Singer-songwriter, Kris Angelis, shares her inspiring story to and through ‘Pieces That Were Stolen’

Photo by: Shiloh Strong

My Background:

I began by making up little songs with my twin sister in our treehouse on our farm in Florida. I started singing in choirs and then our family moved to California. We started doing musicals and plays. I played the violin for about five years and was in a youth orchestra, so I learned some about music theory from that, then I decided to pick up a guitar and started writing more songs and performing! I recorded some demos and learned about that process. I put out my first full length album called The Left Atrium in 2013.

Why Music?:

When I was growing up on the farm, we didn’t have TV so Alix (my sister) and I did a lot of exploring, playing outside and listening to our parents and grandparents old records and CD’s. I always enjoyed performing for my family even though I was also very shy, and music made everything so full of emotion. Listening to it helped me get through things and I found that singing felt really good. Harmonizing with my sister was even better and people responded positively to that. I did a lot of acting and dance when I was younger, and I remember people saying “This is it. You found your creative expression!” when I started writing songs. I chose guitar because it seemed like the easiest to carry around and a lot of the musicians I loved played guitar on stage. I love piano too and would like to learn how to play better.

My Songwriting Process:

I usually start with lyric ideas and thoughts that I jot in my journal or on my phone as I’m processing something in my life. Sometimes I’ll also think of a melody to go with a lyrical hook and then I sit down with my guitar or in a studio with a producer and/or co-writer and we start shaping the feel of the song, then melody and more lyrics to round out the message or story of the song.

I try to make each song have a message. My songs are usually about love, often somewhat sad, but with a positive outlook and some empowerment. I always want my songs to have a positive message — not necessarily happy because sad songs can be a great release and make people feel like they are not alone, but positive meaning not malicious or derogatory. Actually, the songs on my upcoming EP Pieces That Were Stolen all come from a place of some hurt or sadness, but they don’t necessarily sound sad or they are about putting yourself back together, moving in a good direction for the future, and not letting the past take away your joy and hope.

Photo by: Shiloh Strong

Overcoming Obstacles:

My biggest obstacle has been anxiety and sometimes depression. Feeling like I’m not enough or that I won’t succeed or having panic attacks on stage and feeling like I want to run off the stage! But when I’m feeling sad, music has always been a major outlet — whether I was listening to it or performing. I almost always feel better after singing or working on a song. There are times when I might not be as active in creating music, but usually that’s because I’m focusing on the business side and in times when I was maybe feeling too sad or judgmental to create, I continue being inspired by music and there are songs on the other side of that.

Almost exactly a year ago I was getting back from a little west coast tour and my car was stolen with all of my musical instruments, gear, clothes, computer, everything. That, as you can imagine had an effect on me throughout the year I was writing these songs. They are not all about that, but can be said to be things that took from me emotionally and the songs are kind of a way of letting go and letting those pieces come back to me so I can become whole again. That’s also why I put the sparrow on the front cover — there is a song called “The Sparrow” on the record and they are a symbol of true love as well as the mundane (meaning the human experience) and they always come back home.

What’s Next:

I have a big Birthday/CD Release party show at the Hotel Cafe on Hollywood at 7pm on July 21st! Steve Connell with Kill The Poets is opening and I go on at 8 sharp! You can get tickets here:

The fact that I’m where I am now, compared to a few years ago means that I’m truly pursuing my dream and making some progress and it encourages me not to quit. It feels like it’s too late to turn back.

~ Kris Angelis

Pieces That Were Stolen is coming out August 3rd and you can pre-order it now on iTunes for only $3.99 and you get the first single “Photobooth” right away!

Pre-save Pieces That Were Stolen on Spotify

Visit ~ check out the great bundles you can get in the crowdfunding campaign including t-shirts hand-designed and printed by Kris Angelis and one-of-a-kind live direct to vinyl singles!

When you join the mailing list, you get a free song!

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Produced by/in collaboration with Jeff Gorra:

~ follow Jeff Gorra here on twitter