Call Answered: Kristin Carter Interview: Gardening and Growing her debut album Full Bloom

music producer singer songwriter Apr 05, 2024
Call Me Adam Title Page. Call Me Adam logo is on the left side. Kristin Carter's headshot is on the right side. In the top center of the page is an orange circle with jagged edges that says Featured Interview. Between our photos it says Gardening and Growing Her Debut Album Full Bloom. Below the title and in between our names there is an auburn circle that says

Kristin Carter is a musician on the rise. Upon listening to her debut album, Full Bloom, I immediately fell in love with her songs, songwriting and talent!

This album can pump you up when you need to get energized, it can lift you up when you are feeling down and it can give you the strength you need to keep going.

In this interview, Kristin gave me a call to reveal:
  • Her inspirations
  • How her debut album was inspired by her love of gardening
  • What Broadway star she would like to do The Waltz with
  • What her Lazy Sunday looks like
  • So much more 

Connect with Kristin: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Full Bloom is available to stream here!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? I was a choir kid growing up and that formed a lot about what I think about music today. I was always really drawn to singing as an art form, and when you sing in a choir there's such a sense of community and connection. I wanted to be good at music because I adored it, and even more so I adored the people I got to know because of it. I wanted to be part of it. I sang in choirs all the way through my childhood to my mid twenties, and I would love to join one again.

2. You have just released your debut album Full Bloom. What is the hidden meaning behind the album's title? It's inspired by a garden. I'm an avid gardener, or at least I try to be. I find the process very tranquil and pensive. There's a lot of hopefulness in planting seeds, caring for them, all for the distant prospect of something maybe coming to life right in front of you.

I’ve treated this album like a gardener – with a lot of patience – and the songs are the flowers that symbolize unique experiences and the temporality of life. As a whole, they represent the shades and colors of a more complete life that’s always evolving and adapting.

In this context, the title Full Bloom is the full living garden of music that has been created.

3. What was the first song you wrote that either spawned the idea for this album or you knew had to be on this album? I don't remember which song came first! I wrote a bunch like crazy and gathered some other songs I had already written and we narrowed it down from there. I can say that one song that I have always known needed to be on the album was "Euphoria". Every time I play it, it gets such a fun reaction from the crowd. It's so light and joyful, so I knew it would be a great opener to the album.

4. Why was this song the catalyst for the album? Thinking about comparing flowers to songs – “Euphoria” has always been a magnolia for me; it only lasts for a short little time, but it’s so precious when it's here. People literally plan trips about these trees blooming, they are so sought after and special. That comparison sent me down a path of making sure that I had all types of flowers in my musical garden; roses with thorns hardened to protect, tulips and lilies, etc. I wanted to make sure that I had all types of flowers and themes to round out the album. That's really what the album is about, appreciating that it takes all types of experiences, the good and the bad, to round out a full life. A garden of one type of flower wouldn't really be a garden at all.

Kristin Carter, Photo Credit: Liz Rosa

5. What was the hardest song to write and why was said song so difficult to write? The hardest song for me to write was “Kintsugi.” It deals with the complex and confusing realities of existing in this world as a woman. It's a heavy topic, and one that I wanted to do justice to because it was an important song for me to write to process my feelings. However, I also wanted to make sure I wasn't over pronouncing or being too obvious about the theme.

My hope is that listeners can reflect on the situations and ideas in the song without being told explicitly what they are meant to represent. I think, in that way, music can be personal to everyone because they can have it represent what it means to them, instead of what it means to me. That can be a challenging task and so it took me several weeks and rewrites to get it to a place I was happy with.

