DIY Spotlight: Kara Connolly

Singer and songwriter Kara Connolly has been writing songs since she was a little kid. She doesn’t necessarily remember doing it, but an old friend recently presented her with some of the lyrics she wrote in second grade.

“She’ll be like, do you remember this song? And she’ll text me some lyrics,” says Connolly. “I instantly can remember the melody. In my head, I’m thinking it’s by some sort of one hit wonder, or a jingle for a commercial, and she’s like, ‘You wrote it. Don’t you remember?’ I don’t have a recollection of writing it but I remember the song. I can sing the song. So I guess I’ve been writing since second grade.”

Classroom boredom in high school encouraged her to keep writing, and she kept it going while attending USC for acting. When she wasn’t going from one audition to another in L.A., she was making music.

“People started to pay attention to it,” she says. “Doors started to open in that area pretty organically and naturally. So I started to walk down that path. I still act, I still consider myself an actor, because I do have that background, but I’m doing so much music lately from writing for other artists to writing for myself. I’m doing vocal producing. It’s become such a big part of my life. I guess it really did stem from that moment of being a kid writing those little songs.”

Connolly says that she’s inspired by many different styles of music, but eventually nails down her sound as “alternative pop.”

“It’s ‘90s-flared alternative pop,” she says. “That’s the easiest way I’ve found to describe it. I feel like it’s a lot of personal narrative with lots of guitars. Guitar based, with some modern sounds. Retro, organic instruments with a bit of a modern sound, all from personal experience. I almost feel like genres are defunct these days.”

The artist says that most indie musicians are DIY these days.

“I know that I am in the sense that I’m wearing every single hat,” she says. “I’m marketing, I’m branding, I’m styling myself, I’m coming up with the photoshoot and music video ideas. I have help in certain areas, but I’m oftentimes doing my own press. I’m basically wearing whatever hat I need to in the moment to get it done.”

Visit karaconnolly.com for more.