The story behind soul-pop singer Kelsy Karter is an intriguing one.

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Kelsy grew up in Australia on a mix of motown and soul – dabbling in as many art forms as she could. At 18 years old, this blue-eyed gal packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles, embarking on an unexpected musical journey. We chatted with Kelsy about her many inspirations and carrying a switchblade.

TEO: When you moved to Los Angeles as a teen, what did you struggle to leave behind?
My family, for sure. Now that I don’t live in Australia I appreciate it a lot more. Once I left I was like, “My home is wicked”. But definitely the biggest struggle has been and always will be, being away from my family.

What is your favourite song off your latest EP Kiss The Boys?
‘Crystal Blues!’ My boyfriend said to me, when we were writing that song, “This is going to be the song that everyone loves”. It was literally just a piano thing then and now I’m like, “Yep, you were right.” It’s my favourite, it’s my parents’ favourite, it’s everybody’s favourite.

What is your favourite musical?
I love Annie, I love Grease, I love Westside Story, I love Jersey Boys. I just love theatre so much!

Would you ever consider a career in acting?
I moved to America to be an actor. Growing up, that’s what I would say: “I’m going to be an actor.” And music just took the lead; it wasn’t like I meant for music to happen. It’s funny that you say that, because I am acting as well. I just haven’t been as focused on it as I have with music. So hell yeah! I want to be on Broadway! I want to be in movies!

Has carrying a switchblade ever gotten you into trouble?
Not too much trouble yet. When I was a kid, my dad taught me how to use a knife. When I was 18, he got me my first knife, you know, living in America by myself; I’ve always had one with me for protection.

If you could travel back in time to the ’50s or ’60s, which musician would you want to see live?
James Brown! Or a favourite artist of mine, his name is Sam Cooke. I am just madly in love with him. I think he’s so graceful and beautiful. But him or James Brown definitely.

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Photo: Ramos Valencia