Originally from Rhode Island, now living in New York, Kelly Padrick started writing music when she was five-years-old. Drawing inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, her pop sound flickers from dark to light, but always exudes contagious energy.
Fox Searchlight featured her song "Pizza & Fairytales" in the movie Trust The Man, while two more of her songs, "Ties That Bind" and "The Brooklyn Hours," highlighted ABC's promos for Desperate Housewives.
Her latest music video, "Heavenly Ride," blends '60s surf rock flavors with buoyant pop textures, giving the tune a happy-go-lucky luster. Because of the song's new wave surf-pop sizzle, Popdust thought this was the perfect time to find out more about Padrick's musical muse.
How would you describe yourself?
Quirky, optimistic, a dreamer.
What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into?
Wow, too many times to count. My sister and I once snuck into a Springsteen concert at Madison Square Garden - that's all I'll say.
What's your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
In the car I usually belt out to any 50s or 60s songs on Sirius FM - they're all my favorite songs, anything classic.
Who is your favorite music artist?
You started writing songs when you were five-years-old. What's the backstory there?
Music and lyrics just came to me, and instead of paying attention in school I would always be doodling rhymes on paper. Writing at 5 years old kept me calm and transported me into a nicer world.
What musicians influenced you the most?
Dolly Parton and the Beatles, especially Dolly because she is so talented and so nice to her fans.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
When I harmonize with myself, I do try to copy Dolly. I work with Nancy Hess, an amazing producer in Portland, OR and we use the Beatles all the time as an influence, whether it be the Hammond organ type of sound or strange, psychedelic effects. She has such an array of musical magic keys at her fingertips.
How would you describe your style of music?
Pop. Electronic. Some say Alternative.
You've released seven LPs and four EPs. Of them all, which is your personal favorite?
On the Line. That is my favorite I think. They are all special in their own way but definitely On the Line.
When you decide to write a song about a particular topic, do you make the decision consciously – "I think I'll write a song about that" – or does it just happen intuitively?
It's hardest when I set out to write a song. Usually I hear something on TV or if I hear someone playing something sad it gives me an idea to write. Normally I just memorize the melody and words in my head and then write it down later. When I used to go through breakups, that led to most of my creativity for sure.
What is your songwriting process? Do the lyrics come first, or the music?
Music and lyrics at the same time. Never have I written words without some type of melody to it.
I really like your new song "Heavenly Ride." What was the inspiration for the song?
Ron, my guy from Manhattan Production Music, tells me all the time to write happy songs. That was my inspiration to write "Heavenly Ride." Ron! But I wanted a 60s type song, and 60s type songs were usually happy and about surfing and the sun. So I just wrote around that concept.
Your two previous videos were darker, while the video for "Heavenly Ride" is much brighter and more optimistic. What brought about the change in direction?
"Consciousness" was definitely a sadder video. It was written for, and showed, a relationship that rather than being a positive influence on my life was really a destructive one. "Radiance" was somewhat positive. But after "Consciousness" I was determined to lighten up.
What do you think of the current state of the music industry?
I don't really. I just go with the flow and reach as many people as I can.
Will you be doing any touring?
Yes! Dates will soon be up on my website - check back soon!
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.