Up Close and Personal with Kayleigh O’Connor

by Chikako October 16, 2017


Kayleigh is rising to the status of one of the most promising young talents on the indie scene. She’s a huge success on the music scene, performing at Music Nova Scotia and Cavendish Beach Music Festival, traveling to Toronto for Canadian Music Week and gaining some powerful airtime.

Kayleigh recently completed her debut EP in Nashville, in collaboration with Grammy-nominated songwriter/producers Rusty Varenkamp and Nicole Witt. The project displays Kayleigh’s brilliant poetic sense as an alternative and indie pop lyricist. Whether the songs are fragile or strong in their emotional state, the EP remains powerful and passionate.Horoscope Sign: Capricorn

  • Favourite Food: Chocolate
  • Favourite Subject in School: English
  • Favourite Movie: Water for Elephants or The Imitation Game
  • Favourite Instrument: Piano
  • Favourite Place to Travel: India
  • Favourite Coffee Shop: Frothy Monkey in Franklin, Tennessee
  • Things people might not know about me: I am in the circus and I perform mostly silks and trapeze.


How and why did you get started in music? What were some of the obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

I started playing the piano when I was pretty young because my older brother Patrick played and I wanted to be like him! After a while, I started to sing and then I started to write when I was 11. Writing music is really the reason I’ve tried to pursue the whole artist thing. There’s something really amazing about creating something. For a while I tried to blend into what other people were doing, both musically and not, and I’ve had a lot of people tell me I need to be commercial, which is true to some extent when you are trying to make a living off it. But I’ve learned that you’re better off being yourself because you’re happier that way and people tend to believe you more when you believe yourself.

What does music mean to you?

Music to me is something everyone has, and something no one can take. It allows you to say something. If someone were to come up to me and know every lyric to my songs, that would mean the world to me, because it means they listened, because there’s a huge difference between hearing and listening.

How do you handle school and your profession?

It’s honestly not hard. If you are interested in something you make time for it because you want to. I like school and I love music so I find time for both! As for my post-secondary, I’ve been looking at music schools for a long time and I probably will end up doing music in university, but I’m interested in a lot of different things and part of me wants to explore those too, like math, fashion, and philosophy.

What do you like best about your music career?

My favourite thing about my music career is that most of the time it doesn’t feel like a career or a job. If I had to pick a favourite part though, I’d say it’s probably the creative process, so the writing would be my answer.

Who are some of your inspirations?

Musically there are so many inspiring people I could name, but I’d say two of my biggest inspirations have been John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I sit down at the piano and just play Beatles’ songs for hours sometimes, their music is so incredible and is really timeless. I think one of my biggest idols, in general, would be Emma Watson. I love how much she values knowledge and is extremely talented, but above all else, I really look up to her for her efforts with the HeForShe movement.

What advice would you give to other youth?

Follow your dream and passion, go with your gut and don’t let people push you around. If you think it’s cool go for it, that’s what really matters.

Check out Kayleigh’s website: http://kayleighoconnor.com

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