Kary Sit became a recording artist after releasing her debut single and music video “Distaste” in the US. She then created a huge fanbase in Japan following her tour there in 2012. Kary has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and TV shows to nationwide radio stations and TV billboard screens in Japan, as well as US magazines and blogs. Kary also had her own 30 minute live show on the Ameba TV channel.
A fourth generation Eurasian, Kary Sit started her music career at a young age. While studying art and music, she worked at one of the most influential studios in California directly connected to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath studio. Working as a ghost producer, Kary finished multiple music projects for major recording artists Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, JoJo, Snoop Dogg, as well as TV broadcasters Disney Channel and Warner Bros.
In an exclusive interview with the Jampshere Indie Music Magazine, Kary Sit spilled out her thoughts and modus operandi in the music industry.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Kary Sit: I’ve been in the music business for quite a while now, definitely more than 5 years. I first got a job in a big music production company as a ghostwriter and producer. I did some singing here and there for my demos. Later on, I started recording my songs as a singer.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Kary Sit: Oh! So many that I lost count. I have always been a big “Top 40” fan. I have a wide range of musical influences from Michael Jackson to Oasis, Usher to Timbaland, Taylor Swift to Madonna. They are all my influences. Radio was my best friend when I was in school.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Kary Sit: I still listen to the Top 40s coz that’s where I came from. But I also love Hawaiian, jazz and classical music. It’s funny ‘coz I am now learning the blues scales. I would love to collaborate with Madonna if I ever had a chance.
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ from within the industry, being both a Eurasian and female artist? If so how have you handled that, and how do you handle criticism and haters in general?
Kay Sit: Very good question! As a matter of fact, instead of getting any resistance from anyone, my fan base is more diverse. Sometimes I get people curious about my ethnicity and my culture. They think it’s a good thing to be just a little different. On the same note, I do admit that it is not easy to be a female in this industry, but most of the boys that I work with are very nice people, they don’t take advantage of girls.
- You have some of the most amazing music videos for an indie artist. How do you budget and produce those videos?
Kary Sit: Well, I was lucky to meet a very successful Hollywood movie producer who liked my previous work and my crazy concept. So, she decided to work with me within my budget. After that, we became good friends and I can always count on her when it comes to video production.
- Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?
Kary Sit: Those two are in very different work settings and I really enjoy both of them. I have major ADD and I have problem doing one thing in an excessive amount of time. And it is the most amazing feeling from creating a song from scratch to performing on the stage in front of the audience.
- Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?
Kary Sit: I am the most OCD person to work with. I love to manage my projects from A to Z whenever it’s possible. From the concept, the lyrics, the music, to the production of the album, I am like a sea captain making sure everything is on the right track. And I love to get different inputs from different professionals that I work with.
8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find it?
Kary Sit: Oh! I have recently released both my EP “Welcome to My Fantasy” and a single “Guilty Pleasure”. Those are also the songs that I will perform in my upcoming shows this summer. My fans can easily find them on my iTunes. www.itunes.com/karysit
- You just mentioned something about your upcoming show, can you tell us more about it?
Kary Sit: Yes! I have been rehearsing for my new show every day vigorously since late April. It’s a total brand new set of show and I will perform all the new songs that I have never performed on stage before. I personally think that this show is gonna be very entertaining and exciting for my fans. And it is also quite challenging for me since this is gonna be the first time I will have to interact with my audience while I am on stage and hopefully to have some fun with them in between my performance. My fans can go to my website www.karysit.com to check out the updates of the show info.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre thriving with divas?
Kary Sit: Hmmmm, I never compare myself to other performing artists so I don’t exactly know how many female artists out there in the same genre. But I believe every artist has her own talent and uniqueness. They are all special and unique to their fans, and fans can love more than one artist at the same time. My current focus is to make better music to my fans.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Kary Sit: Haha…… I definitely think its passion! Being an independent artist, it is not easy to grind and strive every day of my life if I am not passiondriven.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Kary Sit: I think being able to take full control of my career, my image, my songs and other repertoire excite me the most as being an independent artist. I get to create whatever I have in my head with no restrictions and limitations. But there’s also a downside of being an independent artist. Being an independent artist doesn’t get as much marketing and promotional support as major artists do.
- How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have an outside management team or do you control everything by yourself?
Kary Sit: I do have an artist manager and few very helpful agents to help me with my booking and marketing. But I like to do most of the things myself, such as, communicating with my fans, picking my own wardrobe, choosing which projects I want to work on, etc.
- How do you achieve your great sound? Do you work from a private recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio?
Kary Sit: I use both equally. These days, we can do a lot of post-production work at a nice equipped home studio.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Kary Sit: Wow, this is a very good question that no one asked me before. I guess the best advice I have learned in this business by far is to believe in myself and keep going. And I can’t really think of any advice that someone gave me which I didn’t follow.
- What are your thoughts on talent shows like American Idol, The Voice and the XFactor etc.?
Kary Sit: I think these shows are very good platforms in providing chances to the talented people. It’s like an open door for the true talents to get into the entertainment industry which is where they belong.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy and paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Kary Sit: I always think social media websites are the best way for the artists to communicate with their fans. Back then, before all these social media websites existed, artists didn’t have a decent and safe place to communicate with fans, but now it’s a total different world. It is not my place to say if social media websites produced a mass of mediocre artists or not, I think fans and audience are smart enough to determine who have real talent or not.
- How did you gain so much popularity in Japan?
Kary Sit: First of all, I feel so thankful to all my Japanese fans who still support and love me even though I haven’t been back for a while. I was having my music tour in Tokyo with bunch of shows and as much as I remember, I started getting a lot of Japanese followers and fans after the first two shows. Newspapers, magazines, TV channels and radios started calling my team and wanted to interview me. They also invited me to a few TV and radio shows. And the next thing I knew, some Japanese celebrities would come support my shows towards the end of my tour. I felt very thankful. I am actually planning my next tour to Japan after my summer shows in the US.
- As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone?
Kary Sit: Of course I would be psyched if I could get a Grammy award, but I don’t wanna set my goal too high for now. I am just a happy go lucky person. It will make me very happy if I hear my music being played on the radios and in the clubs. It makes me happy when people like my music.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Kary Sit: I never thought about this since I haven’t experienced anyone to push me to do something that I don’t want in order to trade for success. I think success comes from oneself but not from the outer force. If someone has to force me to do something to trade for success, that success probably won’t last. But in general, I try to avoid drugs.