From making music in her bedroom to having her idol Saweetie be a fan and mentor, Erin Kaith may just be living the dream.
In true Pinoy fashion, when Erin Kaith was about to release her brutally honest single, Down Bad, she had her reservations because she was worried about what her family would think. “I worried about my family. Filipinos are conservative so I was nervous about how they would react to the lyrics. I wasn’t really worried about everybody else.” Such is the life of a young and promising R&B maven who isn’t afraid to wear her Filipino roots on her sleeves as she helps rep a new generation of Filipina baddies who are making a space for themselves in R&B.
DOWN BAD FOR ERIN
Hailing from New York, 21-year-old Erin Kaith fell in love with music thanks to the inherent Filipino trait of liking music. But more than that, the medium spoke to Erin as her way to be honest about her emotions on various topics, such as love and relationships. And when she speaks, people listen, as seen in her captivating breakout hit Down Bad, which currently has over 24 million streams on Spotify.
Through a moment of passionate rage, she took time to reflect and go through the motions of her heartbreak and put it all in the track that exploded on social media, particularly on TikTok where it has been used in over 300,000 videos and caught the attention of A-list stars like Kylie Jenner. Even Saweetie, one of Erin’s biggest idols, is a fan of the young musician.
Now, Erin Kaith brings her sultry voice and emotional lyrics to her new album, Down Bad (Volume 1). Released on the tail end of September, the EP is a 9-track exploration of the different stages of a heartbreak. Taking inspiration from her own experiences, Erin vacillates between love and loss before reaching a conclusion that embraces vulnerability and healing. Erin is giving us even more reasons why a Pinay making moves in R&B is always welcome. Get to know more about the Gen Z R&B songstress by reading our interview with Erin below.
How would you describe who Erin Kaith is to people who haven’t heard of you yet?
I would describe Erin Kaith as a student, in terms of life experiences. I’m learning through heartache and real life experiences. I’m just zooming my way through and expressing my way through.
How did you fall in love with music?
I fell in love with music through Filipino culture. I always grew up with music in my household, it was hard to escape. Relating to other artists helped me fall in love with music as well.
Was there a specific point in your life that made you decide to become a musician?
When I was 13, I was really going through it emotionally. I felt really inspired and music became my outlet to express my feelings. I realized that this is what I wanted to do when I got older.
What is it about R&B that you love so much about it?
I love the vibe and versatility. With R&B you can sing about anything whether that’s love, heartbreak , or yourself. It’s not just one topic, it’s everything.
How close are you to your Filipino roots?
So close! September is Christmas. I have a karaoke machine and all the recipes embedded in my head. My favorite part is being able to connect with other Filipinos I meet for the first time as if we’re one big family.
Did you ever expect Down Bad to get that much attention as it did?
When I first wrote the song, I honestly didn’t expect it to be as big. Though somewhere deep in my heart, I knew it would do numbers.
Before you released the song, did you worry how people would react to it given how personal the song is?
I worried about my family. Filipinos are conservative so I was nervous about how they would react to the lyrics. I wasn’t really worried about everybody else.
What can listeners expect from the Down Bad Volume 1 EP?
Listeners can expect a bunch of emotions. It’s like a rollercoaster. You’ll hear the emotions of going through a breakup, deciding whether or not you wanna stay or go. It’s the good and bad parts.
In general, where do you find the strength to put so much of yourself in your music?
I find strength in other artists. If I continue to push myself and be myself, I know I can make it like they have.
How would you describe Saweetie as a friend and a mentor?
I love our bond! She started off as one of my inspirations. She’s such a hardworking woman and she continues to be positive all the time. I believe our bond has grown throughout the years. She pushes me and supports me.
Aside from Saweetie, are there other Filipino artists you look up to or would like to work with?
I would like to work with H.E.R. When I was going through it, she was all I listened to.
What does it mean for you to do what you do in terms of representation of Filipinas in R&B?
Most Filipinas in the space are mixed. It means a lot for me because I think I would be able to push the representation of fully Filipino artists in R&B.
To would-be fans, what song/s of yours would you suggest they check out so they can get to know you?
Never Be The Same from my new project. It represents me because I’m going back and forth on the Record. I never make a decision until I’m sure of it. It also shows me not giving up.
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