Kelsy Karter gives the middle finger to the world in “You Only Die Once”
This song follows up the events fans saw in her "Devil On My Shoulder" music video, where she was on the lam with her cute companion, which just so happened to be a monkey. (Yes, she does make an appearance in the new video, too.)
“In a way, I feel like my music is a balance between the edginess of Quentin Tarantino and the delicateness of Wes Anderson," she says of her music video inspirations. "I’m definitely a tough girl, but I’ve also got a heart of complete mush.”
Alternative Press chatted with Karter about her ideas behind the music video, her big debut record and what we can expect from her next. Check out the new music video and full interview below.
In your latest music video, you land in a mental institution and try to run away several times with no luck until the very end. How do you hope viewers perceive these messages and apply them to their own lives? Where did the concept for the video come from?
When I'm coming up with a music video, I'll go running, play the song on repeat and wait for the inspiration to come. For this song, in particular, the only narrative that came into my head was this. The song is a fuck-you anthem for the state of the world right now, and I wanted to find a cheeky but theatrical way to bring it to life and make kids feel like they're not alone during these weird times. I want it to speak to the misfits and the "weirdos" who feel like they don't fit in or can't be themselves. Because they can, and I'll be there to back them up till the end.
Are the lyrics inspired by any personal experiences? If yes, which event in your life helped shape this song?
I feel like we all have a responsibility to identify what we are good at [and] then contribute that to the world. For me, I believe I'm a great leader, and I've always spoken my mind, which has gotten me in trouble of course. For this song, I wanted to be a voice for those who feel lost or confused during the state of the world. Like I said before, a fuck-you anthem for anyone who needs to let it out.
You had the chance to work with the famous Crystal The Monkey again, who also appeared in your “Devil On My Shoulder” video. How did you decide to incorporate animals into your music videos, and what was the best part, as well as the most challenging part, about working with Crystal?
The most challenging part was staying focused on set. I just wanted to sit down and have a cup of tea with her. She's the most wonderful little thing and an absolute pleasure to work with, but I find myself getting sidetracked and have to remind myself I'm working.
Can fans expect this saga to continue as the story plays out? In the future, what visuals do you hope to incorporate into your projects?
I'm in England writing my second album at the moment, so I haven't really moved onto the visual aspect yet. But I will definitely go deeper down a romantic, punk vibe, which is also where the music is going.
You released your album, Missing Person, this October with several amazing rock tracks. Did you have any doubts about releasing the record when you did due to the state of the world? What's been the most exhilarating experience when it comes to putting out your debut album?
This record was two-and-a-half years in the making. I was so ready to put it out and let it go. The biggest downfall is not being able to tour it yet. But I didn't really have any doubts. I'm so proud of Missing Person, and I just wanted to give the fans something to believe in during these times. The songs are theirs now, and that's what matters most to me.
What's one thing you didn’t expect to happen that did after your debut album began streaming?
Rolling Stone recommended my album in the November print issue with Biden on the cover. That was a huge fucking moment for me.