Sisters, Kelli and Kayla, know how influential music can be, which is why they are using their platform to spread a message of gender quality. Through their country-pop music, the duo is all about promoting girl power. In 2016, the duo formed Wild Fire and proceeded to work hard fine-tuning their craft. Since then, the band has received several nominations from the Nashville Universe Awards, the Texas Country Music Association, and won “Female Vocalist of the Year” in the Young Adult category at the Josie Music Awards in 2018.
To begin 2019 with a look into the future of country music, Wild Fire released their latest EP, Been There. The EP was written to encourage and inspire listeners and showcases the sisters’ talent. I sat down with the band to learn more about the EP and their experience in the music industry so far.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration behind your EP, Been There.
Wild Fire: The inspiration behind our EP, Been There., came about from the process of incorporating real-life stories into a theme of expressing the idea that you have already been there and done that.
Are there parts of your childhood or upbringing that you pull from for inspiration? How so?
Many of these stories have taken place throughout our process of growing up, which makes it so real for us. Every song incorporates an actual life experience into its meaning, whether that be our friends, or us having had experienced the situation.
How do you separate between siblings and being bandmates?
We feel we have always been the two closest people in the world. Whether we are hanging out with friends, writing songs, or rehearsing, we are always having a great time together. We definitely have our own opinions when it comes to musical choices, but we always find a way to work it out and find the middle ground.
Tell me about your experience as young artists and in the music industry?
Being young for us, feels like an advantage as well as a disadvantage. For one, we have so much time to develop our talents and experience new things to draw inspiration from. On the downside, we feel that we don’t get as many opportunities as older artists. Some people feel that the older you are, the better, but for us, that just isn’t the case. We strive to be our best in the here and now, regardless of our age.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
Some struggles we have encountered include learning who you can and can’t trust. We have also had to grow up very quickly and have had to sacrifice normal teenage experiences to develop and grow as artists. In our opinion though, it is all worth it. We would not take any of it back. We absolutely love what we do and it consumes us.
What’s it like being females in the music industry?
Being a female in the music industry has been a struggle to be completely honest. It seems like time after time, men are getting every spot on radio and winning almost every award at every music award show. I hope that in our lifetime and career we can see a push for more females in music to be recognized. In fact, we are championing that cause. We were recently selected as ambassadors for Women in Country music by the Global Country Music Association. We really look forward to helping push forward this cause in our new roles.
Not for a moment. We are both creatives and have been since we were old enough to walk and talk. One thing that always keeps us going is knowing how much our music impacts others lives in a positive way. One example of this is a story that a fan of ours recently told us. She said that she came across a homeless man and gave him one of our wristbands and asked him to check out our music. She said that a couple of months later the man contacted her and told her that the music really helped him get through tough times and that he has now reunited with a family member. He is living in their home and now working to get out of the situation he was in. That story touched us deeply. To think that someone you don’t even know that has absolutely nothing drew inspiration from the music you created is so incredible.
Tell me about a moment in your career that has left you both extremely proud.
One moment that left us extremely surprised and proud is when we won female vocalist of the year at the 2018 Josie Music Awards. The Josie Music Awards is the largest independent music awards show in the world, so to say we were shocked is an understatement. I actually remember Kelli not even having her shoes on when our names were announced as recipients of the award. She had to quickly put them on and get to the stage.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
Our biggest inspiration is Maren Morris. She is such a powerful female artist in the music industry and doesn’t care about what anyone else has to say about her. She is confident and unapologetic in her beliefs. That to us is so empowering. Kacey Musgraves also falls in this category.
What message do you want your fans to take away from your music?
We want our fans to feel empowered and inspired. We want them to know that you can do anything you put your mind to if you just have the willingness and courage to try.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
Our advice for aspiring artists is to just go for it. You don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission. With all the tools and platforms out there today, there is no reason to hesitate. Also, we have learned that work ethic is one of the most important ingredients to success and highly encourage that any aspiring artist develops a very strong work ethic. Our parents instilled a great work ethic in us from an early age. We also feel it is extremely important to engage with our audience. That personal connection is critical. Fans want to talk to artists and develop a bond. Any aspiring artist should definitely keep that in mind and interact with fans as much as possible.
Any last thoughts?
We just want to say thank you to Affinity Magazine for featuring us. We also want to thank our amazing fans for being so supportive. We love you all!