Meet Stevie Kin, the Low-Fi Poet You Need to Know
With festival season making a comeback, we’re highlighting a diverse group of local women artists creating their own distinct path in the music industry.
Meet Stevie Kin, an LA-based musician, poet, and co-creator of Weather Womxn - a constant conversation about how to stay connected to your creativity and home of their course, Holistic Creative. We caught up with Stevie to find out more about who inspires her, what lies ahead, and the songs she’s currently listening to.
Stevie grew up in a musical family - her mom plays the guitar, piano, and sings and her dad played drums in a jazz band in high school and also sings.
“Playing and singing music has always been a part of my life. My sister and I used to write and record songs on old cassette tapes when we were kids. We still, occasionally, bust out our greatest hits.”
It was as she entered her angsty teenage years that she started writing her own sad, emo songs, but was too embarrassed to perform them for anyone. Stevie says, “Secretly, I fantasized about one day being brave and cool enough to sing my own songs on stage, but I stayed in hiding for a long time.” But that all changed in college. That’s when she started to open up and share with friends what she was writing. Through some mentorship and encouragement, she finally played her first show. “It was terrible! But I kept going, becoming a better performer and a better songwriter.”
Stevie released her first EP, ‘Petals’ in 2019. Each song is filled with her breathy but captivating voice, dreamy instrumentals, and personal lyrics - all recorded in her bedroom via a portable studio she set up herself. The result sounds almost like someone’s diary set to a low-fi soundtrack, leaving the listener with a little of herself.
What's your process for writing new music?
I’m a huge believer in a creative gestation period. Creativity tells me when it’s ready to come through and how it wants to come through. I really feel that in their truest form, artists are channelers. When I sit down to write, it is because I feel something is ready to flow through and out of me, I just have to tune into it. I just start by fumbling around on guitar or piano, whichever feels right, and then find the chord progression that resonates and start humming along. Eventually, the humming turns into a phrase or two and then the rest of the lyrics start coming in. Lyrics are my favorite part of the process because it feels truly collaborative— between something ethereal and me. Once I know I’ve released fully and authentically, I usually record a demo of this through my logic set-up and add some simple instrumentation and background vocals. The final versions of my songs are usually these demos I record on my own combined with the beautiful and thoughtful touches of my producer.
How did lockdown impact your art?
Wow. Things shifted quite a bit. Just before lockdown I’d come off of a tour and went straight into the studio to start recording my new record. That week a tragic tornado hit Nashville and the following week, a pandemic hit the world. Everything paused. Everything was holding its breath. It took me a while to truly let go of any timeline or idea of productivity I’d been holding onto, but once I released it, I had the time and space to allow my spirit to remember that expression is timeless. The universe has its own order and flow. Turns out, what I most needed was to rest, recalibrate and tune into the new directions creativity wanted to take me. My record changed, new projects began taking form, and I started a brand new journey into a different medium altogether.
What artists have inspired you the most?
Patti Smith has been instrumental (pun kinda intended) in my development as an artist. It is not her sound, but her essence that has and continues to inspire. She has tapped into a true freedom that blends her “regular life” and her creative life with an effortless joy. A very long list of other writers, musicians, actors, painters, and poets follow. I’ll just name a few — Rilke, Mary Oliver, Cat Power, Leonard Cohen, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, etc.
What are you most excited about?
My new record is nearly finished! Hope to share it later this year. This recording process has been a messy, wild, beautiful ride, but gave birth to something new and pure. It is an ultra personal record, but then, so was my last…. So I guess it’s all personal! I’ve recently fallen deeply and passionately in love with acting. It’s a bit of an obsession at this point and I could talk endlessly about the true craft of it. I’m taking Meisner and also have some films/projects coming up that I’m so, so excited about. Also, my dear friend/business partner and I released our course + podcast discussing and teaching on creative well-being and balance. It is our hearts’ desire to see everyone creating in their fullest freedom and authenticity, so this is for those who feel blocked or want to tap into greater creative power. The process of bringing this vision to life has been 5 years in the making and every single word, visual, and sound was crafted with all our love.
Describe your personal style.
Simple. Relaxed. Boyish. Dancer. Classic. Ideally, my outfits can go day-to-night just by switching out my shoes and throwing on a blazer. Those are always my favorite looks.