Kylie Trout ’s “Extra”— What Sailing Ships on Failed Relationships Looks Like
Country newcomer Kylie Trout has long subscribed to a particular mindset when it comes to pursuing her passion for music. “They might be more talented than you, they might be more educated than you. So, if you have a Plan B besides music, then your Plan A wasn’t that strong,” she recalls of past advice. “That’s how I’ve always looked at it.”
Like many of her fellow graduating seniors, Trout has a bright future on the horizon. But perhaps unlike many of her peers, she is carving a path to stardom. “Everybody that I meet always tells me you’re not 17, you’re an old soul,” she laughs. “And I love that.”
After experiencing abuse from her biological mother at a young age, Trout spent the first eight years of her life being raised by a single dad and her grandparents in Southern California. “Growing up without my mom, it still gets to me to this day,” she says thoughtfully. “But that really led me to music. Music was my saving grace because I feel like I had to mature very quickly when I was little because there was a lot of things going on that other kids might not understand with my mom.”
As naturally as she can master a clever lyric, Trout also knows how to craft a compelling story. Like her forbearer Kellie Pickler, Trout turned her own struggles into music, penning a song about her mother that allowed her to channel all of her pain, longing, and “what if?” questions. “Something in me was like I should write a song about that. I feel like I need to get my story out there,” she reflects. “Everything just flowed out, and I got everything I wanted to say off my chest, and it just felt so good.”
Trout ends the song on a triumphant note, expressing thankfulness for having gone through such a challenge that ultimately made her stronger. Initially, the singer deemed it too personal to share with the world. But after some motivation from her father, the singer had a change of heart.
“Think about how many people would relate to this song and how music helped you and how this song might be able to help other people,” he encouraged a hypothesis that was proven true.
“The response that I got from the song from other people literally all over the world messaged me saying I really relate to this, this is my story, this is what happened to me and your song saved me, your song helped me through this, it made me realize that I’m not alone,” Trout recalls of fans’ overwhelming reactions. “That right there was just the best feeling in the world.”
Crying as you listened to Kellie Pickler’s “I Wonder” at age 5 because you found it so relatable. Which other artists have inspired your music career?
“Can’t Remember Growing Up” tells your story, how your mother’s absence, since you were 4, hasn’t broken or defined you. Music is healing, but where else can teens turn when they’re struggling with family issues?
If you’re a teen struggling with family issues, I strongly encourage you to reach out to a close family member, friend, teacher, or school counselor to make serious matters known. It’s not healthy for your mind to keep things bottled up inside. Also, try to find activities and hobbies that make you happy. For me personally, painting puts my mind at ease. Sometimes these things help as a distraction from reality for a bit.
Performing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on your school’s stage for a talent show when you were in fourth grade. How was that a turning point for you?
Being that this was the first time I had ever built up the courage to perform on a real stage, it somehow completely transformed my mindset into just knowing that this was what I needed to do for the rest of my life. It all seemed to click. I remember never wanting to leave the stage! You get such an adrenaline rush, it’s one of the best feelings ever.
Traditional country mixed with pop and R&B influences … which pop and R&B artists most influence your music?
Personally I don’t really listen to much of either on my own time. Overall I just love the feel good beats that most pop brings to the table, and the soul that R&B brings. If I had to choose some of my favorite artists from these genres, they’d definitely be the ones who seem to sorta mix both — like Sam Smith, Khalid, Kehlani, Lauv, and Bazzi.
What makes your music Cali Country?
I think the cross genre influences really define Cali Country. California is more known for pop culture, and I’ve always been a diehard country lover. Therefore, I think it’s awesome that it is so acceptable nowadays to mix it all together to make something great and unique!
Dreaming of performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage and at the Stagecoach Festival. Which other SoCal up-and-coming artists do you see yourself sharing those stages with?
Upbeat love song, “You & I” (the video aired on CMT). Your ultimate goal is to offer fans “three minutes of happiness.” What has offered you happiness these past few months?
These past few months, my friends and family have brought me the most happiness. Just knowing that I have people who will always support and love me keeps me feeling blessed. Also, during quarantine we bought a bunny whose energy never runs out. Little guy keeps us entertained!
“Extra”. Dating and the millennial generation — and an ex- who continues going the ‘extra’ mile by airing past grievances long after the couple broke up. Sending the message that there’s a reason for everything. What message can you share for others wrestling to make sense of all that has befallen in 2020?
2020 has been extremely unpredictable and crazy for us all. Personally, I keep having to remind myself that God has a plan, and everything happens for a reason. We cannot predict or decide what will or will not happen, we’re just along for the ride. I have always lived by the fact that there are two ways to look at every bad situation — 1. You let it break you. OR 2. You let it teach you. I think 2020 has taught us all that life is short and you should take advantage of every moment you have on this earth. Do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t let negativity bring you down. Always remember — we’re all in this together.
Upcoming EP. How will it showcase your music journey to date?
With this EP I hope to convey a bit more of who I am as a person. It will tell stories mostly based upon events in my real life. I pray listeners will be able to relate with every song and that it brings them back to memories they hold — whatever they may be.
You said, “unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, & most underrated agent of human change.” As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for the support I am constantly surrounded by. Between the country music community, my team, and my family, I can confidently say I have one of the best support systems when it comes to my career in music. I am also thankful for the love from up above. I would not have the life I have nor the opportunities I have been given without the Lord.