Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Boston’s Kayla Silverman. Together we discussed growing up with Elvis, being a multi-instrumentalist, their songwriting process, crimes, their upcoming single “Of Me”, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

I’m doing amazing! Thank you for asking. So happy to be here 🙂 

2. Growing up the works of Elvis, The Eagles, and Frankie Valli inspired you. What did you most enjoy about their music? 

I love love love the vocal harmonies on these artists tracks. As a singer, I have always been fascinated with the different ways a vocal group can be arranged. I am also very inspired by The Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra and The Bech Boys. In terms of Elvis and Frankie Valli, I always loved how over the top, cheesy and catchy their tunes were. 

3. In addition to being a musician you are also a multi-instrumentalist. Which instrument did you learn first? What advice would you give to a human who wants to learn an instrument? 

I first was classically trained in opera at a very young age. I really thought for a while I was going to be an opera singer and go toe classical route. In middle school my sister started playing French horn in her schools band. I was really jealous because I was supposed to be the musical one. I started playing oboe in the bands and played for 7 years. During my senior year when I got into Berklee, I decided to switch to the alto saxophone so I could study jazz. Now I am trying to learn the bass, which has been so much fun! My advice is to really stick with practicing and not get discouraged. I feel like I have a real relationship with each instrument and it takes work to develop that relationship. 

4. You consider Weyes Blood’s “Titanic Rising” to be your bible. Could you share what this album means to you?

This album truly is the perfect album. Weyes Blood perfectly fuses the orchestral sounds and arrangements of chamber pop with her folk-like songwriting to create a masterpiece. In 2020 and 2021, I listened to this album 60 times. That’s an insane amount of hours if you think about it for too long. But what I love about this album, is that no matter what emotion I am feeling, I can apply it to at least one song in the album. This album is just so lush and beautiful that it makes me romanticize my silly little life and takes me away from it when I need to the most.

5. Music can help form connections. Would you describe music as a universal language? 

10005%. Going to Berklee which has a large international population, we are constantly working with others who’s first language is not English. But, when we start playing together, we immediately are speaking in the same language and are able to make something truly beautiful together. 

6. Your ultimate goal as a musician is to emotionally impact your audience. Which emotions do you hope to evoke from your audience? Why is it important that humans remain in-tune with their emotions?

Life is so crazy and has so many ups and downs. If my music can transport someone away from their day to day for just a second, I will be so fulfilled. I honestly do not care what they feel, I want them to feel at least something. I feel like we are all constantly going on auto pilot and never stop and think about what we need. If someone needs some pure joy and happiness for 3.5 minutes, I hope my song can accomplish that. If someone needs a quick cry to recap what is going on in their lives, I also hope that music can do that for someone. I think it is essential for people to be in touch with their emotions. I have realized that I need to always listen to my gut and reflect on how I am reacting to things. I realize the best decisions come from truly looking within. 

7. What is your songwriting process? 

When writing alone, I tend to write a lot of poems and one liners. After that I usually try to find the natural melody for the line and then go from there. I am fortunate to work with my songwriting partner Aaron Bierman in which we can bounce ideas back to each other. 

8. Health and fitness is a passion of yours. Why is it important that humans take care of themselves? Could you share some of your favorite recipes?

Yes! I grew up not being very good at sports, so I always assumed that I could not be strong or athletic. During high school I started getting into cross fit and weight training. I realized how amazing it felt to feel strong as a woman. It helped my posture for singing, It helped my stamina and breath support, which allows me to run and jump around on stage. Due to the fact that I am gluten free, diary free, and egg free, most of my diet is pretty healthy. My favorite dessert that I love to make with my boyfriend is a fruit crumble. It is very sweet, fairly healthy and an amazing late night treat.  

9. Would you classify mustard as a healthy or harmful condiment? 

I love mustard!! I associate mustard with the chicken sausages that my dad would make for me when I was growing up. We would top it with mustard and in a gluten free bun, I would say it is a healthy condiment.

10. How has your experience at Berklee College of Music helped you as a musician? 

I am so behind thankful for Berklee. In my classical music days, I had never collaborated with any other musicians other than my accompanist. It was a total game changer when I was able to form a band of amazing musicians. Through their support, I learned how to be a better band leader, arranger and performer. I also joke around with my friends saying that my sound has been “Berklee-fied”. I started listening to jazz, rnb, soul and even recently have been listening to more Brazilian Music. In addition to my classical background, my music started sound jazzier. I added horns and complex chord progressions. I has been so fun playing around with genres. I am so thankful that I am able to learn from my peers and grow as a musician.  

