A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a CD by Arden Kaywin, Quarter Life Crisis and loved it. I loved it so much I decided to ask for an interview. The fact that she lives in L.A. and I live outside Edinburgh, Scotland didn't seem to be a problem until Blogcritics refused to fund the air-flight and accommodations — damn them! It would just have to be a telephone interview.
I arranged to chat with her at 9am (PST) on a Saturday — that's 8 hours behind Scotland time (GMT) so that was a reasonable 5pm for me. I wasn't sure what to expect — call an indie pop artist at 9am on a Saturday and I figured you were likely to find someone who was either sleeping it off or not yet sleeping. What I got was a fresh and lively young woman who was far more cool and collected than I felt. I had mixed-up the time I was supposed to call her and was late and I had the nagging feeling of being wrong-footed. Well that and I had never interviewed anyone before and had no idea what should come next. So I started with the promotional material that had come with her CD.
Originally from Miami, Arden had lived in New York for four years while attending the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. When I asked her about L.A., she said that she "had this luck of living in the three best cities" in the US, those being Miami, New York and L.A. "The weather is beautiful [in L.A.] and you're a hop, skip, and a jump away from skiing, the ocean, or the desert. You can go anywhere."
Comparing New York’s cultural depth to that of L.A., Arden believes that "if you scratch beneath the surface that is Hollywood there is a really great artistic community here."
A classically trained opera singer, Arden has sung with Opera Theater St. Louis and San Francisco Opera; and before studying in Manhattan, she attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. So how does an opera singer living in the sophisticated urban rush of New York City and "in that world 100%" end up in L.A. writing and recording a pop album?