Kylie Rothfield may have come into the national spotlight as a contestant on the 11th season of The Voice (on Team Alicia Keys!), but her raw talent, drive, and hard work is what mostly likely will keep her there for years to come.
Raised in Danville, California, Rothfield had a natural inclination towards music and began writing her own at a young age, using guitar as her primary instrument. “I’ve been singing since before I could remember, but I’ve always felt really drawn to the guitar for some reason,” Rothfield says. “My parents picked up on that and bought me my first guitar at age 11, and I was hooked. I started teaching myself basic chords and techniques and eventually starting using it as a tool for songwriting around age 12. Occasionally I’ll write with piano or on top of a track, but the guitar has always felt like this natural extension of myself so I think that will always be my primary instrument for songwriting.”
After a stint at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where her dusky, soulful voice, and blues/roots-driven pop stylings won over the likes of Paula Cole, Rothfield moved to Nashville at age 19 to pursue her career as a songwriter and performer, eventually growing her audience from neighborhood bar gigs to prime opening spots at festivals and tours.
Rothfield wrote her latest single, “Miss Me,” at her first Los Angeles songwriting session, a collaboration with her friend Eric Zayne. Inspired by a recent heartbreak, Rothfield’s lyrical themes deal with getting back on your feet and moving on from someone who takes you for granted. “I had this sort of intense, tumultuous relationship with a guy in Nashville right before I moved and I wanted to write something that felt empowering. It’s sort of like what I would’ve said to him if I had the guts. Also this was my first time ever meeting Eric, and he did an incredible job pulling this song out of me. Sonically it’s the soul-pop anthem I’ve been wanting to write for a really long time.” Between the two musicians, they played every instrument on the track, with Zayne producing and mastering. Rothfield called the process, “quite possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio.”
Once the single was complete, Rothfield commissioned Colin Duffy to direct a accompanying music video. “I sent him the song and he immediately came up with this killer storyboard and color schemes and already had a location in mind, and he was miraculously kind enough to deal with my tiny budget as a completely independent artist. I remember we were running out of time on our room rental and we had these scenes where people were throwing confetti at me with these huge fans and they were sprinting frantically around me to sweep the confetti in between each take. It was hilarious but also invigorating, and so much fun to shoot!,” she says.
With “Miss Me,” now released and available for purchase, Rothfield has her eyes set on the next steps of her musical journey. “Currently, I’m writing a bunch of new music and working with a few producers in LA to continue to try and capture the right sound,” she says. “My goal is to put this song and at least one previous single on a full-length album by the end of this year, but I’ve also learned—the hard way—not to rush the process. I would rather take time to put out music I’m really proud of than release music just to release it.”
Check out “Miss Me” now and see Rothfield live at one of her upcoming shows this spring.