Kindora by Joshua PickardWhen you first interact with Kindora, you meet a bubbly and transparent girl whose edgy beauty is disarming enough without finding out that she is classified as Chattanooga’s “rogue R&B” tour de force. Her Youtube cover of Portishead's "Roads" got the attention of musician/actor Jimmy Sowell and producer Rock Floyd, both of whom encouraged her to pursue music and channel her talent. She has released only a few singles and multiple music videos, and yet has made herself known already in Chattanooga’s music scene.

Tell me more about you. I’ve been wondering – is Kindora your real name or stage name?

Kindora: Hi, my real name is Kindora, but I normally have people call me Dora because it’s easier than my real name. They usually understand when I reference Dora the Explorer. I didn’t go by Kindora until high school because I wanted to spare myself that constant conversation of telling people how to pronounce my name.


How long have you been playing music?

Kindora: About four years ago, which is when I also started recording with Rock Floyd. I didn’t realize how accessible it was to make music because I didn’t grow up with musicians. The closest I got to a musical childhood was when my mom listened to Rod Stewart.


Describe your creative process.

Kindora: First I’m given a beat from somebody – usually Rock Floyd because he has a sound that I’m drawn to – then I’ll make a melody, write words to it, and record it. That’s a simplified version of the process, but I’ve had other people try to write for me before and those times haven’t worked for me. I’m a pretty abstract writer, so sometimes I don’t mesh well with other people’s songwriting styles. I’ve found that the more specific and descriptive you are as you write, the less relatable it is to your listener. If I’m singing about drinking a pale ale as I’m looking through the domestic section of a drink menu, then people aren’t going to be as willing to listen.

I actually wrote the lyrics before the music for the was composed for the song I just came out with, “Love You." [check out the video below]

When I’m writing, I usually have a piece of paper that I scribble stuff on that collectively makes no sense. It’s completely unorganized but then I use those to put together a song. It can be difficult sometimes. I get stressed out thinking about my process. So far it’s worked, though.




How long does it typically take you to write a song?

Kindora: I’ve actually written almost every song at a job I used to have where I could listen to music for long periods of time while I worked. I would have 10 hours a day to listen and just focus on what I was doing, which was essentially monotonous factory line work. During those shifts it would only take me 10 hours to write a song. Now that I’m in a different job, it takes me sometimes up to a week to write a song because I’m performing less passive activities all day. I’ll write a line and come back to it and repeat that process.


Do you have people you’d consider musical inspirations that have influenced your songwriting style?

Kindora: I could say that the Strokes and Starlito influenced my song structure and flow, more often than anything. I’m making another video soon for a song called, “Late Night Conversations,” in which I say, “Someone’s talkin’ and fightin’ and playin’ around all over my nerves and all over the couch.” I can see someone like Starlito using that flow. I also like the Weeknd and Starboy, though I hated the latter at first.


How would you describe your music to others?

Kindora: I usually end up playing shows with rappers, but I want to say that my style is gangster pop or poppy R&B. I don’t know if it fits that description exactly, but think that would be the most accessible to people


Your music videos are high quality and entertaining. Can you tell me about your process that goes into making those?

Kindora: The first thing I do is listen to the song, close my eyes, and think about what color I see. If this beat makes me see purple, I want to do something related to purple somehow. When we filmed “Back and Forth,”  Rock had produced that beat and after I recorded it, we realized that it sounded like something TLC would do. We played the TLC video “What About Your Friends,”  to my song and our minds were blown by how well they meshed. That’s where I found inspiration for that video. I never want to do something obvious. If I say, “See Spot run,” I never actually want to show you Spot running. There’s a time and place to be literal, but most times I avoid that because it can be corny.

TLC’s video was amazing because you wouldn’t think there would be so much effort into getting 12 people to wear jackets that look the same and arrive at the same place at the same time, but that can actually be really difficult to pull off. Filmmaking is intricate and tedious. I could never be Michael Bay, although I would like to be.


Have you gone on tour, and if not are you making plans to?

Kindora: I love playing shows; there’s nothing like it. But as far as getting out on the road and touring to feel like my career is official, I haven’t yet. With the way that the Internet is, that has replaced why people want to go on tour. I want to tour for fun as soon as I find transportation that can carry all of my things. I would love to have stage designs to take with me, but I don’t have that kind of stuff yet. If I had a projector, my options to be creative would be limitless. I could create an atmosphere where you think everything is on fire or underwater.


What are your goals for the upcoming year?
Kindora: I plan to keep making music, music videos, and reaching out to as many people as I can. Personal relationships are important because they need to understand why your passion is important.


[Photo by Joshua Pickard. Provided to SoundCorps by Kindora]