Hi! My name is Michaela Benson. I am 20 years old and I am from Limerick, Ireland. I am commonly known as Kayla, which also happens to be my artist name, ‘KAYLA’. I am a singer-songwriter who plays several musical instruments.
I was one of those children who could sing before they could talk! When I was young, I would sing songs that I loved from my favourite movies, such as Dirty Dancing, Grease, Mamma Mia, etc. However, as I grew older I fell in love almost every style of music, such as Soul, Jazz, RnB, Indie-pop. These would be the genres that would inspire me to want to start writing my own music.
I began writing my own songs somewhat seriously in Spring of 2018. I gained the courage to finish a song I had started to write when I was 15. I realised that writing songs was a way I could get whatever I wanted off my chest without having to say anything, I could just sing it!
In December 2019, I released a demo of an original song named ‘space’, which can be streamed on Spotify and YouTube. The song was written and recorded in a single day after finding a beat I loved on Youtube. The upbeat ‘Bedroom-pop’ style song was a fun, light-hearted way for me to write about how its ok to be overwhelmed and need some time to yourself. It was incredible experiencing the love and support from friends and family. Almost a year later, ‘space’ is an extremely appropriate song about social distancing!
I am hoping to release my debut EP in the near future, and my latest original ‘Bitter’ will be featured on it. I want this EP to tell the story of who I am, what I have experienced and I want people to connect with each song. I wrote ‘Bitter’ at a really stressful time, when I really needed to let my feelings out the only way I knew how. Even though each of my songs have a story behind them, I want people to give my songs their own interpretation. Please enjoy this stripped back, acoustic version with my questionable guitar skills!
My name is Alison (Ali) Hayes and I am a 19 year old singer-songwriter and instrumentalist from Co. Clare. My musical journey in terms of instrument playing began in primary school where I was first taught how to play the tin whistle as part of the school curriculum. I took so much joy in it that I wanted to take extra lessons outside of school. My teacher at the time, Michael Grogan, also played the fiddle which I then picked up and further went on to be classically trained on the violin by Bryonie Hopper. I played classical music for 6 years and completed grades 1-5 in ABRSM. Since 2017 I have learned how to play banjo, guitar, piano and a few others in between. My journey to becoming a singer was never really as prominent as my journey to becoming an instrumentalist. I was always part of the school choirs and musicals growing up but I never really wanted to be a solo singer. It wasn’t until I entered into the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance that I realised I had such a passion for singing. I initially entered first year wanting to play trad music but towards the end of the year I decided to swap over to the voice class. I sing mostly Irish and pop songs but I can adapt and suit my voice to other genres if I put my mind to it.
The soul purpose of my musical journey is to share my stories with others and hopefully heal people in the same way other artists and musicians have healed me. I want to combine my knowledge of and ability to sing and play multiple genres to produce music that will bring me to the fullest joy imaginable. I have always said that artists shouldn’t be confined to create or perform one specific genre and I am going to live by that statement. My ideal performance would be a mix of me singing and playing instruments rather than just doing one or the other.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Rootstrings thus far. I feel as though it is giving me a really good foundation and preparing me to tackle the business and financial aspects of having a career in music. In my opinion it’s helpful to have some bit of knowledge before you go jumping in the deep end signing contracts and having no idea what you’re getting yourself into or what they entail.