The success of ‘Cold’ is overwhelming as well as humbling, says Kiara Chettri
Kiara Chettri’s life revolves around music. When she is not writing songs, she is learning music at BIMM, London, a music university where she is a first year student. “My life is all about music 24/7 and as an artist, I couldn’t have asked for more,” says the young songwriter, who recently released her ninth single Cold. The song has got an overwhelming response – it got featured on the six playlists of Apple Music. Excerpts from an interview:
Take us through the songwriting process of Cold.
Out of all my songwriting experiences, Cold was the hardest to write because I wanted to make sure that I could capture and portray the feeling of having to see your lover move on with somebody else. It is such a common feeling that everyone has related to at least once in their life and I really wanted to put that into lyrics.
I actually wrote Cold when I was back home in India. For this song my main inspiration was actually from a lot of scenes that I see in rom-com movies. I remember watching a movie and there was a scene where the girl and the guy who used to have history together have now separated and end up bumping into each other in a place that they used to go to when they were together. The girl is still in love with the guy but the guy has moved on as he is seen holding hands with his wife. It struck me, my brain told me to write a song about it. That is how Cold was born. While the song has picked up from a movie scene, it is definitely much more than just describing that one scene.
How was your experience with George Porlemad?
Working with George Porlemad was the best decision I could have made for Cold. His vision and ideas for the track were so creative and appropriate and experimental. Even though I have never met him, it felt like we were together in a studio working on the track because that is how equally passionate he was about Cold which I love and respect so much.
I first discovered George through an Instagram reel. It came up on my explore page. At that time, I didn’t even know that he was a producer, but I loved the way he played the guitar so I connected with him via dms to collaborate with him for a reel. We did a song by Lizzy Mcalpine and Finneas called ‘Hate to be lame’. He put together the backing track for the reel and that’s when I realised that he knows music so well and could be a great producer for my future tracks. I was so happy that he was on board when I asked him to produce Cold for me. It’s so crazy how we connected over a cover duet and ended up with one of the best songs I have released in my four years of releasing music.
What about Matu Harvey for video production?
Matu Harvey is a great cinematographer based in London who I became friends with over the past few months. When the discussion for the video started, Matu and I sat down and had many sessions to discuss the video and how to treat it and he came up with some great ideas. The making of the music video was a beautiful experience for me. This is the first music video I have shot in a place like Hyde Park, London and I think it fits perfectly for a song like Cold.
Why did you choose Hyde Park for filming the song?
We wanted to make the video as relatable as possible so having it shot in Hyde Park was a great idea as scores of people visit it. People go to parks to sit with their thoughts all the time. We didn’t want to create a man-made set at least for this track.
How did you pick up artists for the music video?
Initially, we toyed with the idea to have only me in the video, but later decided to have a couple feature in it. That’s how Zach Sadock and Joyce Beijderwellen, my friends and filmmakers based in London, were roped in.
You come out with different kinds of songs – be it your album 4am or singles. Where do you seek inspiration for your music?
Ever since I started writing songs, I promised myself one thing which is, “don’t ever be afraid to experiment”. I go by this statement every time I sit down to write a song or even when I think of the production for a song. I try to experiment as much as possible from all genres in music.
I get inspired by everything I see on a daily basis. I think the more you write, the more your brain gets programmed to naturally take inspiration or make a song idea out of anything at all in your life or somebody else’s life. I have written songs about my personal experiences, my friends’ experiences but mostly, things that I imagine.
When I say imagine, I mean, when I write something that I haven’t personally gone through but still really want to write about, I make myself a character for those few hours of writing and really feel all the emotions as if I really am going through that experience and then only my songwriting comes out the way I want it to. Everyone has their own way of writing and there is no right or wrong way but for me, whatever feels right for the song, naturally happens.
For Why, you were acknowledged by The Grammys. How does it feel? Any plan to submit Cold to The Grammys?
I am so grateful that Why was given this honour and I will be forever in disbelief because it truly is crazy to me that it even happened. It feels surreal and as an independent artist, I am very proud of my music and my journey and hope to only grow from here and make a positive impact in my listeners’ lives by sharing my lyrics and music out into the world. For Cold, when the time is right, I might think of submitting but for now, I haven’t really given much thought to it. I have just been focusing on my next release.
What are you working on now?
I have been doing a lot of songwriting lately and am working on more than two tracks at once and they both are in their production stages. I plan on releasing my next single very soon and it’s going to be so different from Cold and anything I have released in the past. I am excited for everyone to hear what’s to come.
You are also doing ads. Are you looking at a modelling career, or Hershey’s is just one off thing.
When Hersheys reached out to me for their Women’s Day campaign for this year, I was more than content and honoured. This campaign was a felicitation rather than an ad and since this hasn’t happened before for an independent artist, I am so honoured and proud and every time I look at the chocolate wrapper, the whole thing is so surreal to me. For me, I saw this more as a moment to share with strong and inspiring women rather than only a felicitation. I am super grateful that I also get to do things like this from time to time alongside my music.
Your future plans…
I have so much music to share with the world and can’t wait to do so as the years go by. I am currently working on a lot of projects and collaborations for future releases and have been learning so much everyday about music which is endless. I am grateful that I get to do what I do and share it with the people I love and I hope all the music I put out in the future will inspire people and help them in even the smallest way possible.
Story edited by Taruna Sharma