Unless you have been ignoring the Internet over the last few days, you've probably noticed Denton's Kaela Sinclair has entered 2016 with a bang. The Florida-born University of North Texas alumna posted a killer video cover of SOHN's "Artifice" to Facebook last Thursday and the results have been impressive, to say the least.
Less than 24 hours after the initial post, Sinclair's video hit 10,000 views, with the current count being just over 40,000 views in just four days. Oh, and her video has also caught the attention of the Buzz Feed community, Gorilla vs. Bear and SOHN himself. No big deal.
"It came out of nowhere, really," Sinclair says with a laugh. "I was just messing around after work the other night."
I made this after work last night with my cell phone and some instruments. Here's "Artifice" by SOHN. #sohn #artificePosted by Kaela Sinclair on Thursday, January 7, 2016
The work she's referring to is her day job as a music teacher at Hall Music Productions in Southlake. Following the conclusion of her lessons for the day, Sinclair says she started playing around with the melodies of "Artifice." Then, using an app called Gridplay, she began recording each individual part of the song to fold into one single, cohesive project which was completed at around 3 a.m. the following morning.
The original "Artifice" is a track from British pop-rocker SOHN's 2014 release Tremors. SOHN's version is nothing to balk at: With its electronic, upbeat tempo and SOHN's somewhat haunting voice, it's really no surprise that Sinclair fell in love with it. But when those lyrics are combined with Sinclair's stripped-down acoustics and her warm, ethereal vocals, it adds more soul, depth and simplicity to an already brilliant song — the result is something altogether breathtaking.
Sinclair is not new to the performing spotlight. Since falling in love with playing piano and writing music at an early age, Sinclair made her way to a performing arts magnet high school followed by studying jazz at UNT. In 2013 she released her first album, Sun & Mirror, which managed to catch a lot of buzz in the U.K. Then in 2015, Sinclair was tapped by a member of the Scottish Parliament to play the Making Noise for Poverty, Equality and Diversity festival, which was followed by a tour of the U.K. By the time she got back to the States, Sinclair was signed with label DEFDISCO, and began working on several collaborations with Blue, the Misfit and Sam Lao.
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Since her return, Sinclair has also been pounding the creative pavement by finishing up her sophomore album, which she co-produced with Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith and is prepping for its release this spring. Sinclair says that she and Smith have a natural flow and vibe that allows for new explorations into her craft — and it probably doesn't hurt that the pair have been laying down tracks at Redwood Studios, which Sinclair describes as being like, "[If] Pinterest had a studio."
One such preparation is finalizing the music video for her soon-to-be released first single, "Golden," off of the upcoming second album. In comparison to her debut album, Sinclair says her new album is more "smart indie pop with a message." It's more upbeat than Sun and Mirror, but she's done a lot more living since then and that knowledge will be evident in the lyrics. "I've grown, learned a lot and have been able to draw from those experiences," Sinclair explains. "A lot of heart and a lot of time went into writing and producing this album." Basically, Sinclair says this new album will be more "indie-pop jams, but there's another side to my music that hasn't been heard yet."
For Sinclair, it seems things can only go up, which by all accounts will mean even more hard work, and hopefully, more 3 a.m. mishmash videos. She doesn't seem to mind though. "The thing is," she says with a laugh, "it's always a lot harder than it looks from the outside. But if you're going to do this, you've got to love it, because it's going to push that love."
You can catch Sinclair next at The Kessler Theatre on January 22, when she opens up for Jacob Metcalf at his album release show.