I’m proud to say that I’ve been a fan of the elusive and enchanting Estonian singer KERLI for many years now. After competing in several international singing and songwriting competitions, Kerli burst onto the music scene in 2008 with her worldwide hit “Walking on Air” and debut album Love is Dead. Since then, her music has been featured on hit television shows and in Tim Burton’s Almost Alice soundtrack, she’s written songs for artists including Demi Lovato and Pentatonix, and she released an EP in 2013 which spawned her second #1 Billboard Dance hit.
Now, a different Kerli has emerged fresh from a spiritual awakening in the beautiful forests of her homeland. She has shredded the typical Hollywood norms and pop princess stigmas to become a freer, more honest version of herself. The first glimpse into her emotional journey can be seen and heard in her latest single, “Feral Hearts.” The accompanying music video has been provided for you at the bottom of this interview. A part of me wants to call it a little bit Lady Gaga, a little bit Bjork, but Kerli is certainly a gem twinkling in the moonlight and an artist of her own originality.
Kerli is currently going forward as an independent entity and will be crowdfunding, promoting and producing new music through hit-maker PledgeMusic. Please follow her page closely for all upcoming updates on “Feral Hearts,” her upcoming album and pre-orders for her anticipated second single. Also, if you like what you’ve read so far, please buy or stream the single at the following link: http://smarturl.it/getferalhearts.
H: After releasing several chart topping singles, you severed ties with Island Records, packed up your things and moved back to the scenic regions of Estonia. How therapeutic was this whole event for you as an artist after so many years in the lime light?
K: I left home when I was 16-years-old to pursue a career in the music industry so I haven’t really known any other dream until last year when I realized that the traditional ways of doing things might not be the right way for my heart. The money driven business world and the lack of spirituality and love for art in the people that surrounded me on a daily basis really started weighing on me to the point where I needed to retreat from the society completely. I spent nine months in the forest living a life of a hermit in very humble conditions and completely transformed as a human being and as an artist. It was scary to sever ties with one way of being without really having a vision of the new way of being just yet. But I needed that. I needed to have a complete death of self so I could birth a new one. All the art, starting with the release of “Feral Hearts” is inspired by my year in the magical woods of Estonia.
H: I find “Feral Hearts” more enchanting and serene than your previous releases like “Army of Love” and “Walking on Air.” Why did you decide to come back with a more soothing, meditative track instead of a hard club banger?
K: I have never been excited about the clubs. All of the dance music I made was inspired by the rave scene, which in my dreams was this amazingly loving community of artists and music lovers that believed in PLUR. To be honest, that whole major label phase for me personally and artistically feels like a past life. The art that I’m excited to make right now is much more organic, no frills and a real piece of who I really am without the outside noise. While working in the forest, I didn’t share any of this new music with people for almost six months because I didn’t really want any opinions to taint how I felt about it. I wasn’t even sure I was ever gonna release it – that’s how sacred it was to me.
H: ‘Feral Hearts’ still manages to capture the Kerli fans know and adore – fantastical, if not slightly macabre. Why do you feel most comfortable expressing yourself through such alternative means?
K: When creating, I never think about how it will appear or how someone will choose to classify it. I’ve actually been working hard on my ego and doubt to really create from a place of pure expression – to leave behind real pieces of myself. But if you say it’s fantastical and macabre, I am very flattered as these words must be some of my favorite words in English. :)
H: I think that one of the themes of “Feral Hearts” is breaking free of any vines that confine your heart, which may be a direct reference to you going forward as an independent artist. What other messages are you trying to convey to your Moon Babies through this song?
K: This piece is about following your instincts, being untamed in the world that trains you for their system since you’re born. “Feral Hearts” is about the wilderness and the purity of being, embracing our animal nature.
H: What are your plans for this single and your upcoming album going forward? Do you have any live gigs planned for 2016?
K: Definitely. I really wanna go on tour once the album is released this Fall. Until then, I am gonna delight my amazing Moon Babies with lots of new music and visuals.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me, Kerli! Remember to buy her new single here, folks! You can also follow her music and career at the following links: http://spoti.fi/1XgprZY, http://youtube.com/kerlimusic, http://fb.com/kerli and http://twitter.com/kerlimusic.