Kara Connolly was full of nerves when I met her backstage at The Peppermint club, her album, Life in Rear View dropped that day, and she was about to play to a packed house, but she was more excited than nervous. This was her moment.
She told me, "It's very exciting to have all my friends and family here. I have fans that have flown in across the country and driven across the state. It's kind of wild that all these people that I love and have been supporting me throughout this process are here in one place. It's nerve-racking, but it's very fulfilling."
She pranced on stage wearing a hot pink jumpsuit, her band was all decked out in Hawaiian shirts, and the stage was full of neon flamingos and palm trees. She went through her new songs. The title track really sets the tone for the album, it's sunshiney with more reflective and sentimental lyrics, like driving in a convertible on a sunny day. Her song "Highlight Reel" was a clear standout, she told the audience the deeper meaning of the song: that everyone has a life deeper than what they show on social media and that vulnerability is something we need to show more.
Her song "Other People" is quite different live. She said, "I'm always nervous to play 'Other People' because it's really intimate and the way I perform it live is really stripped-down and the album version is really uptempo."
During her song "Nice Guy" she did her tradition of bringing an assumably nice guy on stage. She serenaded him and let all the ladies know she found a nice guy for us. Truly something that needs to happen at all shows. (She also has a glorious Instagram highlight of nice guys).
One of the biggest challenges Kara has had in the industry is being an independent artist. She says, "You're expected to do it at this really high level and you're doing it with a small group of people. It can be exhausting to wear so many different hats."
Kara truly proves that vulnerability isn't lost in music, it's clear when she performs that she's genuinely happy and means every word she sings.
Connecting with people is her true passion and she just lights up when she's onstage. She told me, "I'm so inspired to connect with other people. One of my biggest goals is to be totally honest about my experience and get that deep connection with people. I'm noticing more and more people are jumping on the train and they send me their personal stories. That's what I've always wanted."
Follow Kara on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned and listen to Life in Rear View now.