Navigating Emotions: An Interview with Keyse

by - March 28, 2024

Originally, alt-pop singer and songwriter Keyse had different plans for her first single of 2024. There was something about “Flesh & Blood”, however, that made her change her mind.

She filmed a music video for the song a little over a year ago. Shot at Good Time Film Studio, she soberly performs the song as home movies are projected behind her. When she revisited the completed video, she said she felt a visceral reaction to it.

“I felt that if I could still have a very strong emotional response years after the song’s creation, that it would probably be wise to share that with the world first,” she said.

The song itself is deeply personal. It shares the story of a miscarriage she had a few years ago that ultimately led to her discovery and treatment of Endometriosis.

“I did not plan and do not plan to ever be pregnant, but this experience brought about some very intense reflection and consideration of the fact that I would not get the opportunity to change my mind in the future,” she said. “‘Flesh & Blood’ delves into this inner monologue of me trying to navigate through a mess of conflicting feelings.”

Her honest storytelling in her music is something she has always done, and the writing process for this song is no different. Chord progression comes first, as she’s sitting at her keyboard. The lyrics are written during this time as well. She said that a stripped down, first demo of “Flesh & Blood” was completed in about 30 minutes.

Despite her usual process, there was a difference when it came time to recording and production. The first recording session happened with her friends Michael Rumple and Matt Graham. Two years later, she brought it back into the studio with producer Landon Tewers for additional production. They ended up re-recording the vocals, and Tewers mixed and mastered the final product.

“In general, going to the studio and seeing my songs go from their original state of a stripped down demo, to coming to life with full production is one of the most fulfilling things to me as a musician,” she said. “Despite the subject matter, writing and recording this song was a rewarding experience. It wasn’t until my first and only performance of this song on a filmed live-stream that I felt any sort of difficulty. It was quite challenging to navigate my emotions during that performance.”

While this song is raw yet presented in a digestible pop format, a narrative on bodily autonomy is wildly important. Keyse shares her own experience knowing that in the face of tragedy, music can heal.

“I hope that whoever listens to ‘Flesh & Blood’ takes whatever they need from it,” she said. “If that’s a shared experience or mutual understanding, or even just awareness or solidarity. I hope that my candidness in my lyrics or storytelling provides whatever it is that the listener is looking for.”

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