Growing up in Bayville, Rorie Kelly, actually tried to resist going into music. After all it was the “family business.” But today, Kelly’s music is all her own. The determined and passionate indie musician shared her greatest musical influences, her record-label pitch and more with Pulse Insider.
Pulse Insider: How did you get your start in music?
Rorie Kelly: Both my parents were in music and I actually resisted joining the “family business” until my teens. I wanted to find my own thing. But late one night I heard a song that moved me so much I knew I was kidding myself–music was my thing. So I got over it and taught myself guitar. Within a year I was writing songs and a year after that I was gigging. I’ve never looked back.
Pulse Insider: Who are your greatest musical influences?
Rorie Kelly: Here are three drastically different artists that had a huge impact on me during my formative years: Alanis Morisette, Ben Folds (Five), and Dar Williams. And just in case you saw my acoustic guitar and assumed I was a total folkie—I rock out to System of a Down in my car regularly and they have influenced my writing in a big way.
Songwriting is the common thread for me. If an artist can write songs that speak to me and move me in a way that does not feel generic, I’m in. It doesn’t matter what genre they best fit into or how they are produced.
Pulse Insider: How would you describe your music to someone you just met?
Rorie Kelly: I am a singer/songwriter with an aggressive acoustic guitar style and powerhouse vocals. I write catchy-confessional songs and they might make you cry. (If so, sorry.)
Pulse Insider: Give us your 5-word pitch to a record label.
Rorie Kelly: “Small red-headed tornado of sound.”
But here are the six words that would follow it up: “What can you do for me?”
I’m indie through and through, and I work HARD for my music. I’m not one of these artists dying to get discovered. I am out there hitting the streets on my own. So if my pitch doesn’t do it for the bigwigs… that’s cool. I will get there myself.
Pulse Insider: Tell us your hometown, where you live now and whatever biographical details you’d like to share:
Rorie Kelly: I am originally from Bayville. Since leaving home I have lived in all four counties on Long Island (Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn) as well as in the Cincinnati, OH area for a couple of years. Currently I’m in Bohemia. I am a born traveler and not the “settling down” type. In fact, based on the number of miles on my car and how much I love going on the road, I would say I am genetically inclined towards being an indie musician.
As children we are told we can be anything we want to be and as teenagers we are strongly encouraged to scale back those dreams into something “reasonable” or “realistic.” I believe that reasonable and realistic are what you believe they are and I believe I was made to make songs and share them with the world. I am a healer at heart and music is the best medicine I know. It isn’t easy to commit yourself to a dream the way I have and at times it is so hard that I doubt my own sanity. But when people come to me after shows and say things like, “Your song saved my life,” or “Your song IS my life” I know I am on the right path. Not everyone can lead his or her life with that kind of certainty and I could not be more grateful for it.
To listen to more of Rorie’s music, see her upcoming tour dates and subscribe to her mailing listing check out: http://www.roriekelly.com/.