BY AMANDA SIGMAN
To say Kirsten Arian is the very definition of positive energy would be the understatement of the year. With her undeniable joy and her contagious smile, Kirsten adds a sparkle to everything she does. Motivated by a love of people and a heart for change, this artist has done nothing less than give her music all she’s got. At 18, Kirsten picked up and moved to Nashville to pursue her dreams and hasn’t looked back since. From playing with Judah and the Lion to having a song in The Lego Batman Movie, Kirsten’s seen the fruits of her hard work and dedication. We had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Kirsten about everything from her roots to her inspirations to her hobbies. Learn more about this lively artist below!
How did your music journey begin?
Kirsten: “I moved to Nashville when I was 18 years old. Nobody in my family does music, nobody in my family has ever done music. This was kind of a bold move. You know, I didn’t know what I was doing or anything about the music industry, but moving to Nashville was something I felt really called to. When I moved here it turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences because pop music was just starting to kind of erupt in Nashville.
When I got here, I just started meeting people and oddly enough, within two weeks of living in Nashville, I ended up singing with the band Judah and the Lion! Crazy! And that’s just kind of how I learned to make an EP, record some songs, and just get music out there.”
What inspired you to pursue music professionally?
Kirsten: “When I was 18 I was going to school at Palm Beach Atlantic University and majoring in worship. I thought I was going to graduate and be like a worship leader in Africa. I had no idea I would ever go into music professionally. While there, I had a crazy experience with God that just changed my life forever and I just knew I was supposed to go into the music industry to be a light for Him. It just feels like something I’ve always been supposed to do.”
To someone who hasn’t heard your music yet, how would you describe it?
Kirsten: “It’s like rose soda. It’s very poppy, but it’s refined a little bit! I want to do something that’s impactful and inspiring. I want to write songs that are authentic and true!”
Who are some of your musical influences?
Kirsten: “That’s a hard one, but I guess I would say I love Adele and I love Taylor Swift. I think it’s incredible, writing a song that people are singing for generations. So, they are two people I look to. I love Taylor’s concerts because you go there and you forget where you are and you’re sucked into her world! I love Adele because she’s so emotional and she helps you tap into parts of yourself that you didn’t know were there.”
How do you go about writing your songs? Where do you draw your lyrics and sounds from?
Kirsten: “Writing has always been something that just comes so natural to me. The process these days is kind of just me deciding, ‘okay, what do I want to say? If in my wildest dreams, 10,000 people are singing this song with me, what do I want us to be singing? Is it something that’s unifying us or drawing us closer together?’ I think about that a lot more these days where as before I was like, ‘ugh I just went through this breakup or I went through this and I want to talk about it.’ So, I think I’ve kind of changed my mindset recently to be like ‘man, I want to leave an impact and touch the world in only a way I can.’
Everyone has that unique thing about them. They can touch the world in a way only they can. So, I’ve been trying to share that more with my songwriting.”
If someone were to only listen to one of your songs, which should it be?
Kirsten: “If I were telling someone ‘go listen to this song,’ I would probably tell them to listen to Velvet Dresses.”
Do any of your songs stand out as your favorite?
Kirsten: “Definitely my favorite one that I’ve ever written is a song called ‘Give Me Something.’ It’s off of my first album called Higher than Heaven. That song is just really, really, really personal to me and every time I sing it I’m taken right back to that place. That’s a fun one and I believe it speaks most about my heart.”
You just released “RUNVS”. Can you tell us a little bit about this song and the inspiration behind it?
Kirsten: “About a year ago Devon [my husband] and I partnered with an anti-bullying organization, Love is Louder. Some of what we’ve done is hold assemblies at middle schools or elementary schools and we’ve just been able to talk to the kids and say, ‘what’s going on?’ All these kids are dealing with things like anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, anger, jealousy, so many things teens these ages shouldn’t have to deal with. At these events, we have everyone write down what they’re feeling/thinking and share their thoughts. We watched all these girls come together and apologize and make up!
After doing these events, I really felt like I wanted to write a song about what’s going on in our culture with Instagram and social media. I was trying to write about it in a cheeky way saying that we clearly are all struggling with envy because this what we do when we go online, we’re just comparing our lives. We all struggle with this, but let’s not. If we could just get ourselves out of our own heads and serve each other and just do random acts of kindness, it’ll help with this fog that we feel in our minds.”
“Invincible” was featured in The Lego Batman Movie! Can you tell us about that song/the process of it ending up in the movie?
Kirsten: “That was AMAZING. That was such a crazy experience. My publisher was getting prompts from Warner music, like ‘hey, these are the kinds of songs we’re looking for.’ At one point, they sent a song for Batgirl’s character. We’re looking for a song that’s about an empowering woman who wants to bring change and unify people and I was like ‘oh, this is my song!’
So, I wrote the song in three hours with my co-writer Lindsay Rimes. We turned it in and we didn’t hear anything for a year, a full year. And then all of sudden Warner called and said they love song! It was so fun!”
What is your favorite part about playing music professionally?
Kirsten: “Oh man, that’s a good one! It’s wild making something you love so much a career. The hard thing is, the thing that you did for fun, becomes a little stressful because you gotta make money. But, when you’re actually doing it, and you’re making a living doing it, you can’t believe the life you get to live and the things you get to do! It feels like such a gift to be able to create. I find so much purpose in writing something that could shift a culture.”
When you aren’t pouring your heart into music, what can we find you doing?
Kirsten: “I love working out. I love going for runs, I love cooking, I love decorating, I love planning parties and having people over!”
Is there anything we can expect from you in the future?
Kirsten: “We’ve got a lot coming. I’m about to release a couple new singles (those will happen pretty quick). And then, I’m going in a really new direction, which I am SO excited to share! It’ll be really, really cool. I can’t wait!”
Follow Kirsten Arian on Instagram @kirstenarian to see what’s coming!