PHOTOGRAPHER ALE BURSET
FASHION EDITOR JULES WOOD
Fashion credit - Miguelina Gambaccini
The rest stylist own
RM Your career has taken you from modeling to films and now, to something which you consider your true calling. Singing! Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you got here? You have a beautiful voice!
KN Thank you so much! I grew up singing in church, at weddings and just about every school function I could. Choir, the national anthem at games, talent shows and so on. I remember when I was about 9 or 10 my parents bought me a karaoke machine. This changed my life. I would Dj my own radio show and play cassette tapes of various artists while singing along. My parents still have cassette tape recordings of me belting away to Whitney, Tiffany and Mariah. Years later, after being discovered with my brothers and sisters at a summer concert, I moved to NYC to model but for me it was an opportunity to find my way into the music business. It's always been about music for me - no matter where my life has taken me. And believe me, it's been a fight and taken a whole lot of sacrifice to follow my heart. Shortly after moving to NYC, I landed my first gig after auditioning for a girl band called The Skinny. I started to write my own songs and truly fell in love with music. This became my life. I was incredibly lucky to have modeling as a financial cushion at the time. Had it not been for the opportunity in the fashion industry, I wouldn't be where I am today.
RM I had read that you struggled with eating disorders as unfortunately, so many young girls and women do. How does this influence your music and does it enable you to make a certain connection with your audience?
KN I always try and share the deepest sometimes darkest parts of my heart. Whether it be about addiction or self esteem or abuse or perhaps love, I want to be as transparent as I can. I feel like people are more likely to connect the more vulnerable I allow myself to be. I did struggle with an eating disorder for many years. It was crippling. Music is a way for me to not only express myself but more importantly for you to feel something. At least that is my hope. This has always been my prayer when I sit down to write. If just one person feels something, then I know I've done what I'm called to do.
RM What is your message for those who connect with your music on a personal level?
KN My hope is that you feel as though I'm telling a part of your story. I don't write for me. I mean I do, but what gives me the most joy is when someone comes up to me after a show and says that they felt like I was singing directly to them. I want to take you on a journey with me - but a journey not always filled with rainbows and butterflies. Let's face it, life is not like always like this. We go through the motions, the ups and downs. Heartbreak. Joy and pain. Love and loss. It's through the struggle when we grow the most. I want to grow with my audience. I want them to know, they aren't alone. My brother has cancer. He is 35 years old. He has a wife and 3 beautiful children. He is not supposed to be with us very long. That's what the doctors say. So I wrote a song. About him, for him. It's about healing. Whether or not he is with us forever - this song helped me. I know it helped him too. That's what I want to capture with my audience with every song I write.
RM We’d love to hear about your up-coming collaboration with Lenny Kravitz!
KN Years ago, after covering a Roberta Flack tune, The First Time Ever I saw Your Face, the recording happened to fall into the lap of Lenny. There began our 14 year journey to where we are today. After we first met, we recorded 2 songs together at his Edison studios in NYC. Shortly after we started working together, I landed a lead role in a feature film as Lola in Transporter 2. I moved to LA and Lenny went on tour. We lost touch. During the years I was acting, I always tried to stay true to my heart which was to sing but it was very difficult trying to juggle it all. It wasn't until a few years ago that Lenny and I reconnected and we decided to pick up where we left off. I felt we had tapped into something special all those years ago and he felt it too. Next spring we are releasing albums back to back. His that he's worked on for 25 years - Negrophilia
Mine that we started 14 years ago - Love, Loss & Recovery. I am so excited to share it with the world. It's time!
RM What else is next for you? We’d love to hear!
KN I am currently in the studio working on new music. I am super excited about it! It's funny, the new music I am writing has a completely different tone. It's a lot lighter. Assuming it's where I'm at in my life - I'm extremely grateful. I recently moved back to NYC and got married. Pretty sure that has a lot to do with it. :) Next year my album comes out and if all goes as planned, will be on tour with Lenny. So much to look forward to!