11. You are most known for your single “Can’t You Tell.” What was it like to put this single together? Did you expect the reaction it received? 

I wrote this song in 2020 about my long distance relationship that I was in at the time. I remember there was a moment where I was pretty sure that we both wanted to say “I love you” to each other, but didn’t want to be the first person to say it. I wrote this song and showed it to him to tell him how I felt. It was so much fun making the song, especially producing it. I remember we added 60 vocal layers and came up with as many harmonies as we possibly could. This song is still one of my favorite songs. I was so beyond shocked that this song was so well received, I still am! Now my band plays this song in different genres each time we play it live. Last week we played the song is disco, and the week before we played it in polka.  

12. Mustard has observed breaking and entering is a crime according to human law. How did this illegal activity inspire your single of the same name? 

I wrote this song with Evan Cieplik. On a songwriting session, he told me about a dream that he had the night before. He dreamed that he was in the suburbs where each house looked exactly the same. He entered a house that he thought was his own, but soon found out that he was breaking and entering into someone else’s house. This sparked the concept of breaking into someone else’s life that isn’t your own. I interpret this meaning as someone who is not living their life to the fullest, and feeling like they are always living a life that was made for someone else. This song was supposed to be a folk ballad, but we immediately turned it into a poppy dance track. 

13. When a human likes another human, does it feel like they are breaking and entering into your mind? Do humans have to file reports when this happens? 

I honestly think that this song is more about just liking another person. This song is the internal monologue of someone who is up at 3 am and can’t sleep. With no one to talk to and nowhere to go, the subject is forced to think about themselves, their emotions, and the life they want to live. One of the big issues that the narrator faces is why they need to constantly be loved. This person craves attention and love. I think its because the narrator does not love themselves, and must do that first to truly love. 

14. In 2021 you released “Golden Frequencies.” What is the significance of the color gold? Would gold be classified as a high or low frequency? What was it like putting this EP together?

When I wrote this EP, the only criteria that I had for each song was to contain its own “Golden Frequency”. Golden Frequencies is this overwhelming and emotional feeling that I get when listening to lush and overly beautiful music. Previously mentioned above, Weyes Blood does this so beautifully and I wanted to replicate that feeling for my own listeners. To achieve Golden Frequencies I implement lush vocals, rich harmonies, mystical lyrics, and a plethora of both electronic and acoustic elements in my music that help transport the listener to a world where emotions run high. I am not really sure why I identified this feeling with the color gold. I have synesthesia and when I listen to music like Weyes Blood’s music, I see a swirling pot of liquid gold. I would consider golden frequencies to be a high frequency. 

15. Humans sometimes like to expose each other’s dirty laundry. Did this inspire your song “Laundry?” Is it true that humans should separate their colors while washing?

I personally do not separate my colors while washing (please don’t tell my mom). The song Laundry was actually inspired by baptism. As a Jewish individual, I was surprised by how much I resonated with the concept of baptism. At the time, I felt like my past experiences and “sins” were like stains on white clothes that I could not get out. I wished that there was a way to rid myself of these negative feelings like putting clothes in a washing machine. I wrote this song in an hour with my producer, it was awesome. 

16. What can fans expect from your upcoming single “Of Me?” 

I am so excited for this one!! Of Me is a clear shift of sound for my music. Most of my past releases have been more art-pop, chamber-pop tunes. This one is more retro-pop. There are amazing punchy horns and a crazy guitar solo. This song still has lush vocal harmonies and emotional string, similar to my past releases, but we are upping the ante! It is out March 3rd and I am beyond pumped for this release. 

17. A human gets the chance to see you perform. How would you describe your live performances?

It honestly is such a good time. We have so much fun. My lovely amazing band is always dressed to the nines in blazers. I am usually wearing something super weird like a bright red tutu as a top. We are jumping around, and sweating bullets. I usually give out free Yerba mattes and when it works, we use a bubble gun. The bubble gun is a crowd favorite. 

18. Where can readers listen to your music?

I am pleased to report that you can listen to my music on any streaming platform, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, you name it, I am on it 🙂









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