There are several million young girls and guys alike who know Kelli as the real life Gossip Girl from Bravo’s hit reality show NYC Prep. Viewers even got the chance to witness the beginnings of her career on the show as she interviewed voice coaches, belted a few notes in front of a piano, and from that point on, audiences across the US and beyond were hooked. And now, Kelli’s career has truly begun to blossom; with her fierce hit single and delightfully risque’ music video: “Gave Up on Love” (out now and currently surpassing 750,000 views). Kelli’s smoldering style and unforgiving pipes make her a nightclub favorite, inspiring female power and independence on the dance floor. Thrillcall spoke with Kelli about her life in New York, how she prepares for her upcoming shows, and why electronic-dance music is the ultimate genre for expressing ultimate freedom.
Thrillcall: Kelli, you’re based in New York, have you lived there your whole life? Any other city you are particularly interested to play shows at?
Kelli: Yes. Born and raised in New York. I really want to perform all over the world, but as for where I’ll live, I’m a city lady and it’s gonna stay that way.
Thrillcall: Have you always been attracted to the electro-pop genre in terms of your artistry? Is that also what you listen to?
Kelli: I really am a lover of all genres. I’m passionate about pop music and especially dance music. I know it has completely accelerated now but the underground dance music scene is a lot of what I grew up with. It’s just a style that always allows you to express yourself in every way. It’s all about freedom: wherever you want to go with it you can. You can express yourself in many ways, so I’ve just gravitated towards that expressiveness that gives you the ability not to have any restrictions.
Thrillcall: Who are your favorite artists in which you draw the most inspiration from?
Kelli: There could never be just one artist in my mind. I find the angst of Janis Joplin and Morissette inspiring, the performance style of Kylie Minogue, of course Madonna and Michael Jackson are so inspiring too. I adore the writing of U2 and the Beatles. I love the attitude of Mick Jagger. Okay, seriously there are so many more, I could go on and on for a really long time. There are so many iconic artists, so my superhero inspiration would be all of them put together if I could do that! [Laughs].
Thrillcall: What was the last concert you attended?
Kelli: There are always so many shows in New York City. I just went to show at Webster Hall. Those smaller setting performances are so open minded. Also I really really want to see U2 in concert. That is really a pinnacle performance group. They bring it. Even just watching Youtube clips of U2 perform really makes me want to work my ass off you know?
Thrillcall: How do you prepare for a big show, either the night before or right before you go on stage?
Kelli: I do a lot of preparation that’s required. A had a show just a few nights ago and really I just try to focus on my breathing and meditation. The more you rehearse, the more you can be comfortable knowing that you feel prepared. When you have the technique down and your voice ready, you can let loose on stage.
Thrillcall: What can people expect at your shows?
Kelli: A lot of attitude and strength, female strength. There are times where the vulnerability of the song or the lyrics come through but I truly believe in female independence and dominance. My performances are full of just having fun and being powerful.
Thrillcall: So what’s next for you, both short term goals and long term goals? What are you working on now?
Kelli: I will be releasing my full EP within the next 6 weeks. I’ll also be performing at the RITZ coming up soon, and also performing at “Gay Day” at the Six Flags Fairground, which is so exciting. Plus the video is out now, “Gave Up on Love” is on itunes, there’s a lot going on. Other than that I’m just focusing on truly proving myself as a performer and a writer. I want to show my creativity in all aspects of my performances.