Canadian singer/songwriter/producer Lindsay Kay revealed her debut album “For the Feminine, by the Feminine” on October 2018. Produced by Kay herself, the project is about femininity and the ways in which feminine beings compress themselves for their male counterparts.
Kay’s new lead single “Lush Life” is originally a song by American jazz artist Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn was one of the first openly gay men in the jazz community. He was often described both by those close to him and by himself as deeply in touch with his feminine side, and was said to be the feminine to his closest musical collaborator, Duke Ellington's masculine. “It is important for this album to be inclusive of all people who identify as feminine beings,” Kay says, “not just cis-gendered, straight women,” says Kay.
The Los Angeles-based artist recorded her album at Paramount Studios Recording in Hollywood. Engineered by Lynne Earls (KD Lang, Calexico, Melody Gardot) and mastered by Sarah Register (Ariana Grande, Sia, Sonic Youth), “For the Feminine, by the Feminine” is a stunning work of art revealing Kay’s remarkable artistry and musicality.
“For the Feminine, by the Feminine” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Lindsay Kay and I was born and raised in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your story?
I’m a singer-songwriter and artist based in Los Angeles, CA currently focused on making music centering around femininity and working exclusively with women and folks who identify as feminine beings. Uplifting women within music and other male-dominated industries is very important to me!
Could you describe us your childhood? Any favorite memories?
I grew up with my Mom in Calgary and was very fortunate that she noticed an inclination towards singing and music in me at the very young age and provided me the opportunities to explore that. I had a very nice, fairly normal childhood filled with lots of different activities and interests, though I was extremely shy and introverted. I figure skated, played basketball, sang in children’s choirs, and danced before finally settling on music seriously in my young teens. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my Mom and me in the car singing along to our favorite CDs: Toni Braxton, The High School Musical Sountrack (lol), Elton John…
Do you remember your first musical memories?
I don’t know if this is a memory or just a story I’ve heard so many times, but when I was about 3, my mom took me along with her to the mall, and The Eagles song “Get Over It” came on in the store we were in. I started belting out the lyrics at the top of my lungs (not a super child-appropriate song) and everyone in the store just sort of stared at me like “who does this insane child belong to?”
Do you remember the first album you've ever bought?
Britney Spears …Baby One More Time.
At what point did you decide to pursue music as a career?
I think I always knew music was going to be my career on some level, but definitely when I decided to attend Berklee College of Music, it became clear that I was devoting my life to being a musician in a real way, and that was exciting.
What gave you the confidence to release your original music?
I don’t really think it’s about having the confidence – it’s more about trying to push past the fear and the voice telling you not to do it. I’ve gotten really good at ignoring that voice. But the fear is still always there! It’s terrifying and very vulnerable!
You recently your debut album "For the Feminine by the Feminine". Could you describe us the songwriting/production process for this album?
It took me a little over a year and a half to write this album. I’m quite a slow writer and am not very prolific, so I just sort of sat down most mornings for about a year and chiseled away at these songs. There were many other songs written over the course of that time, but they didn’t make the cut. I started writing while I was in France on an artist residency in Spring of 2016, but the majority of the songs were written in my home in Los Angeles between September, 2016 and August, 2017.
Any favorite memory from the making of the album?
I have very fond memories of the day we recorded “Lush Life” at Paramount Studios. I just released a behind the scenes video from that session, and it was so lovely to be able to look back at that experience. It was such a quick morning, but kind of magical.
What's the hardest part about making an album? And what's the best part?
The hardest part is all of the admin… having to deal with paying everyone, scheduling everything, having every detail planned. It’s a ton of work and is very boring and tedious. The best part is hands down getting to hire your friends and amazing people to work on your project. It’s a fantastic excuse to reach out to artists and musicians whose work you admire to collaborate. I’ve developed a lot of incredible friendships with the people I’ve hired to work on my albums.
You produced the record yourself. What was the biggest challenge?
Having to be decisive in the moment can be hard. You have to make gut instinct decisions about things constantly, and a lot of the time there isn’t another mind to bounce the ideas off of. You have to trust yourself and trust your taste and hope you will still like that choice later. You also have to be open to the idea that maybe the choice you made yesterday didn’t work, and not identify with that or hold onto it too tightly. Go back and redo it. It’s no big deal, but sometimes it feels like a failure.
What are the different topics you are talking about on this album?
The album really centers around femininity and the ways in which feminine beings compress themselves for their male counterparts. The album explores seeking faith, falling out of love with the person you thought you were supposed to love, consent, exhaustion, reclaiming feminine power…
What did you learn about yourself after finishing this album?
I learned that I’m good at my job, and my instinct to hold tightly to creative control is right.
What message do you want to deliver through your album?
I want my listeners to feel comforted and seen.
What can you tell us about the artwork of the album?
I art directed the album artwork, and my dear friend Anastasia Lebedeva photographed it for me. I wanted to channel Grecco/Roman goddess visuals and to have things feel very soft and pastel, and of course feminine. The photo shoot itself was an insane amount of work, and thank god I have amazing friends who helped me lug spools and spools of fabric, furniture, and camera equipment into giant freight elevators in Downtown LA!
How's it like to be a woman in the music industry?
Exhausting and at times frustrating. Also empowering and awesome!
What message would you give to women around the world?
You absolutely do not need men to create great work. Just because they are more visible and there are more of them working in our industries does not mean that you have to hire them or need their help to make whatever it is you want to make. There are women everywhere flying under the radar who are equally, if not more, competent and talented at their jobs. Find them, call them, collaborate with them!
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Sooooo many things, but since my American health insurance just rejected my latest claim and it is at the forefront of my mind, today I’ll say universal healthcare.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
To trust myself, and to try to enjoy the ride more.
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