Electronic, acoustic soul singer Krystal Hardwick has been influenced by a variety of genres, eventually landing her a unique sound. “Recently I’ve heard a lot of people mixing genres because I think they want to sound different,” she says, “how can you make your mind up about music?” We talked with the singer to find out more about her sound and her album The Tale of Two Fish.
Tell me about how you first fell into music.
My mom and I, we used to watch Showtime at the Apollo together; Star Search and stuff like that. On top of that I always loved singing along to songs. It was SWV and TLC, you know, three letter girl bands. I always listened to hip-hop, and I always thought I was really good at it. I knew I could sing okay, so I got involved in choir.
Your album is called The Tale of Two Fish. Are you a big fan of the astrological?
Not by choice – everybody seems to point out that I’m a Pisces like it’s a bad thing. Why I’m always somewhere else; why I kind of don’t pay attention as much when people are talking to me. I might be all over the place. I guess I just find some truth in it.
Do you check your horoscope in magazines?
I used to. Sometimes I look at them on Yahoo, but I don’t really look at it every day like I used to. For a while I started thinking I don’t want to be pigeonholed because of my horoscope. I think for the album, it was more of a personality trait.
Has being a Pisces shaped your sound?
Oh no, no I’ve always been like this. I’ve always wanted to look for more than what was typical of a black artist. People always guess that I’m an R&B singer, straight off. They never think gospel or hip-hop; they never think rock or jazz, they always assume “you do R&B.” So I went through different stages. I did serious rock, and then I went to jazz, then to electronic and then I got into Latin. Then my mom went through a phase where she listened to country music.
Was that a good or bad phase?
I do like Martina McBride, and I really liked the stories they would tell in their songs because they would be so simple. I went to the rodeo once and I liked the effect the music would give to people. They looked so happy. I always admired that.
You’re first tape was TLC’s ‘Crazy Sexy Cool’. What sort of personal meaning does that tape hold for you?
When I had my own tape I just felt like I was starting my own collection; I thought it was my beginning.
Do you plan any instruments?
I tried to learn an instrument, which I’m still doing. I started taking some [guitar] classes. I worked at a Spanish restaurant and they had flamenco music on Fridays and on the weekends, so I thought I’d get lessons from the flamenco guitarist! But I really want to learn the piano because everybody tells me my fingers are abnormally long.
If you could collaborate with any one artist from any generation, who would it be?
I would love to sing with Djavan. He’s a Brazilian artist. He’s just a really beautiful artist and he writes these amazing songs. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder a couple of times.
Listen to Krystal Hardwick here.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.