This rising artist has an interesting musical background unlike many others. Although Kira Bursky, (better known as Miss Whimsy), sings and plays guitar, she also plays the accordion. Music wasn’t ever an obscure thing as Kira grew up: her father was on Broadway, and her mother was a singer. Just around 13 years old, Kira wrote her first original song, and from there the rest was history. We asked this alternative-pop-folk musician a few questions about her music below and found out that she also makes films as well. Check out the interview below!
Entertwine: Tell us a little bit about your musical background and how you got into singing and songwriting.
MISS WHIMSY: I come from a very artistic and musical family. Before I was born my father was on Broadway (he was in the show The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) and my mother was a singer in New York. My mother had studied at Manhattan School of Music. So as you might imagine, my childhood was full of artistic encouragement! Around age 10 I went through my “I want to be an actress” phase and I started auditioning for musical theater productions. During this time I practiced the songs “Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof and “Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. But as I transformed from child to teenager, a newfound desire grew within myself: I needed more power. I discovered that I wanted to be the one directing and creating, rather than acting for someone else’s vision. So around age 13 I directed my first complete short film and around age 14 (3 years ago) I wrote my first original song.
ET: Who would you say is your main influence when it comes to music?
MW: It’s quite hard to choose just one main influence- so I’ll try limiting it to two! Songwriter-wise Norah Jones may be my biggest influence. When I was a child, every night for a few years my parents would play me her album as I fell asleep. But then once I moved from New York to North Carolina I stopped listening to her and forgot all about her music. When I rediscovered her, I felt an overwhelming sense of melancholy and attachment and subconscious influence! Her songs connect me back to my childhood.
My other biggest influence is probably film score composer Danny Eflman. A lot of my favorite films become my favorite films due to their soundtracks. Danny Elfman paints deliciously whimsical and fantastical worlds with his music. For two years I obsessively mimicked the voice of Jack Skellington in Danny Elfman’s piece from Nightmare Before Christmas “Jack’s Lament.” None-the-less: I find that some of my songs end up sounding slightly like movie soundtracks mixed with pop if you can imagine that! I guess you’ll have to decide if you agree, though! Ha.
ET: You have an album waiting to be released in late December. Can you tell us a little bit about the recording process, and what this album signifies?
MW: My recording process is extremely indie. Most of the songs I have written for this album were originally composed on my guitar (one started on the piano, another on the ukelele, etc). So first I record a track of me playing all the guitar parts for the song. Next I record a track of me singing all of the verses plus the chorus. Once the basic guitar and vocal lines are recorded the fun begins. Basically I go in any direction I’m inspired to go and from there I build up the song layer by layer. When I am inspired to include an instrument that I can’t play (for ex: violin, cello, marimba, etc)- I record either a vocal line or electric synth version and then I schedule to meet up with the instrumentalist to replace the temp layer. What i’ve discovered through making this album is that my acoustic versions of my songs are practically a completely different song then the finalized recording. Recording layer by layer opens up a world of possibilities!
The album is called “Confused Travels.” Confused Travels focuses on how life is always in a state of transition and confusion. A few of the tracks focus on means of transportation and how it metaphorically connects to the nature of our lives (there’s a song about trains, one about a sailor man, one ever so slightly about a car, etc).
ET: Lyrically, what do most of your songs represent?
MW: Many of the pieces deal with being misunderstood, being unsure of your future, uncontrollable passion, letting go, fear, and moving forward. All of these themes connect back to the overall concept of “Life is confusing and we’ve gotta accept and realize that that’s just the way it is! Embrace the confusion!”
ET: You also are involved in filmmaking. Is this your other passion besides music? Mainly, what kind of films do you create?
MW: Yes, filmmaking is my other passion. I have directed 8 short films and co-directed an additional 4 films. My production company is called “All Around Artsy.” Genre-wise many of my films are fantasy based, but most recently I directed a quirky comedy about food and fully used up adrenaline called “Eating for Beginners.” So really my range goes anywhere from horror to romance. I’m also starting to get more involved with animation. I’m currently making a stop motion animation music video for one of the tracks on the music album, actually! And then in a few months I will be shooting a half live-action half stop motion short film. Thematically many of my films deal with loneliness, passion, strange friendships, imagination, suppression & repression, gender norms/roles, and the power of love/believing. Next year I will be directing my first feature film. Wish me luck on that!
Connect With Kira:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/misswhimsymusic