April Kry Talks Girl Power in Country Music and New Single, ‘Fireflies’
April Kry is a new face to many country music fans, but with the release of her latest single, "Fireflies," that may be about to change.
The uptempo pop-country song is a feel-good track about first love, and Kry has been having success with it on SiriusXM's the Highway, where it has been climbing rapidly.
The young singer-songwriter is already a veteran performer; she released her debut EP, Music Speaks, in 2012, and has previously made inroads with her single, "Beauty Queen." But the success of "Fireflies" has brought her to a whole new audience, and she's capitalizing on that with an upcoming video.
Kry is also working on more material for an upcoming EP, Taste of Country caught up with her to discuss "Fireflies," her take on the endless pop vs. country debate and her desire to help return women to country radio.
How did you find the song "Fireflies"?
I was presented the song by one of the writers, Jennifer Pappas, and it was written by her and JP Rende and Kathryn Raio. When I first heard the song, I immediately connected with it, because it's such a relatable topic. It talks about falling in love for the first time, and all those feelings that you have that you've never experienced before, and you meet this person and you're going through all of these things with them for the first time, and it's just a really fun and kind of nostalgic song. It kind of tells a story.
With all of the different songs out there, what makes one catch your ear more than another? It seems like one of the hardest parts of a recording career is sorting through everything that's out there.
Yeah, absolutely. There's so much. What I look for is, the lyric really has to draw me in. Telling a story is really important to me; that's kind of what drew me to the country genre in the first place, is that they have songs that really tell a story and kind of bring you back to a certain place or event in your life. That's really what music is all about for me, so I think definitely the lyric and the storytelling aspect, and that's what "Fireflies" did for me when I listened to it for the first time. It brought me back to that place where I fell in love for the first time.
If you're going to record a song and sing it, does it need to be something that you could have written, even if you didn't? Does it need to be from a perspective that you share, or can you also interpret songs that are from a very different perspective from yours?
I think I can interpret songs that are from a different point of view. Everyone has gone through different things in their life, and I'm able to do that because I've done a lot of acting. You kind of get into the character of what that person was feeling at one point in time. So I can do that, and I'm definitely not opposed to that. I did that with my first single, "Beauty Queen," a little bit, because it talks about feeling stuck somewhere and wanting to break free.
It's definitely gotten some controversy, but I think that's a good thing
"Fireflies" is starting to do really well on SiriusXM. How did that come about?
John Marks chose "Fireflies," and it's such an honor for him to even consider one of my songs, because he's really a tastemaker. He's gotten a lot of people recognition, so for him to choose "Fireflies" is really an honor. When he first listened to "Fireflies," he said, "There's something different about this song," and that just meant the world to me. I'm so, so excited by what it's doing on SiriusXM. It's definitely gotten some controversy, but I think that's a good thing and I think people are excited about it, because it's a little bit different from what they're used to hearing.
When you talk about the controversy, you're referring to some of the comments that maybe the song isn't country enough?
Why is that a debate?
I think whenever something a little bit different comes along, people's gut reaction is going to be, "Oh, I don't like this, because it's different." [Laughs] But my take is that music is always evolving. Country music has always evolved, and if you go look back, you'll see artists like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, and when they first came out with their music, people were like, "Oh, this isn't country! This is pop." It's kinda the same thing. I just like to be open to different sounds and different genres.
It can be good for an artist to debut with something pretty different — it can make it harder to pigeonhole by comparing to something else that's already here.
Right. I'm just being myself and doing what I love, and I'm just hoping that people can connect with it. That's what "Fireflies" is doing, hopefully.
There's a couple of Martina McBride covers that you've posted. Tell us about her influence and why you came to cover her stuff. She actually heard one of these covers, is that right?
Oh my gosh, yeah. [Laughs] Martina was just a big influence on me when I was younger, I always just admired her voice. She always has passion when she sings. I have always admired that, and the lyrics to a lot of her songs are just so deep and meaningful and were very inspirational to me when I was younger.
"A Broken Wing" was one that I chose to sing when I was on with Storme Warren. He texted Martina and he said, "You have to hear this girl cover one of your songs," and I was just freaking out, because I listened to her when I was really young. That's an honor, just to know that she listened to me cover one of her songs is really cool to know. I love that.
I was like, "Storme, why did you tell me right before?" [Laughs] "You could have told me after." I was really nervous, but I did the best I could. I love a bunch of her songs, and I did "A Broken Wing," and then also "Independence Day," which is another great one. I did that with my dad, so that was cool to do.
It seems like the songs you've covered of hers really gravitate toward female empowerment themes. That's something that's really important to you as well.
It is. Right now, as you probably know, the country genre is very male-dominated, and I think that there's so many women rising up, which is great. But we need to all be supportive of each other and be together and support that, because it's really important for women to rise up in the country genre. That's why I gravitated toward both of those songs. I'm very supportive of that, I think that's just a great thing for all of us to do.
What's your take on how it's gotten so lopsided? It didn't used to be. There used to be plenty of female artists with success at radio. For the last two or three years it's been all male, even though in many cases women have been making some of the best music.
Yeah, the whole bro-country thing has gotten really popular, and I think that's cool for now. But I think it's slowly fading off, and we're getting back into something different, and I'm really excited for that. I hope to be a part of the 'women in country' movement, I guess you could say.
I'm just being myself and doing what I love, and I'm just hoping that people can connect with it.
What's coming next for you? This song is starting to do really well on the Highway, what's the plan from there?
I'm really excited that it's doing so well on the Highway, and we're looking to shoot a music video for it really soon, which I'm super excited for. I think we're shooting next month in Nashville, so that'll be really cool. And then we're going to do a radio tour really soon, so that should be really fun.
Are you working on more music for an upcoming project?
I am! I'm working on writing a bunch of songs. We're just working on gathering songs right now. We just want to make sure that whatever we put out is the best songs that we have, so we're gathering a bunch of things and hopefully putting out an EP after that.
Is there anything else you want to say about "Fireflies" or anything else that you've got going on?
I'm just very thankful that it's doing so well, and if anyone really likes the song, they can go and request it on the Highway. That would be so great. [Laughs].
Startling Facts About Women in Country Music