Gospel and soul singer talks her forthcoming EP
Koryn Hawthorne first made waves on Season 8 of The Voice, where she ended up placing fourth as a member of Pharrell William’s team. The Louisiana native made waves with her confident, soulful voice and artistic delivery. Now the singer is set to debut her self-titled EP.
Her first single on new label RCA Inspiration, “Won’t He Do It” was written by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter, Makeba Riddick-Woods, who has previously worked with Beyonce, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Koryn Hawthorne to discuss her new EP, find out where her hope comes from, and learn about who and what inspired the singer.
Hello – Please introduce yourself.
My name is Koryn Hawthorne.
Where are you right now?
I’m currently at my home in Louisiana.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
My new project is self-titled, Koryn Hawthorne EP. I worked with Grammy and Dove Award winning producers Warryn Campbell and Bernie Herms, plus J Bear, and a few others. The first single, “Won’t He Do It,” was originally recorded as a duet for an upcoming episode of Greenleaf on OWN. So you’ll get to see me perform it on the show. The single is a solo version by me. We recorded most of the EP in LA, but also worked some in Nashville and Atlanta. It was an incredibly creative experience to work with these world-class talents. I did “Reasons” and “Warriors,” which has a definitive almost Rock edge to it, with Warryn Campbell. And I worked with Bernie Herms and Aaron Lindsey on a very powerful worship ballad, “Speak The Name.” Thematically, the EP is both about understanding where our strength and refuge comes from and then standing on that Truth and boldly going into the world and confronting the issues of the day.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
I’d say it’s very versatile with a constant message of faith. My creative sound blends what I’ve grown up listening to, from Urban to Rock to Pop to Gospel to R&B. Hopefully, just about everyone, from any walk of life, can relate to my music.
Other than Koryn Hawthorne, what should your hometown be known for?
I live in a very VERY small town so it’s kind of hard to pick something, but there is a lot of music here and it’s full of people who are fighting to make it out of hard times and situations. So, I’d say my hometown is really known for hope.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you (and that your relationship with it/them). Can we see a photo?
It’s a poster that I’ve had for over five years. It reminds me that I have a purpose in living.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
Music has always been apart of my life! If it’s a person who has inspired me, I’d say God because He gave me the gift. Since I was a very little girl, I’ve known that He has been with me in all aspects of my life. Everything I do is to glorify Him, otherwise there’s no purpose for me doing it.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
To never stop pushing and learning. I’m only 19. I have to work hard all the time to learn as much as I can during the process. That’s why working with these producers and writers on this EP was so amazing. There’s no greater feeling than being able to create with people I have looked up to for so long. After working with these super talents who are also incredible human beings, I have even more confidence in myself and in the distinctive approach I take with my music.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
Hmmm… Michael Jackson!!!
What song best sums up your life right now?
My song “Warriors” on the upcoming EP. I wrote it with the intention of trying to reach people by exploring things I have been through and how I overcame those struggles. The song is about purpose and fighting to reach it . That’s my life.
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
I was performing at a music festival and ran into a couple that was screaming the lyrics to my song and saying how excited they were about the project. Those moments are always thrilling.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
Success in music is typically measured by strong sales numbers, big radio songs, significant touring, and perhaps even awards. Those are all good in and of themselves. I would be lying if I said those aren’t goals I would love to achieve. But even more, I want to be a voice for my generation, to become a positive and inspiring example they can look to.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
The next step is prayer and preparation.
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