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Interview with Kristyna Myles 2010

From Busking to Big Time: Kristyna Myles tells Chris High how it feels to have secured a Five Album Deal with Decca

Kristyna Myles and Chris HighNot so long ago, Manchester based singer / songwriter Kristyna Myles was subsidising her student grant by entertaining the city’s shoppers. Now, five years later and with the experience of recording and performing with Chris de Burgh and supporting the likes of Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall and Beverly Craven already under her belt, Kristyna has announced that music giants Decca have given her a five album deal.

 ‘When I first got the news I was with my mum in her kitchen at home in Leicester and was screaming all over the place,’ the 26 year old explained. ‘Then after we’d both calmed down a bit, mum said “are you sure this it?” and I had to convince her that, yeah, it really was happening.

‘Mum and Dad are both really supportive, so they didn’t want me getting my hopes built up only to be let down, because there have been quite a few near misses along the way as far as deals are concerned, so she was understandably a little bit cautious for my sake. But when we signed the contract a week later, she was really emotional.’
In truth, Decca have been following Kristyna’s career since she won the Radio 5 Live Busker Idol competition in 2005; a win that brought her to the attention of Lady In Red singer, Chris de Burgh and resulted in not only Kristyna dueting with the star on his Storyman album a year later, but also led to her being invited to tour Europe singing Raging Storm before sold out audiences.

‘Decca have been following me for a few years now, but it was pretty obvious that I didn’t have the confidence, the songs or experience, really, to take the next step up. I had the raw talent, and gigging had given me a certain amount of natural stage craft, but up until the Chris de Burgh tour and the experience of playing in front of thousands of people, I wasn’t ready and Decca said as much.

‘At the time I was a bit distraught, but looking back on it now they were absolutely right. Performance experience is the biggest thing and performing with the likes of Chris and Mick Hucknall has brought me on no end.

‘I’ve also had opportunities to travel and gain the experience of singing in other countries, such as France where I now have a fan-base of my own and sold out a few pretty big Jazz Cafes, which was amazing. That has boosted my confidence enormously and given me invaluable experience as a performing artist.

‘The more you perform, the more confident you get and the experience of playing before huge audiences and writing more songs has helped me to develop my own style which Decca have now rewarded with the deal.

‘I can’t tell you how grateful I am that they’ve stuck by me and watched me develop, but then there are so many people who have helped me out. Tamra Keanon who, along with many other great writers, has helped me develop my writing and co-written a couple of songs for the debut album. Then there’s Tony Moore the founder The Bedford in London, who’s given me the opportunity to play at the club even before Chris de Burgh got in touch in 2006.

‘Tony’s the guy who gave opportunities to Paulo Nutini, KT Tunstall and James Morrison, amongst others. So to be taken under somebody’s wing like his has been a huge, huge benefit and led to my performing at the South by South West festival earlier this year in America as well, which was a fabulous experience in itself.
‘So its not been just me. I have an awful lot of people to thank who’ve helped, supported and believed in me for which I am truly and honestly grateful. Not least of which have been my Manager, Perry Hughes, everyone at Roots Music and all those people who have regularly come out and seen me perform live. ’

As well as having the support of those within the industry, Kristyna has also had the same band with her along the way. ‘They are really excited. We started recording last week and have got a lot down already, so they’re really happy for me and, also, excited for the future. They’ve always been my band and will always been my band, hopefully.’

Kristyna’s music fits into the pop-jazz / soul field and the debut album – as yet untitled – is due to be recorded by the end of the year and will finally be available in 2011, thanks to the help of one of the music industry’s most experienced producers.

‘Ken Nelson has worked with some of the world’s biggest bands such as Coldplay and Badly Drawn Boy. The way he likes to record is very similar to the way we like to do it in as much as that we’re pretty much playing a gig, all together, with the drummer in one room and the bass, guitars, keyboards and me in another. It’s great and works really well, because we just play the song the way we would live.

‘As a group we’re just learning so much about recording, even down to the minutest of details that make the sound as perfect as possible. The aim is to produce a timeless, classic record that stands on its own. People will make comparisons to other artists once it’s out there but, at the moment, we’re just trying hard to make a Kristyna Myles album, with an original Kristyna Myles sound, that’s as good as it possibly can be.’

Next up for Kristyna is an appearance at the Summer Sundae Festival in Leicester where she’ll be sharing the bill with Seasick Steve on Friday August 13 before heading back to Manchester to perform in the city’s Pride festival on August 30 . ‘I’m on the Musician Stage in Leicester with my band and I’m really excited about playing in my home City in front of so many people. It’s in its tenth year this year and I got involved because I play a venue called The Musician in Leicester, who are sponsoring the stage, and the people there have supported me for a long time.

‘It’s a great honour to be asked, because The Musician is such a fantastic place to play. If they believe in you they will back you all the way and promote you as much as they can.’

‘Manchester is where I’m based now, so playing The Pride festival is also a big thrill. Playing in front of so many people will be just so exciting. I’m playing on The Sackville Gardens stage and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.’

So from studying for a degree in Popular Music and Recording at Salford University and busking on the streets of Manchester, to a 5 Record Deal with one of the industry’s biggest labels has taken just six short years. How does Kristyna view the rapid rise and does she miss busking? ‘I’m really pleased its happened now and not sooner. A lot of people are signed when they’re not quite ready and, as I said before, although I was disappointed when Decca said they felt I wasn’t ready, they were right. Busking’s a great way to start out. I really enjoyed doing it and had some really good times. There was one occasion when I was singing outside the Arndale and a lady was sitting listening to me sing one of my own songs. At the end, she stood up, came over and gave me £5 and said it had really made her day just to listen to me sing that one particular song which was just a fabulous feeling.’

For More Information: 

To see and hear Kristyna perform live:   

Kristyna Myles interview 2008 | Kristyna Myles interview 2006

 


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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