Artist Spotlight: Navigating Life With Keris and Her Cathartic Music

By: Danni Perez
02/04/2023
en
Keris
Thumbnail courtesy of Keris. Photo taken by Haesung Jung.

Hailing from Daejeon, South Korea, singer-songwriter-producer Keris is slipping through the cracks of people’s broken hearts to heal them from the inside out. Aside from majoring in classical violin at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the Korean-Canadian artist is cultivating her own unique sound through her eclectic music. In an email interview, EnVi spoke with Keris about her journey as an independent artist and her latest single, “through spring, summer, and fall.”

Self-Starting Star

The release of her debut single “Yeoubi” in 2020 kickstarted Keris’ career as an artist. She had no intention of releasing the vulnerable track but was encouraged by a friend to take the artistic leap into the unknown. “I’m really thankful for that friend because through “Yeoubi,” a producer named ‘hooischan’ reached out to me,” Keris told EnVi. What began as a spontaneous release turned into an opportunity, as hooischan invited Keris and singer SOIRÉE to collaborate on a track called “Just You.”

In the current state of her rising stardom, Keris attributed the growth in her career to the release of “Yeoubi” and “Just You.” She then used her newly-sparked passion for creating music to share the upbeat yet realistic single “we hate then we love.” And in the following year, her celestial-sounding EP, SPACEBAR. As Keris reflected upon her musical journey so far, she said, “Through showcasing my music to the world, I naturally was able to meet more creatives through social media… Every step counted in the process, and I am still learning and growing.”

Bringing Her Vision to Life

Keris stands out amongst the crowd because of the authentic nature of her music. When going through her discography, there is a common theme of introspection with a hint of vulnerability. Keris embraces the emotions that come with breaking into adulthood, and she transposes them through lyrics and instrumental compositions. When asked about the inspiration behind her heartfelt music, she told EnVi, “Just life haha… I like to do a lot of self-reflection, and I try to be very aware of my feelings, especially when I go through a rough time. So I find that it’s easier to write sad songs than happy ones.”

Photo courtesy of Keris. Photo taken by Daniel Song.

When it comes to the creative process behind making these songs happen, there is no specific approach she takes. Keris admitted, “I just start with whatever idea pops in my head; it could be a lyric, or a melody, or a sound. Whatever inspires me first, I branch off from that.” Keris incorporates both English and Korean within her music as it is an important part of her identity. She explained to EnVi, “Recently, I’ve been realizing that when I write heartfelt, personal songs, I tend to write in Korean… Something about writing in Korean feels more personal to me, and I believe my listeners will feel the same way too.” With such intimate energy from Keris’ music, it makes sense to see the singer-songwriter use both languages in her songs.

Keris’ unique touch to her catalog is not bound just to her lyricism. The artist even controls the creative direction of her tracks as a producer. In fact, her first EP, SPACEBAR, was entirely self-produced. When discussing the task, Keris said, “It was a hard process, but I really enjoyed it. I’m very specific with how I want something to sound like, so being a producer was perfect for me to be hands-on with every single detail.” Producing her own project as a rising artist, Keris has proved that she is an indie powerhouse to be watched.

through spring, summer, and fall

On January 20, Keris released the latest addition to her discography, “through spring, summer, and fall.” The lo-fi R&B-influenced track has a romantic guitar melody that warms up the heart. Inspiration for the song came from the lengthy winter season in Canada. Keris’ newest single is about combatting seasonal depression channeled through a gentle romantic confession. She stated, “I wanted to write a song that would encourage people to look forward to the rest of the year beyond the winter season. So I decided to put that idea into a [point-of-view] of confessing to a significant other/crush that I will be here for that person, not just through the cold winter, but the rest of the seasons as well.” 

Unlike her cathartically-melancholic track record, “through spring, summer, and fall” is optimistic in a more gentle and realistic sense. No grand gestures, just the promise of spending time with a loved one and supporting them through a rough time. It is this relatable nature of Keris’ music that makes her a songstress for the people. She also told EnVi, “I really want to thank Suho Lee, Sun Park, and Hyo Tak Jeon for making this song come alive. It’s my first time working with live musicians, so I’m really excited to share it with everyone. I also want to thank Daniel Song for directing the music video, as well as Justin Park for being in the video!”

On the Rise

Keris touches on the vast changes one experiences, from growing up to falling in love and the inevitable heartbreak. Keris explores the ups and downs of life that listeners may be able to resonate with. “Overall, I want my music to help people navigate through their own emotions,” said Keris. “I want my listeners to feel a sense of comfort, at least for the few minutes they listen to my music.” 

This appears to only be the beginning for Keris as she continues to explore and challenge herself as she creates more music. “I’ve been experimenting with different genres and trying to find my color… My listeners can look forward to new and fresh music from me this year,” Keris revealed. For those interested in diving deeper into her discography, Keris recommended the tracks “365” and “EDEN.”

To stay up-to-date with Keris and her musical career, make sure to follow her on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. You can now listen to “through spring, summer, and fall” on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming platforms now!

Want to discover and learn about more artists? Check out our artist spotlight with SeoulFly here!