Photo Credit: Hana Mendel
“I was unsure about releasing it for a long time,” said Nari of her latest single “Pony.” However, we’re glad she did. Noted how she was inspired by HER, she piled experimented and in the end came an undeniable track. We talked about the music, skater boys, and just which Kardashian she’d be if her family ever landed on reality TV in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: So many of us are driven by the need to prove something not only to ourselves but those who’ve doubted us. When you look back at the ex who was the inspo for “Pony” are you somewhat thankful they’re now an ex because it gave you the push you needed to pursue music?
Nari: I am grateful that we are no longer together. If he had never left me, it would have never given me the push to change my life a full 180. I was originally studying Biology and just following the cookie-cutter path that I thought was predetermined for me by my mother. After he left, I decided that I’d pursue art and began tattooing which eventually led me to the music scene. He and I are on good terms now, as far as I know, he is a fan of my music!
Kendra: You said you grew up appreciating the Bay Area music scene. What venues and bands were you out there supporting – you know before the whole pandemic shut that down for the time being?
Nari: I got into it in my teen years; very big on Hot Flash Heat Wave, No Vacation, Tino Drima, etc. Exciting that I’m now on a label with people I listened to in high school.
Kendra: Back to “Pony,” because there is a little mention of Avril Lavigne in the video. Was she someone you grew up admiring musically? If so, can we agree “Complicated” is forever one of the best debut singles?
Nari: That was pretty random, I gave the video to the editor with little to no context so they got to come up with their own scenarios. Kind of like an exquisite corpse in art! I grew up admiring Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Avril Lavigne, and Britney Spears. I always thought I wanted to be a little pop star. My first studio-quality recording is a cover of “Fergalicious” that I did when I was seven-years-old.
Kendra: The video for “Pony” also parodies some aspects of TV, including ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians.’ If the Khamvanthongs were to get a reality show like that, which Kardashian would you most likely be like on the show?
Nari: I would most likely be like Kim, my family members also agree. I’m super dramatic and get overwhelmed way too easily and I am the ugliest cryer.
Kendra: With “Pony” out now, are you gearing up for more single releases, or are you working on a debut album at the moment?
Nari: I have a couple more singles on the way. I have a record already written, it is just hard to record currently as I’m still a full-time student. I am very excited about all my upcoming stuff and I think my newer songs will show listeners how much I’ve grown.
Kendra: With all that has transpired this year, how do you feel 2020 has shaped your creativity and drive moving forward?
Nari: It has made me look introspectively at my life and who I am as an artist. I’m trying to push myself further as a songwriter and I am working on writing things that are more meaningful and creative. Trying to mature myself a bit.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Nari: I am working on getting a music video together for my next single! I am very excited to be working with the same director I had for my “Julia” video. A song that gets me through the hard times currently is Julia Jacklin’s “Pool Party.”