent show on Instagram,” Ms Kastle said. “I joined and started singing.”
The next morning, her mother called and told her the video had gone viral.
“I looked through the video and people were saying, ‘Oh my goodness, she can sing!’ My followers kept shooting up.
“I went viral by mistake. I always believed that people would appreciate my music and stuff, but I did not realise it would grow as fast as it did.”
Her list of Instagram followers went from 10,000 to 15,000 in one day.
Two weeks later, she took advantage of her still rising social media figures to drop a song, They Don’t Know.
It did not do as well as she had hoped, but she was learning to roll with the situation.
At the moment, she is in talks with a few labels and working with Jasmine Vaughan and Bermudian Deesa Booth of BlkSheep Ent. Her real focus, however, is how best to promote herself.
“I want to come with my own audience, my own projects, my own team,” she said.
“I don’t want all of those things given to me. But if I have to do it on my own, I am well prepared.”
Her songs can be heard on television shows and movies, BET’s Secrets is one of them.
She also makes social media videos where she sings and talks about her life and Bermuda.
“Most people write me and say ‘I didn’t know Bermuda was a real place’,” she said. “People never knew before they saw me. Maybe two weeks ago there was a big argument on Twitter. They were like, ‘Why does she talk like that?’”
It turned out her accent was the problem. People did not believe it was real.
“Bermudians do not like to be disrespected,” she said. “The Bermudians were like, ‘She’s Bermudian. That is how we sound.’ I didn’t even know all this was going on until it was over.”
She is proud to have 191,000 followers on Instagram.
“My biggest achievement has been growing my audience,” she said.
“I’ve been putting myself out there. It’s kind of like fishing. You are throwing yourself out there to see if people want to be a part of your whole experience. It has been a pretty dope experience, so far.
“When I hit 125K in October I dropped another song, Not Yours.”
She started on her path at 17, when Bermuda Hospitals Board hired her to sing a jingle to raise money for the new hospital.
Ms Kastle then gained a degree in entertainment business from Full Sail University. An entertainer’s visa allows her to keep working in the US.
She admits that when she first thought of becoming a singer, she did not envision it in the form of what she is doing today.
“I didn’t think the industry would be controlled so much by social media,” she said. “But it has become such a powerful platform.”
•For more on Kaelyn Kastle, visit kaelynkastle.com or check her out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
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