Interview with Ki Kiratra Promsaka na Sakolnakorn
Ki Kiratra is a singer and musician from Thailand who was originally was with Dojo City (Bakery Music) in a duo group called Niece. Her first album: Niece was released in1998 and her second album: Merci Merci was released in 2000.
Her first solo album “WHITE” was released on February 6th, 2007 on the Smallroom Music Label .
Her newest single was released in January 2011. It is a cover version of an original song by Buddhist Holiday and was produced by Wannarit Pongprayoon (P’Pok Stylish Nonsense).
Ki, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell me a little about where you grew up and when you first became interested in music?
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand in a family with quite a strong musical background, I would say, with my dad being in one of the most famous rock band in Thailand called Carabao. I grew up listening to different kinds of music and going to a lot of concerts. I think I’ve always felt that music is a big part of my life ever since I was very young.
When you were young who were some of the artists you would listen to?
For Thai artists, I always listened to those from Bakery Music Label. It was one of the biggest ‘indie’ music label back then. Their music was a lot different that the major labels and I really enjoyed their sound.
How would you best describe your style?
Lately, I would say that my style has become a lot more mellow than it used to be as well as a lot more dreamy. I think it falls somewhere between acoustic, lo-fi, and indie pop/dream pop.
I love the cover of the Buddhist Holiday song and your music video directed by Jan Mantanakorn Ngoenwilai, Can you tell us a little about the making of it?
I met Ti, who is the lead singer of Buddhist Holiday as well as the songwriter for the song at this music festival. We started talking and he said he was looking for a female singer to do a cover version of the song and asked if I would be interested. He sent me the song and I really loved it. Next, we got Pok form Stylish Nonsense to produce the cover version of the song. We talked and exchanged ideas how we wanted the cover to sound like and I was really happy with the outcome.
The shooting of the music video was really fun as well. Jan Mantanakorn is a friend of mine who is a photographer. She usually did still photos but wanted to try her hand on shooting video so we decided to work on the mv for this song. We shot it in one day around Bangkok and it turned out to be pretty nice. I really love the look of the mv.
Tell is a little about “White” your first solo album. How long did you take you to record and did you write the lyrics yourself?
“White” was my first solo album which was released in 2007. I just graduated from a university at the time and had been away from music scene for many years. I would say that it was an experimental album for me as an artist. I was not yet completely sure of what musical style I really wanted to do and we experimented with many different styles. We wanted to find a middle ground between my old candy pop tunes that I did when I was in with Dojo City which a lot of people were still familiar with and a new more mature style. The result was the sound on “White” album which had a mix of pop music, a bit of electronics sound, and a slight soul vibe from the chords that were used in the songs. I didn’t yet write my own lyrics at the time because I was with a label with a strong music production team. They were experts on writing lyrics and everything so I just sat with them and talked about the concept for each song then they developed that into lyrics.
How did you come to call it “White”?
At the time, I felt like I had an empty canvas on hands and I could just paint it with any colors I wanted. And that’s what I did and hence the name.
Who would you say influenced you musically?
This is a hard question to answer because it always changes. I have quite a diverse taste in music, really. But when it comes down to it I think I’m always drawn to music with beautiful melodies and relatively more acoustic sound. Reverie Sound Revue and Camera Obscura are at the top of list in the past few years.
Out of all your songs which would you say is the most meaningful to you and why?
Little Price is the most meaningful song so far. It’s because I personally wrote the lyrics and got the inspiration from my favorite book. So it’s very personal. Also, it was the very first song that I co-produced. I chose the guitarist for the song and was there in the studio to make a final decision throughout every process.
How do you think your music has progressed since the beginning?
It has definitely changed a lot from the beginning and I’m very happy with where I am today. I would say I’m actually happier now that I’m not signed with any label. This way I have more freedom to explore and do anything I want with my music, no restrictions whatsoever. And also because of the freedom, I get to be more in touch with myself as an artist. I know precisely what I want to do in terms of music and that’s one thing I’m very thankful for.
What is the music industry like in Thailand for independent artists?
It’s a big struggle unfortunately if you want to make it a career. It’s a very tough industry. And that’s why many Thai independent artists have a full time job doing something else apart from music. We basically do music out of love since it definitely doesn’t pay our bills. (lol)
What do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I just opened a concert promoter company called “Have You Heard?” last year. The company is to bring in more bands from around the world to do live concerts in Thailand. I definitely hope that in the next five years we will be able to bring in lots of good bands to perform here. There is nothing I want more than to make this a successful company. I think there is something very special about live concerts and I want Thai people to be able to experience that. At the moment, a lot of bands still see Thailand as a non-lucrative market and they often not include Thailand in their tour schedule. Hopefully, we will be able to change that in five years. As for music, I will keep making more music as long as I’m still happy doing it and have fans that still enjoy it. It’s definitely a good thing that we now live in a world where it’s much easier to get in touch with other people. Because of this, I can make new music and stay connected to my fans even without the help of a label.
Where can we go to find out more about you?
Please join me on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/ki.kirtra as well as my twitter account: www.twitter.com/kiratra