Little Monarch is band of friends based in Venice, CA led by singer, writer, and producer Casey Kalm.
Do you associate a certain color, smell, or even taste/flavor with certain songs?
Colors yes. I love visualizing the album art and the palette of a song as its being written even.
What is your favorite key/mode to write in?
I suppose E-flat since that is a healthy place for my voice to sit
If you could design the perfect concert line-up, what would it be? You can choose to include yourself or not.
Jungle, Jamiroquai, FKJ, Little Dragon, and Nick Drake
What is your songwriting style?
Usually I create the bed of music for the song and then craft a vocal melody and then start ideating lyrics that fit the mood. I tend to lean into a hopeful perspective when writing. Dropping bits of California sunshine into the imagery.
How/when did you get your start playing music?
I started singing at a very young age. Mostly musical theatre which I still love to this day. Went into piano lessons around 8 and then taught myself guitar starting at around 16. Got into producing music and the more technical side of that in my early 20s.
Why do you think a specific genre of music speaks to someone over others?
Music taste is like a genetic code. Some people are just made up of certain energetics that are attracted to a specific sound or genre. I am a pretty chill and comfy kind of person so I tend to lean into those kinds of moods and sounds. I love the warmth of jazz and the upbeat but not in your face nature of indie pop. Of course people can have a spectrum of what they like and listen to and that changes based on the state of your heart i think a bit.
What is your favorite book/show/movie lately?
I have been making my way through this lovely book called Braiding Sweetgrass. It’s just so tender and earthly. Just started watching Atlanta which I am a bit late on but it's a great show so far.
Do you have any rituals that you do before/during recording and/or playing?
Light some candles, turn my phone on airplane, try to warm up on my instruments in the morning a bit, get a workout in to clear my head, listen to things that inspire me, or drink a great cup of coffee.
What makes lyrics good?
Imagery, specificity, saying something very common in a unique way, seeing something simple through a complicated perspective.
How do you know when a song is finished? Is it ever?
Hahaha when it's been mastered I suppose. Otherwise never.
How do you cope with the crazy schedules of touring and recording?
It’s pretty challenging, not going to lie. The small simple joys bring me solace on the road. A good coffee to start the day and getting some exercise, those 2 things are a must when touring in order to remain sane. My recording flow is much easier since I have a home studio and can take my time with things. I love the process of writing and creating in my studio space. It makes landing back home from the road so rewarding and special.
What do you do outside music that contributes to your music?
Reading, surfing, cooking, going to museums, hiking….. those are my great joys in life. Traveling is too of course but I do that so much for work that sometimes it feels like it doesn’t count.
If you were a musical instrument, what would it be?
Maybe a Marimba.
Is there an artist you’ve wanted to see in concert, but never have had the chance?
So many…. Have always wanted to see Leon Bridges play, Jordan Rakei, and of course The Rolling Stones.
What is an object from a movie or tv show you wish existed in real life?
The music industry evolves so quickly. What do you think is the best way for people to find new music?
Obviously Social Media is king. TV and Movies are amazing ways to find gems as well.
If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
More female identifying producers, engineers, songwriters, roadies, techs.
If you could go open for any artist, who would it be?
Jungle … I’m just such a fan
What’s the best piece of advice another musician has given you?
“Be a fountain not a drain.”