It’s been almost two years since Atlanta’s chill electropop artist Seersha – aka Kara Revnes – shared any music with the world, but at long last, she’s back with her latest single, “Lecture Me.”
The singer, songwriter, and producer’s seemingly effort ability to create ambient soundscapes that are equally driving and oh-so-chill is unrivaled, but I was immediately impressed by her ability to draw listeners in while watching her perform live at The Vinyl. Her presence is calm, subdued, and self-assured on stage, and she takes that easy confidence with her into the studio, imbuing each song she writes and produces.
Three days after the release of “Lecture Me,” Revnes sat down with me to talk all things music, Tiger Moms, and dancing across the line between her Korean and Irish roots.
AF: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me! This is definitely the world’s most over-asked question, but how did you create the name Seersha?
KR: Seersha is the phonetic spelling of Saoirse, an Irish/Scottish name that means freedom. All the matriarchs on my dad’s side are Irish, and I thought “Seersha” looked like it could be a K-Pop name…homage to both sides!
AF: How did you get started in music? Was it something you grew up in, or did you grow into it?
KR: A little bit of both, I would say. I remember playing piano in church band starting at age 10. My wonderful Korean “Tiger Mom” strongly encouraged me to stick with piano lessons from age seven to age 18; I’m so grateful to my parents for that gift. I wrote my first songs around age 14. But I never considered music as a possible career until I was 24. I feel like that’s when things really got started for me.
AF: Who do you consider your greatest influence when it comes to writing, creating, and performing music?
KR: Specific to the Seersha project, I would say artists like Grimes and HANA. When I first started producing myself, I was looking for other women who had done the same, and they were beacons of light for me.
AF: Why do you feel driven to create music?
KR: Making music is precious to me. There have been times in my life when I haven’t had space or time to create music, and those were very dark times. I believe that music is about connecting with people, at its core. I create out of my own need to express myself, but always in the hope of connecting with someone else who might not have a way to express what they’re experiencing. I also believe representation is important, so to be a multiracial woman producing and writing on my own feels vital. I do wish I had seen artists and producers like myself when I was younger; I think I may have considered music as a career earlier if that had been the case.
AF: You’re gearing up for the release of your upcoming single, “Lecture Me,” the first in two years. Can you tell us about it? What inspired the song, and how did you know it would be the one you released first?
KR: It kills me that it’s been that long! I’m so excited to release this music. The catalyst for this song came out of a painful situation where I felt pressured to change by someone who was close to me at the time. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and, really, that’s what this song is about. I wanted the first single from the forthcoming EP to be upbeat but also a little angsty. “Lecture Me” jumped out from the get-go.
AF: What’s your writing process like?
KR: My process is not having a process. Sometimes I will make a track and write on top of it. Sometimes I start with a melody (they usually come to me in the shower or in the car) and go from there, either into production mode or just building an arrangement on guitar or piano. Or I might sit down with an instrument and start writing. I have a bunch of notes on my phone of one-liners and short poems that could lend themselves to songs.
AF: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge you’ve faced in the music industry yet? The greatest victory?
KR: [The greatest challenge was] figuring out how to break through the crowded media landscape to connect with new fans. Victory? Teaching myself how to produce. It will be a lifelong learning journey but I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.
AF: You’re a woman in an industry that, while changing, is still heavily dominated by men. What has your experience been? How have you used your platform to help drive change?
KR: I feel so fortunate that I have not had any significant negative experiences with men in music-creating settings. I have been very frustrated at the kinds of questions I get from men on the business side of the music industry—questions like, “Do you have kids?” or “How old are you?” that I know they wouldn’t be asking their male colleagues. I try to work with female engineers when I can, and to support my fellow female artists and producers. I think the best way women can drive industry change is to keep working, creating, supporting, and advocating for each other.
AF: The Atlanta music scene is booming, and you’re such a well-known and active part of it! What is your favorite aspect of the Atlanta music scene?
KR: Ah, I’m blushing! I would say the diversity of artists and genres. Atlanta is known for hip-hop and R&B, of course, but I know artists making straight up rock and roll, chill electronic, dream pop, indie rock, ambient, and experimental music…the list goes on.
AF: What’s the best place for a great show in Atlanta?
KR: My favorite venues are Aisle 5, 529, and Terminal West.
AF: Last one! What’s next for Seersha?
KR: “Lecture Me” came out on June 7; look out for the video in a few weeks. You can expect at least one more single and video this year. I’m working on some local shows this year, with a goal to tour in 2020.