BRAD: Hello, Kylie, and welcome to the Island!

Tell our readers what your catchy new phrase Calipopicana means to you?

KYLIE: Well don’t mind if I do… Calipopicana is a word I made up to describe my music. It is the blend of “California,” “Pop,” and “Americana.”

BRAD: The new title song from your Calipopicana EP is super fun and the video is crazy good and so well done it plays like a legit trailer to a brand new beach film. Tell us about making the video!

KYLIE: I was surprised by how many people actually DID think it was a movie trailer. I would love to make “CALIPOPICANA THE MOVIE.” The video was a 2 day shoot at Zuma Beach, Duke’s Restaurant in Malibu, and Venice Beach. It was so much fun to film in my hometown and include a bunch of my friends as extras, which really made it feel more authentic. Jim Yukich directed the video and immediately we were on the same page. We watched a bunch of old movies with scenes we wanted to recreate… like Gidget, Beach Blanket Bingo, and basically anything with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello from the 50s/60s. Costuming was a collaboration of vintage things I had, vintage pieces from costume houses, and one of my best friend’s clothing line (Hanna Hayes Designs). The whole thing happened so fast, I can’t wait to do it all again! Another video coming soon ... :)

BRAD: Did you have fun working with Mike Love? He seemed like he was having a great time.

KYLIE: Mike Love is such a sweet heart. We did a lot of dialog on the fly and he was so relaxed and happy to be there. I think he was just as excited about creating beachy happy California music as I was!

BRAD: “Short Skirts” sounds like it could be a hit for Taylor Swift. Is there a little country pop in the Calipopicana girl?

KYLIE: Funny, I’ve gotten that a lot with that song. I think what is similar to a Taylor song (which is more pop for the moment), it’s story telling, shamelessly sassy and a little tongue in cheek. It’s a Pop song through and through.

BRAD: Are you a for sure and for reals California surfer girl?

KYLIE: YES! I am a fourth generation Californian, grew up at the beach and an ocean lover. When it comes to surfing… I am more of a Hawaii surfer. Warm water and no wet suit is always more appealing that getting up early and freezing in California. However, I am a avid scuba diver and at one time, marine biology student-of-the-year in High School. So I’m not Kelly Slater, but I’m a pretty big deal… ;)

BRAD: Your song “Maliblues” is an interesting contrast to your more upbeat tunes, a beautiful and at times almost ghostly lament. You have such a refreshing and positive attitude. I really appreciate that, but what do you do when the shadows fall and you get the maliblues?

KYLIE: I write! I felt like this was a great song to contrast the upbeat throwbacks on the EP. Not everyday is sunny and I actually prefer a foggy one. I’m usually more productive on those days too. If it’s sunny, you just wanna be outside enjoying it BUT if it’s dark and gloomy, it’s easy to put your mood to paper (and song).

BRAD: Have you ever seen a ghost? Wouldn’t that be cool to write a song about a ghost on the beach? (I think so.)

KYLIE: I don’t know if I have seen a ghost but I know I had a couple “encounters.” And no, I probably wouldn’t write about it for fear that it would show up again being super flattered by its songspiration. Haha.

BRAD: “Dream Dream Dream” feels like the offspring of The Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, and The Mamas & Papas, and contains one of your best lines: “Kiss me like the waves kiss the sea.” That’s beautiful. Please tell us about your musical influences and the music you love: 1,2,3, go!

KYLIE: Well you just named a few… haha. I have so many influences; I think it keeps the writing fresh and always interesting. I have almost every genre in my ipod and have love for them all! Michelle Branch is the reason I picked up a guitar; her song “Everything” was the first song I learned to play and sing on guitar and the worship song “Lord I lift your name on high” was the second. In my mom’s car I listen to WOW cds. In my dad’s car I listened to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Sheryl Crow, etc. In my babysitter’s car I listened to Jo Dee Messina and Shaggy and in my carpool my neighbor only played Broadway soundtracks. So there’s a lot of influences.

BRAD: Describe the perfect day at the beach:

KYLIE: Fourth of July, Malibu, Boys surfing, Girls lounging, (maybe some drinking), body surfing, a really big umbrella, SPF 1000, music, laughing, BBQ, bonfire, fireworks, midnight and then BOOM, it’s my birthday (July 5).

BRAD: I just listened to “Wish You Were Dead” several times, and I think what kept pulling me back the most was the easy-flowing beat paired with the sarcastic tone of the lyric. What type of guitar do you play and why?

KYLIE: “Wish you were dead” may be my favorite song on this EP. I was inspired by Katy Perry’s “Ur So Gay” in her LIVE version. The music is dynamic and intriguing while a super mean but sweet sounding lyric is sung over it with rhythmic, sarcastic, and vengeful intention. I personally play an Eric Clapton Signature Martin. I have a couple guitars but this one is good ol’ reliable. The song goes in so many directions and the layering we did so deliberate that I’m hoping my listener will go back and listen again for all the little details.

BRAD: What type of books do you enjoy reading? What influences your sense of word?

KYLIE: Buzzfeed. Just kidding. Kinda.

It depends on what kind of song I’m writing. I enjoy fiction, sci fi, and romance. Escapism I think helps me be creative and create a similar mental and emotional escape in my songs. BUT the last couple of books I read: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (terrible title, amazing love story), Hunger Games/Divergent/Maze Runner series, Peter Pan and The Hobbit (had to brush up before I saw the movies… someone took some artistic liberties, am I right?)

BRAD: I fell asleep during the Hobbit ...

I love your closing song: “Leave ‘em Wanting More,” easily the next best to the “Calipopicana” masterpiece. The positive message combined with the provocative nature of the lyric and the cool beach beat, it’s got the whole package. Where do you get that sunlit disposition from?

KYLIE: I just look outside. (jk, again. I’m sarcastic). I like how you picked up on the provocative lyrics by the way. That’s my favorite where people are like... “wait a minute... did she mean...?” haha. That song I wrote in like, 20 minutes. I was complaining about my dating life to my mother and she said, “Well, if you wanna get a second date, you just gotta leave them wanting more.”

Sounded like a song title to me! So I wanted to tell a story about a girl who is a serial dater, and yes I used some of my own experience, who keeps all these different kinds of guys wanting more while also encouraging girls not to stress about dating and meeting people and keeping a little mystery. Don’t give it ALL away on the second date. In my experience, guys like a bit of a chase!

BRAD: I'm sure Annette (and Gidget) would agree.

Thank you so much for adding to the California landscape of surf, sun, sailing, and fun!

Please tell us what’s next for Kylie Hughes and how we can all help keep the beach party alive.

1. Watch my music video, like, all the time ;)
2. Come to my shows!
a. April 16: Room 5 in LA
b. May 1: The End in Nashville as part of the International Pop Overthrow Tour
3. Like me on Social Media (and Life)
a. Like:
b. Follow:
c. Follow:

BRAD: Thank you for taking the time to hangout on the Island! Best of luck with your sunshiny career!

“Kylie Hughes Interview"
by Bradley Mason Hamlin. Edited by Lucy Hell.
© 2015 by Mystery Island Publications. Published: 04.15.15.
All photos from the Collection of Kylie Hughes.
All rights reserved.