Five Layers of Ego: An Interview with KTJ & Carly

by - June 23, 2022

When sisters Katie and Carly Haynes first began the creation process of their latest KTJ & Carly EP, Ego Death, they were looking for a solid foundation that would take their songs to the next level.

They were not sure what they wanted their next body of work to look like, so after jumping into a few writing sessions and writing songs “Heartless” and “Soliloquy”, they noticed a central theme that they wanted to further tap into.

“Our first body of work, Identity, was about finding yourself,” Katie said. “I feel like when the theme started coming up [of] losing yourself and then finding yourself again, we ended up really focusing on it.”

“It all came pretty naturally,” Carly added. “It wasn't forced, which was really nice because we didn't really feel like we were restricted either.”

Since they wanted to start with a solid foundation, this time their writing process began on the piano. They challenged themselves to write more songs that stand alone well with a single instrument.

The most rewarding song on the EP, “Pink Ferrari”, feels like a follow-up to their 2021 single, “Hidden”. Katie said “Hidden” was about concealing who you are because you are scared someone won’t accept you, while “Pink Ferrari” is about knowing you are still loved despite your flaws.

“It's more ‘inviting your demons to the after-party’, accepting your flaws and knowing we all have issues,” she said. “There's so much power and happiness in accepting who you are.”

The last song on Ego Death, “Signing Off”, is the song that speaks the most to their album title. It is a metaphor for not giving into the expectations that society sets for us and refusing to feel the pressure of being successful in any way that success can be interpreted.

Their first EP, Identity, heavily influenced Ego Death in that Ego Death feels like a sequel to Identity. This EP shows that they have clearly grown as artists and individuals, and learning from their past has given them the inspiration to write this latest batch of songs.

In addition to the EP, they also released a conceptual short film that was filmed in Joshua Tree. It speaks to the theme of losing your ego and finding yourself, using visual metaphors to provide a deeper explanation of Ego Death.

“Every song that we chose ended up being related to the five layers of ego, and each song was covering the topic of how it either affects you badly or in a good way,” Carly said.

KTJ & Carly set out to build a foundation that would lead them to Ego Death, and in turn lead them to accepting their own flaws while encouraging others to accept theirs. Acceptance is powerful, and each song on this EP is equally as powerful as the last.

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