Q&A with sophomore Mikayla “Kayla” Phillips who released her new single “September”


Jesse Cooper


What music are you most interested in (in writing), what do you like to write?

“I enjoy writing more kind of laid back, singer songwriter kind of vibe. Usually more acoustic or guitar driven or piano driven. I write a lot of ballads, it’s kind of my little niche.”


Who are some of your music inspirations? What about their music inspire you?

People like Sara Bareilles. I really don’t know what I like cause it changes all of the time. I listen to so many different artists. JC Stewart, his lyrics are really good. Harry Styles also, I like his acoustic songs better. Sleeping At Last is someone I am really inspired by, he writes all of his songs off of physical things, things that are not people, which I think is really cool because it’s good to have a change.


When did you first get into music?

My parents are both musicians so it has been around me my whole life. My dad plays guitar and piano, and my mom is a really good piano player. All of my siblings and I, we grew up playing music and we were just surrounded by it.

What was it like writing your own song and deciding you wanted to produce it?

“I actually wrote that song when I was in eighth grade, and I look back at the original lyrics and I’m like ‘Wow what was I thinking’, but when my mom told me that I was going to record a single in 2018, I thought a lot of my songs were not good and it would be hard. I looked at (my song) ‘September’ and I thought there was a lot of potential there I just needed to change a lot of it, to fit what I was feeling then. A lot of things changed, a lot of verses, a lot of chord progressions, but it was a very different end product then what I originally imagined when I sat down in eighth grade and wrote the song in the first place.

Do you perform regularly? If so, where could readers go to see you sing?

I try to. My schedule gets really busy in the winter, and also a lot of the places I play are outside, so it’s not very weather permitting. I do play a lot in the summers and in the fall. I mostly play at Peace Water Winery and I am going to start playing at Urban Vines in the spring, and I used to play at Soho a lot.


What are you most proud of in your musical career? Why?

I would say since I was in middle school to now, I have made a lot of progress. Not just my writing capabilities but also being able to support myself on instruments. I learned my basic piano and guitar skills from my parents but I taught myself a lot of the things I know now and I feel like I am now a stronger musician because of that.


Do you intend to continue singing in the future? In what way?

I would love to sing as a career. I really want to release more music in the future I just don’t know when that would take place. I would love to pursue music as a career I am just still trying to figure out the best way to go about that without having to live in my parents basement for the rest of my life. (But) it makes me really really happy for all of the positive feedback that I have gotten since people have listened to ‘September’. It just fills my heart with joy and it reassures me that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.