Interview: Kaiya Gamble Talks about Inspiration, Songwriting, and “Sweet Talker”

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Fifteen-year-old pop singer-songwriter Kaiya Gamble recently released her new single/lyric video, “Sweet Talker.”

Right up front, know this: Kaiya can sing!

Talking about the song, Kaiya shares, “At the beginning of ‘Sweet Talker,’ the other person has all the power. They broke your heart, never loved you and that hurts, a lot. By the end, there’s a self-realization that you are the person in charge. You’re better off without the toxicity and you weren’t to blame. This song is a goodbye to the toxic people in and around your life, and a hello to the power you hold within yourself! While the song tells the story of heartbreak, it’s also about healing and taking back control of your happiness.”

In 2020, Kaiya released her debut single, “Speak Out,” which premiered on CBC Radio’s ‘A Key of A.’ The song went on to place in the Top 3 in 2021’s International Women’s Freedom Song Contest, along with being nominated for Pop Single of the Year at the 2021 YYC Music Awards.

Kaiya followed with “I’m In it,” released in 2021. She’s shared the stage with JUNO/CCMA Award-winner Brett Kissel, as well as appearing at Paul Brandt’s ‘Not My City,” and headlining Wickfest for the last three years. Kaiya also performs a monthly virtual show for the Cancer Ward in the Randwick Children’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

“Sweet Talker” starts off low, emerging colors topped by Kaiya’s sumptuous voice, and then ramps up into an upbeat, alluring pop melody highlighted by the crème de la crème tones of Kaiya’s opulent vocals.

Impressed and intrigued, CelebMix caught up with Kaiya Gamble to discover more about the person behind the music, the inspiration for “Sweet Talker,” and her writing process.

What three things can’t you live without?

  1. My family.
  2. Music, obviously.
  3. Chocolate.

What inspired your new single “Sweet Talker?”

I was inspired by the instrumental at the time! I was playing around with this chord progression at the piano for about a week. The beat, the melody, I was humming along to this funky instrumental, and it was really catching my ear. As I was playing it for probably the 10th time, a lyric flowed through my head. ‘I guess it really was a game to ya, cause you say that I’m to blame for us. Oh what did I do? I just loved you, with all my heart.’  It was that moment when I knew I had to finish the song. I kept working on the song slowly, but surely, and here we are!

Walk us through your mindset as you approached recording the song.

I was SO EXCITED to record this tune!!! When I walked into the studio that day, I had two words in mind… Dua Lipa. I just knew the production of “Sweet Talker” should have her kind of vibe, but with a Kaiya Gamble twist! My producers were absolutely amazing about embracing that to the fullest, and we ended up adding some really cool instrumentation to the song that never would have crossed my mind. That’s what I love about collaboration. Everyone brings something special to the table!

How did you get started in music?

I started music when I was 9! It was actually my music teacher at school who came up to my parents after school one day and said, “Do you know Kaiya has perfect pitch?” They had no idea at the time, so they put me in piano lessons, and I ended up really liking it. Then I started singing just because it was fun.  I mean, who doesn’t love singing? One day, I decided I wanted to teach myself a song on the piano that I could sing and play. That song was “Rise Up” by Andra Day. When I put the two together, a spark ignited inside me. That’s the moment I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada!

Did your hometown impact your sound?

I’d say yes and no. My sound has mostly been impacted by the singers I’ve been inspired by, but a big part of that has been seeing artists like Alessia Cara perform live in Calgary. A lot of people think only country music comes out of Calgary, but Tate McRae and other amazing genre artists have really helped put Calgary on people’s radars.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

When people listen to my songs, I really want them to come away feeling like they aren’t alone in what they are going through. Music is a place that is safe to connect with those messy emotions because someone else has felt the same thing too. Music is such a beautiful universal language that encapsulates so many feelings. Even in the happy times, you need a good song to vibe to!

What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?

I’m inspired by everyday life. Both the positive and the negative things we experience, we see, and we feel. I am most definitely inspired by music I love, both from the past and from the present. More recently, I’ve been taking a deeper dive into poetry, and it is a beautiful art form. The way poets bend their words like an art piece, crafted to perfection, but to make it sound so effortless, is magical. I love watching TV shows, especially for their theme songs! I even did a series on TikTok where I added lyrics to the ‘Brooklyn 99’ theme song that was different for every character! The other thing I find really awesome is artwork! I went to a Van Gogh experience to see his artwork portrayed to music, and I wrote a song the next day. Everything around us can inspire.

What can you share about your writing process?

I am a huge melody-oriented writer.  Looooove a good melody and a strong story! I write songs by myself, or with collaborators. Writing a song can take anywhere from an hour, to months, to write. Regardless, all of my songs come from the heart.

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

Harry Styles is literally DOMINATING right now! I love his new single, and his new album is highly anticipated at this point. Also, can we talk about Jon Batiste?!?! He won Album of the Year and four other Grammys this year and now he is performing at Carnegie Hall! He is doing wicked things at the moment.  Not to mention all the other artists pursuing music. If you are doing what you love, in my mind you are killing it.

What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? New material? Live gigs?

Let’s hope for lots of live gigs! I am really looking forward to getting back on stage where I really feel at home! I’ve already got some live shows in the works, so if you follow along with my socials (@kaiyagambleofficial) you can see when they are confirmed, and I can connect with my amazing ‘Gamblers’ in person!!! In terms of new material… let’s just say I’m figuring it out.

Follow Kaiya Gamble Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Spotify