Being a teenager is tough.
Being a teenage pop star and trying to juggle homework and social life with a professional music career is even tougher.
That’s the balance 16-year-old Kaedyn Kashmir said she still struggles to find.
The sophomore at Kentridge High School recently released her new album “Coming Home” with Play Like A Girl records in which she explores the everyday struggles of teenage life and love.
“I wrote a lot of songs about what I had gone through so it is a lot more emotional for me,” Kashmir said. “I connected with the songs more. This LP is more personable and it could connect with more people since I put my energy and personal experiences as a teenager into it.”
This 11-song album, produced by Warren Huart — multi-platinum producer for The Fray, James Blunt and Aersosmith — includes songs Kashmir wrote about getting her heart broken and about finding herself.
This album isn’t Kashmir’s first time at the rodeo. She released her first EP, “Sliding Doors,” when she was 14.
“When you shut you eyes and listen to her, it doesn’t sound like [the voice is] coming from her,” said Roni Lee of Play Like A Girl Records. “Her voice doesn’t look like her. She has got a very, very enchanting, rich voice. And her pitch is excellent. To hear that kind of pitch and style in a young singer, you know it could only get better.”
Kashmir’s talent is of no surprise, especially considering her parents, Brenda and Derek, have been long-time professional musicians. Music runs bone-deep in the family, evident by the fully-equipped recording studio downstairs of their Fairwood home, complete with posters of the Beatles, Heart, pictures of Kashmir’s milestones, (including a screenshot of when her album ranked higher than Madonna’s record) and an electric fireplace.
Growing up with musician parents meant Kashmir was also surrounded by the friends of those musician parents, often producers and artists. They have inspired Kashmir to be the artist she is today.
“These people are my support system,” she said. Many of these lifelong friends have even agreed to be Kashmir’s band for her new record and her album release party Nov. 6.
Releasing a second album at 16 is no joke, and Kashmir admitted that she’s not very good at balancing her professional life with her normal, teenage one.
“I put a lot of effort in pretty much anything I do,” she said. “I try and balance it but it gets overwhelming at times. It’s a constant fight because I know I need to have a social life, get my homework done, get work for my clubs done, I have to prep for my trip to Japan this December. Then I have to write my music and practice with the band… I don’t have any free time.”
“She takes hard classes. She takes AP and honors classes,” her mother chimed in.
“But my AP class is history, and I freaking love history so it makes it a lot easier,” Kashmir added.
As for the future, she is optimistic about musical journey and has plans to make it big in the industry. And while the fame and fortune does excite her, she’s more focused on being present and using her talents for good.
“I have always been about helping people,” Kashmir said. “And you know how they say money can’t buy you happiness? Actually science says money can buy you happiness if you donate to others and if you help other people. It releases endorphins in your brain when you help others. It’s a win-win.”