Check out our interview with singer-songwriter Kirstie Fleur who just released her latest single “Reform.”
A blend of Americana, roots, soul, and folk, this timely track expresses Fleur’s recent experiences with racial turmoil and how religious institutions have failed many citizens in recent years.
Follow Kirstie @kirstiefleur
Hi Kirstie, please tell us a little about you?
I am very empathic and feel most invigorated when I’m connecting with people one-on-one over deep conversation. I love everything 70s, flowers, empowerment for women, sustainability and exploring new healthy foods. I love trips out of the country and I am a total foody.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Contemplative, Empath, Freedom
How did you get started in the business?
I have always had music in me. As early as 9 years old my mom began putting a mic in my hand. I spent so much time doing what felt like grunt work trying to figure out how to get my music out and get it distributed. But in 2017 I released my first single. I had a friend who was working with a local producer and I asked for his info and went from there. I shared my ideas and feelings for the songs I was writing and really, we spent months curating the sound and making sure I was saying what I wanted to say. So, from that moment on I continue to look for producers who can work with me to create the experience I want for my songs.
How has this changed your life?
This changed everything for me. It was scary, frustrating but also exhilarating to take a risk and try to put my voice out into the world. At that point I didn’t care if only 20 people heard it. It was really all about taking the first steps and proving to myself that I really believed I could do this. This part of my journey taught me that I have something to say and it may not be for everyone, but it is for someone and I write for that one somebody who needs what I have to say. Its also taught me that there are a ton of music professionals in the industry and when I feel stuck or like my music isn’t being felt with one producer or the chemistry is wrong, then I need to listen to that and move around. There’s no hard feelings in this but I just feel like all energies are felt in music. So, if your energy is wrong, you gotta go lol.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Lauryn Hill, Billy Holiday, Adele
I chose to make music because it is the way that I can move
Do you play any instrument?
Very basic on guitar and piano
Do you ever get nervous?
Yes. Every time I perform, I get nervous until I actually start singing. But I love this. It makes me stay connected to the fact that I am doing this for people and they matter. It matters to me if they are connecting with my art in an intimate way. If they are not moved, then I feel as an artist I am disconnected from myself.
Tell us your new single “Reform?”
I am so excited about Reform!!! It speaks to a message that’s been stirring in me for a few years.
What’s the story behind the song?
The story behind the song is really that of calling churches and leaders to really love and see people. Back in in Shreveport, Louisiana before I moved to Nashville, TN, I use to lead worship at this popular church in the area. My experience as a black woman at this church, haunted me for years. There seemed to be an intensified highlighting of black people losing their lives unjustly, all over the media. I remember being in so much pain and inner turmoil, looking for a safe place from my church and honestly for my pastor to respond. My pastor was white, with a predominately black congregation. He was adamant that he was not doing any conversations and roundtables about race and so on. He claimed the focus should be on Jesus. The message was, IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS. I did not realize just how much dismissing the pain of an entire community of people would affect me. But it did. I was so crushed sitting in this place wondering wow, if this is what church is and what loving people is, I want nothing to do with this. It clearly dismissed the pain of the mostly black church.
The years following this it became easy to see that the church was silent on issues that affected humanity the most. It was clear that I was not the only person who experienced this in someway. What I know about “Reform” is that is a call to change, to truly see each other and to really love each other.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I love connecting with my audience. It is rewarding for me when I hear feedback that they were moved by the words or experiences. Music really helps us connect to deep places that have been tucked away. I love when it feels like healing for me and others in attendance.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
I have learned not to seek approval and understanding for everything that I do. I once read a quote that said “the calling was not a conference call.” That stuck with me.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Make every move you always felt you should make. It’s going to seem crazy, hard and even lonely at first, but it is all pointing you to your purpose, passion and destiny.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Intimacy, connection, and passion: How to Intentionally Create a Life Worth Living. I think I have found that so many people walk through life disconnected and I did this for most of my life. I would write this book so others know they are not alone but also so they know that going deep and doing the internal work to connect is what leads to a life worth living.
What’s next for Kirstie Fleur in 2022?
I am working on a few songs right now that could lead to an extention of “Reform”. I’m also launching a clothing line next fall, so I am doing all the leg work to see that happen. You can follow my progress on freedomfleur.com
What is your favorite healthy food?
Any kind of smoothie
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
Eclectic, bohemian, soul.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Knowing who I am, why I do the things that I do, enjoying showing up every day as that woman, surrounding myself with people and things that speak to the vision I have for my life, healthy real convos with friends and honestly all the collective things that make human flourishing possible for me. Doesn’t matter if its yoga, or a long walk, collectively these things all contribute to my happiness and well-being.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would meet my grandmother on my dads side. She was a queen mother of a tribe in Ghana and for maybe 3 years my dad would really push for me to go to Ghana to meet her and this side of my family. But I was a broke college kid and couldn’t make it happen. She passed the year that I got my 1st passport to make the trip to see her.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
Lately I have been obsessed with the idea of going to Seychelles. I would go with my husband, Chauncy. He is my favorite person to adventure to new places with.
Best advice ever given?
People will love you and some people will hate you. You can’t control what other people think about you. So, live your life.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Honestly, I have this dream of having really intimate tour experiences. I have had one like this that we call “Freedom Sessions”. I love being able to connect with the audience through real conversation, food, performing my music while also having pieces from my clothing brand for sale. So I see more of this in 5 years.
Favorite song? Why?
Tigress and Tweed.
What do you think of Social Media?
It is a means to a necessary end. I would much rather be in person, face to face, telling stories and eating an artisanal and intentional meal with an intimate group of people. But social media helps you connect with people who wouldn’t have typically known about what you do.
Where we can follow you?
Instagram / Twitter / YouTube / Spotify / iTunes
Book: Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby
Quote: “Girls Compete, Women Empower”
Movie: On The Basis Of Sex
Tv Series: How to Get Away With Murder
Favorite Food: Gumbo
Travel Destination: New Orleans (forever)
Sports Team: LSU Tigers