There is something about KIRBY that leaves you yearning for more. We’re not sure if it’s her voice, her presence or a good helping of both, but the vibrant hitmaker is sharing all the tea that led to the meteoric rise she’s having in the industry right now.
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee – the town which is known for birthing some of the world’s most talented Soul and Blues musicians – it was no surprise that music is pumping round KIRBY’s veins. From an early age, she knew that she wanted to make her mark on the music industry and attended school to do so.
“There was always a pressure on us to write fast because once you’re in school [for songwriting] it’s like ‘Yo, you can’t take 10 days to write this song. You got to churn out this song.’” Having worked with world-renowned artists such as Beyonce, Common and Ariana Grande, she’s definitely no stranger to working hard and getting the tasks assigned to her completed as efficiently as possible, but we wanted to know if writing for someone else is a different experience to writing for yourself.
KIRBY’s latest EP Sis. He Wasn’t the One is a follow-up to her 2020 album Sis, and both projects explore relationships, romance and freeing oneself from a past that isn’t for you. But KIRBY tells us that this latest EP went in a direction she wasn’t expecting which made her second guess how fans would react. But it’s a smash. KIRBY’s voice carries well across all tracks and with standout tracks such as, ‘Coconut Oil’ and ‘Blame the Internet’ you get a real feel for her captivating range as she takes us on a journey from funk to slow emotive ballad.
Writing her latest project was an entirely unique experience, working with producers Mike Irish and Stewart Spencer KIRBY has curated a 10 track EP which saw her strip back her songwriting process and really get to the root of what she really wanted to share with her fans. “My songwriting process is a really solid one, and I like it that way. I never want to feel dependent on anyone outside of me to write, and I think that’s probably why I never smoke or drink before I write because I’m afraid that that might be the thing that fuels my ideas,” she told us.
And as for her ideas, KIRBY continues to be inspired by the musical talent she has around her, as well as the artists she loves across the pond. When we ask her about who she loves at the moment, she wastes no time in letting us know that she’s crushing on “Summer [Walker’s] honesty right now” as well as “Jasmine [Sullivan’s] live performances and vulnerability”. She also loves our favourite new soul duo, Silk Sonic (AKA Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars if you’ve been living under a rock the past year) “Anderson has been there for me for years”. But KIRBY’s really plugged into some of our favourite British female artists from the last year, “I really love Little Simz, she’s someone I would love to see live. Her and Cleo Sol, they’re both produced by this amazing, talented creative called Inflo.”
As for coming to the UK, it’s something that KIRBY was just manifesting for the year ahead, but she’s headed on her tour supporting the world-class artist John Legend and hasn’t looked back. It’s exciting and touring isn’t something that KIRBY takes lightly, neither is her signing to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, where she has been supported and coached by some of the best in the industry.
“I want to see the world, man. This conversation just makes you just open your eyes to how much life there is to live and how many places are out there that you’ve never been to. I just cannot wait. I want to go to Asia, I want to go back to Europe. I’ve only ever been as a songwriter, so to come back as an artist would be a dream.” Well, KIRBY, it would seem like 2022 is your chance…