Kaya Stewart is on the rise

One thing is clear as soon as soon as Kaya Stewart gets on the phone to chat with Young Entertainment: she is the coolest.


Photo by Jiro Schneider

At just fifteen she’s got a killer EP out now, a single on the rise and a heart pounding video to go with it. Oh and she’s spending her summer days jumping on monitors in front of packed crowds on Warped Tour.

“It’s amazing. I’m so lucky to be a part of something like [Warped Tour] because so many bands would cut off their right arm just to be on this tour. I think it’s really cool because I’m appealing to a whole different audience than I thought I would. It’s so cool that I get to connect with kids that are around the same age as me.”

When she gets on the phone with YE she’s in the middle of recording more songs for her upcoming album. It’s her day off, but she’s in her hotel room, surrounded by people, cables and keyboard. She’s a busy teenager with a lot to say, and it’s nothing new. She’s had a lot on her mind for some time now.

Her debut EP, “In Love With a Boy” she wrote from the ages of 12-14. Yea, you read it right. She says that’s why each song on the EP feels so different. “That was definitely something I was going for when I was writing the album – lots of different sounds, lots of different emotions, lots of different feels because when I wrote the album [between the ages of 12-14] that’s what I was like. At that time one day I was feeling happy, one day I was feeling sad, one day I had a crush, one day I didn’t. So it kind of has the overall feel in the songwriting.”

The big single from the EP, “In Love with a Boy” is about a crush she had in class at the age of 12. “That was the first song that I actually wrote that was kind of about myself and something I was actually feeling. When I look back on it now I think ‘why would I even write that song. It’s so girly and cheesy and about being in love with a boy,’ but when I put the song together I was able to make it darker and put that more intense feel to it which made it sound different than of the other normal love songs that you’d hear on the radio.”

And it is. “In Love With a Boy” is heart pounding and enigmatic, as is the music video. It feels like she’s about to take off and in the video she just might. She beats her chest and stomps her feet like it’s an anthem. “That was definitely something we were going for with the music video. If I was thinking of a normal pop song I would think, ‘Oh I’ll be in a classroom and there will be a boy I like in the class’ but I wanted to make it a lot darker and more mysterious and kind of juxtaposed from the actual song.”

All her music videos have a unique feel to them. Jonah, one of her most enigmatic videos, features a family that is almost extraterrestrial. It’s strange and cool and more than anything true to Kaya. “Jonah is one of my favorite videos just because it’s so sci-fi and dramatic and kind of crazy and all over the place. I think it’s cool because the people in the video are representing my family. It’s a cool way to exaggerate the song.”

Separate from her own music, Kaya is currently listening to a ton of rock. Warped Tour has that affect on people. She says she’s currently listening to The 1975 a lot and exploring the genre. But when it comes to her dream collaboration that’s reserved for Sia. “Sia has always been one of my favorite artists and I think a lot our songwriting is very similar.”  We’d like to hear that! 

So what’s next. Kaya will be performing on Warped Tour through August 8th. Her album comes out in the fall and is poised to be as awesome as the young woman herself. Kaya talks about everything with a kind of a passion that is reserved for those truly making their most authentic art. It’s clear that she’s a train in motion. It’s time to get on or get out of the way. And YE’s totally on board.

Kaya Stewart

Photo by Jiro Schneider