6. Let's play with some of the song titles on the album to find out more about you:

  • Euphoria - What is something that gives you Euphoria? I live in Vancouver, so I would have to say when the sun comes out after winter. A truly basic thing to say, but honestly when you spend so many months in the grey and wet, seeing the sunshine into your room for the first time in what feels like ages ignites my spirit so much! Makes me get outside and soak up the moment. 
  • Lazy Sunday - What does a Lazy Sunday look like for you? Waking up a little late, looking over at my window and feeling the sun pour into the room. Stay in bed a little longer and then eventually make myself a coffee. Sit with my fiancé and chat about our night and our day ahead. Go for a walk before all the scary anxieties of the week ahead start to set in. Then I usually go home and cook for the week. End the day with a movie. That’s a pretty typical and ideal Sunday for me.
  • I'm Still Here - What is something that happened to you that would make you sing I'm Still Here to show people you aren't going down? Nothing specific, but I do like to listen to this song when I'm exhausted from life. It's a good reminder for me about how powerful I am, everything I've gone through, and everything I will persevere through. The production feels like a sound bath so it's a great way for me to focus and be kind to myself.
  • The Waltz - If you could do The Waltz with any celebrity, who would be your partner? Such a great question! I would pick Aaron Tveit because he has the training to do it well and I just want to sing duets with him so I would get the chance to ask him then.

7. What was your favorite part of the recording process? Recording vocals. I love to build harmony stacks and listen to them back. Feels like food for the ears when you get it just right. I recorded a lot of the harmonies myself for this record, a lot of it in my bedroom surrounded by blankets. It was a DIY, but also a very joyful process learning how to do that. It was my first time co-producing as well.

Kristin Carter holding her debut album

8. What do you hope listeners discover about you through listening to Full BloomI want them to discover things about themselves. Music is a way for me to process my emotions and so my greatest hope would be that when people listen to Full Bloom, they learn something about themselves or have new ideas about concepts they haven't explored yet. I hope the album feels and sounds different each time people play it.

9. What is something you learned about putting this record together that you didn't know beforehand? I cut all the vocals and edited together the harmony stacks in "I'm Still Here", which is the basis for the whole song, so I'd say I got really skilled at that during that process! We pivoted to using all vocals and having no instruments after what we had originally planned for didn't work out, so it was a bit of a happy accident and a lot of learning for me.

10. What is something we didn't get to talk about in this interview that you'd like my audience to know about you? That I'm currently taking flying lessons! This is for the music video we have planned for “Lazy Sunday” – there is stunt work involved that I have to do some training for. The vision for the video is beautiful. I hope I'm able to look graceful enough by the time we film to make it look good! Follow me on socials and stay tuned for that when it comes out.

Kristin Carter, Photo Credit: Liz Rosa

More on Kristin Carter:

A choir girl-turned-contemporary troubadour, Kristin Carter brings dynamic vocals, thoughtful lyricism, and an empowering message to her artistry in a way that inspires audiences to move, feel, and connect.

Originally from White Rock, British Columbia, Kristin grew up listening to a genre blend of greats like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, and rich, soulful vocalists like Beyoncé and Celine Dion. Drawn to choir at age of 5, Kristin used the timeless vocal practice to train her voice as an instrument for over 15 years until – after a university education took her to Halifax and back – she found inspiration for writing music on her daily Vancouver commute.

In 2018, Kristin broke through with national recognition in the country genre as a semi-finalist in Sirius XM’s Top of the Country contest. A year later, she repeated the same feat, but followed it with the release of the fast-paced, country-pop smash “Karma”, her first single to radio, which climbed to #18 on the Canadian country charts and earned over a million digital streams.

On the heels of these accomplishments and over 3.8 million digital streams across her first five singles, Kristin recalibrated through a period of recognition, introspection, and personal growth. After pouring her heart into songwriting, Kristin emerged with 2023’s “I’m Still Here” – a single built entirely from her own vocals – which was broadcast on BC’s Music Show (CBC Radio One) on Remembrance Day and added to Amazon Music Canada’s Brand New Music editorial playlist.

Kristin’s follow-up single, the exhilarating 2024 pop anthem “Euphoria”, is the lead-in to her ambitious 12-song album, Full Bloom, a contemporary-leaning pop project that invokes an artistry that unapologetically eschews many conventional musical boundaries. Each song on the album distinctly captures Kristin’s continued curiosity, passion, and feelings about the human experience.

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