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5 Nov 2021

Kyla Greening on good vibes and leaping into a creative career

Waikato singer-songwriter Kyla Greening releases her debut single Rich Girl today. She chats to Creative Waikato about how the ELEVATE programme is helping her smash her creative goals. 

Kyla Greening writes music that makes you feel good – and she’s spreading the good vibes with the release of her debut single Rich Girl today.

The Cambridge-based singer-songwriter (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raakaipaaka) describes her music as a fusion between R&B, soul and pop.

Written by Kyla and produced by Nic Manders, Rich Girl is a love song about the people that enrich Kyla’s life.

The catchy tune offers a sound brimming not only with warm vocals and lush instrumentation, but with heart, and the grounding reminder that often the most important things in life are the ones we have right here.

“The song started as a random melody that I sang into the voice memos app on my phone, a few chorus lyrics like “get on the next plane” and “you make me a rich girl” stuck and the rest were mumbled notes.”

“Rich Girl sounded like a song title that I wouldn’t use, and that intrigued me so I sat with the idea untilI could make it meaningful to me.

“I thought of all the things in life that make me a ‘rich’ girl and I realised I wanted the song to be about love and things that enrich your life.”

“I managed to write the chords and hook, using a borrowed loop pedal I kept in the lounge and garage. After a few years of mulling over the tune and procrastinating (lol), I found myself fortunate to be one of Parachute Music’s ‘Artists in Development’. I spent weekly studio time fleshing out a full demo with instrumentation and lyrics. The song journeyed through about five different lyric edits, a reggae phase, a ‘scrap the whole thing phase’ and a ballad phase. At the end of 2020 and mid 2021, I was able to record the final track.”

Kyla is in the midst of ELEVATE, a free nine-month programme that helps and supports Waikato creative practitioners into creative careers.

Through weekly workshops, personal development plans, and expert support, Kyla has developed business skills and knowledge to help her carve a realistic pathway toward her goals – and get her debut song off the ground.

Being mentored by Creative Waikato’s Sasha McLaren was a highlight of the programme for Kyla, as well as being surrounded by other local, like-minded artists.

“ELEVATE covers the most nitty, gritty parts of owning a creative business,” Kyla says.

“It helped me be more confident approaching music as a business and realising that I could make my craft my career.” 

ELEVATE is now taking applications for its next programme, kicking off on 1 March 2022. Find out more and apply here.

Stream ‘Rich Girl’ here

and follow Kyla on: SpotifyInstagram & Facebook


Image credit – @christiantjandrawinata