By Nicholas Jason Lopez
As one of the two percent of female music producers in the industry, Los Angeles indie pop artist Jenna Kyle has made it a point to show off what she can do and explored her more experimental side on her debut EP ‘Ojos,’ released last month.
‘Ojos’ boasts a sound immersed in techno and worldly influence from her visits to places like South America, Europe and Southeast Asia, which has been compared to the likes of BANKS, Tove Lo and Lana Del Rey by various outlets.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with her about ‘Ojos’ and more.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your debut EP ‘Ojos’?
Jenna Kyle – I had been experimenting with these songs, with taking my productions to the next level and also with recording myself singing in Spanish for the first time, so it was my goal to release these tracks and see if they resonated. Creating a little collection of these four songs was a big step towards curating my larger body of work. A collection versus singles feels like it starts to create more of a world that stands for something and hopefully, these songs make people dance and feel empowered to follow their own experimental dreams.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Jenna Kyle – It incorporates movement and there’s no limit to form, melody, topic, sounds, or world influences.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Jenna Kyle – I think I was 2-years-old and obsessed with finding the same notes from the radio on our old upright piano, but so many more moments just kept confirming it over and over. It was two of my best friends, Andrea and Alex, who actually encouraged me to pursue music after I really sang for them and it was them who gave me the push I needed to feel confident enough to make it my focus.
Music Bugle – What is your favorite aspect of producing?
Jenna Kyle – Producing is like being a sponge and absorbing everything you love – topics, images, sounds – that make you see differently. Then, if you wring yourself out really hard, you get some new thing you’ve never tasted. Combining that with also writing lyrics, singing, playing keys, exploring melody and creating visuals keeps me engaged on all levels.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jenna Kyle – James Blake – always – Remi Wolf, Channel Tres, ToKiMONSTA, Glass Animals, Ela Minus, Jacob Collier, RUFUS DU SOL, Amadou & Miriam, Duke Dumont, Romare. Also, I’ve been gardening while listening to an obscure collection of 60’s jazz flute movie soundtracks. If anybody wants in, DM on instagram and I’ll share the private link to the playlist!
Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before?
Jenna Kyle – Sunshine, musicians, tacos, sushi, neighborhood, sprawling, hedges, trendy fences, vintage, farmers’ markets, inequality in your face, failed medical system, 9 p.m. bedtime, sunsets, succulents, “does your dog have any food allergies? We have complimentary organic chicken or pumpkin treats at the front!”
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Jenna Kyle – “Tell Me” was the hardest both lyric-wise and musically to actualize what I had been thinking. “Abre La” flowed naturally and organically, although it was new for me to address myself and my sanity directly, which was a strong and empowering decision. “I speak with Jenna night and day, it’s highs and lows and highs again. We refuse to look away, with open eyes the spinning fades.” I guess I addressed that fear head-on and decided to look it in the face. “Abre La” was also interesting, because it was born from two very different inspirations I had saved as voice memos. One from a rave, some vague techno beat and one from a trip to Buenos Aires, an open-air 30-person drum ensemble. Those two memos stood out as elements I loved and I decided to fuse them. I produced the more techno-inspired beat and then I had Bruno record the breakdown and then I had to make them fit and write some lyrics over the breakdown that would work, which is when the Spanish part came as a natural juxtaposition.
Music Bugle – Has your mindset managed to go back to where it was pre-COVID?
Jenna Kyle – No, I don’t think it ever will exactly. I think my mindset has actually changed for the best.
Music Bugle – Where are your favorite places to travel?
Jenna Kyle – Berlin. Mexico City. Rio. Carmel, California. Lake Tahoe. Bali. Also, if I’m being honest, now that I’m no longer living in New York, after spending 11 years there, I’m looking forward to my next trip and to being a tourist there again, especially Brooklyn.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Jenna Kyle – In general, I think it helps musicians, as long as we use it to connect with one another and with fans. It’s when other people use social media numbers to judge us that can be harmful and inaccurate, even though it’s inevitable, but it is very important to take it for what it is and not let it control your mood or steer your creative choices. Put it down and remove your brain from the computer or phone. I take multiple-day breaks often and I don’t worry about it.