Elegant, quirky and impossible to ignore – Montreal singer-songwriter Kaylee Patterson infuses pop with folk elements to create a truly one-of-a-kind sound. Kaylee released her debut single in the summer of 2020, which has amassed close to 50K streams on Spotify. She has since worked closely alongside producer Jay Century (Kaskade, Duckwrth, Starley) to craft her debut Forever Would’ve Sucked EP.

At its core, the EP is about heartbreak – but it’s also about finding yourself through your pain. Being alone is much more fulfilling than being with the wrong person. 

New single, “Pinky Promise,” is an overwhelmingly bittersweet story about love, heartbreak, and how some things should simply not last forever.

What’s your story as an artist?

I started releasing music because I was bored during the pandemic. I was supposed to be interning at this great public relations firm for the summer, but they cancelled the program because of COVID-19. Furthermore, I had been sitting on a bunch of songs that I had written during my childhood, and I decided to start getting some of them produced. Why not, right? What’s the point of even having so many songs if nobody will ever hear them? Ultimately, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for me, as I never would’ve even tried to pursue my dream without an extra incentive.

What do you want your music to communicate? 

I might write songs about heartbreak, but it’s more than that. It’s about being alone and finding yourself through your pain. Being alone is not the worst thing that can happen to you, even though it might feel like that at the start.

What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?

My first EP is about my ex-boyfriend and the tumultuous journey of hurt and healing that surrounded the relationship. Recently, though, I’ve been writing about mental illness, and how sadness keeps affecting any potential romantic relationships I might have.

Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?

Taylor Swift! I’ve always looked up to her, but my respect for her has only increased now that she’s re-recording her old songs. Fighting for what’s right is not always easy, but doing the easy thing is rarely worth it. 

What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an artist?

Before even thinking about music, I was first and foremost a poet. I would write a ton of poetry every day, inspired by the likes of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Sylvia Plath from a very young age. Songs of Leonard Cohen are what made me feel like I could turn my poetry into music. Cohen didn’t have a particularly nice voice, and I’ve always been extremely insecure about mine. The album made me realize that it didn’t really matter if I wasn’t an amazing vocalist. I decided that if my lyricism became the first thing that people noticed, then maybe it was okay that I wasn’t as talented in any other aspects.

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about.

I just released my debut EP, “Forever Would’ve Sucked.” It was the product of months of hard work, spending my nights sifting through trauma as a source of inspiration. I’ve always struggled with relationships in general, and because of the pandemic, I didn’t have any new experiences to write about. So, I ended up writing almost 20 songs about my ex-boyfriend over the course of two months, with six of them making the final cut. The process, while extremely gruelling at times, also forced me to heal my heart. 

What inspires your sound?

I’d like to think that my sound is a blend of literally everything I listen to. I used to imitate the songwriting styles of different artists that I liked to challenge myself. Some days, my sound might be loosely inspired by Mitski, other days, Taylor Swift, or Lana Del Rey. There are a lot of things that I want to be at once, and a lot of people that inspire me every day. I believe that my sound reflects that.

What’s your favorite tune of yours?

I think my favourite song is probably Time Machine. It’s also my two-year-old niece’s favourite song of all-time, which is so heart-warming. She knows the words by heart, and I have to sing it with her at least five times every time I see her.

Where are some things you really want to accomplish as an artist?

I’d like to have a billboard with my face on it, and I’d also like to meet Taylor Swift. Aside from that, I want to go on tour! Whenever I’m on stage, I truly feel like I’m at home, so I’d love to play a few shows across North America one day.

Favorite lyric you ever wrote?

“I loved you ‘til you stopped letting me.” It’s obviously a good lyric, but it’s a reference to a lyric in Fleetwood Mac’s song, Silver Springs. Stevie Nicks sings: “I know I could’ve loved you, but you would not let me.” I thought it was a clever play on words, especially because my song Pinky Promise felt like an homage to Fleetwood Mac and to my childhood.

Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up?

Honestly? Maybe once a day. It would be so much easier to get a 9-to-5 job. To make a regular salary and have a normal life. And part of me envies the people that can do that without craving anything more. Somebody told me once that I owed it to my fans to keep releasing music… and it’s weird, but that’s a big reason as to why I’m holding on and why I won’t give up, at least not anytime soon.

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Things happen because there is no other way for them to happen.” My therapist told this to me when I was in a dark place with my mental illness. I think it’s generic advice that she must’ve given to all her patients, but it particularly resonated with me, especially during that time of my life. I’d like to think that there’s a reason for everything that happens in life, even if it’s not immediately obvious or even positive. But it’s nice to believe that if I could’ve made a different decision, I would’ve. It immediately alleviated all the guilt and regrets I’ve carried throughout the years, and it helps me to repeat that when the world feels like it’s falling apart.

Where do you think the next game changer will be in the music industry and entertainment scene?

I think the rise of TikTok is changing everything in the industry. It’s levelling the playing field, in a way. You don’t really need to be born into money to become an overnight sensation anymore. I’m positive there will be more opportunities for new and undiscovered artists like this in the future, too.