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Interview: Elena Charis

Welcome to the musical world of Krystal Brown, a dynamic singer/songwriter coming from the vibrant city of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Krystal’s passion for music came from her humble beginnings at the age of 15, as reflected in the release of her latest album, 'Sugar Free'. With all 15 written solely by her, this album is a testament to her talent and dedication. What's more, Krystal's creativity knows no bounds, as she recorded 'Sugar Free' right in the comfort of her own bedroom. Join us as we dive into the world of Krystal Brown, where music and creativity intertwine.

TKK RADIO: You’ve been on this music journey since you were a young teenager. Looking back, could you describe a specific moment or experience when you realized that singing and songwriting were more than just hobbies to you?

Krystal Brown: When I was in my early teens, I felt that it was more than a hobby. Music makes people feel can heal can give them the strength to get through a workout or it can bring them to tears. I understood that at that age and I wanted to be a part of it. However, I didn't feel I would be able to do so because I was poor and from a single parent home and I felt that I didn't fit the image of a singer because I was overweight at the time. I wasn't the sleek and glamorous Whitney Houston or Mariah or Beyonce even. Bey was quite young but still very put together and I wasn't. I was a super awkward looking preteen and early teen. I also didn't have confidence in my vocal ability. A lot of times people think that if you are not hollering like you just lost your best friend, then you can't sing and that's not the truth. There are many different types of singers and many different things that can be done with the human voice musically. I developed more confidence in my twenties and that's when I stepped out and started releasing music on my own with no help at the time.

I love that your confidence grew as you got older and you started to pursue your passion. With the internet we can really do so much independently. Are you the sole creator of your music?   

I write all of my own songs and come up with the concepts and all of that. I do hire outside producers for the backing tracks.

This last album ‘Sugar Free’ is electronic music with several really dope remixes of your singles “Does it Count”, “Where Is Your Proof” and “Sugar Free”. What inspired your passion towards electronic dance music? 

I think childhood influenced me to go the indie dance route. When I was kid, I discovered the radio and there were all of these cool dance songs playing like La Bouche's "Sweet Dreams", Rockell's "In a Dream", Real McCoy, Alice Deejay and more. They were all killing the airwaves at one point and it hit me at a formative age. This type of music can evoke emotion in someone the same way a guitar or piano would. It is really so cool how we humans can make music on everything from computers to flutes to ukuleles.

They say that music is the universal language. You’ve been writing for a while but the last full album you released was in 2021 called “Sugar Free”. Could you share the inspiration behind the ‘Sugar Free’ and the process of selecting the album title?

The inspiration behind "Sugar Free" was me dealing with a relative who was being incredibly toxic at the time. This person would show a nice face to people outside the family, but was mean as hell to those in the family. I am saying, stop the b.s. and peel off that sweet coating. Accept who you people outside the family how you really are and their reactions will show you that you should not be that way to us either. That was what the single was about. I decided to name the whole album "Sugar Free" because I dealt with some difficult topics like my cousin's murder ("Does It Even Count?"), body image issues and absentee parents ("Defective"), religious betrayal and the like. It was a cathartic album to make.

This is a deep and incredibly personal album for you. It takes a lot of bravery to be so open with the world when creating this project. Another really interesting thing I noticed about the ‘Sugar Free’ album was its unique remixes. Did you make all of the remixes off of “Sugar Free”.

No I didn't. I consulted with DJs and producers and we came up with the concept together. I am not super technical and computer savvy when it comes to making the beats. But give me a pen and paper, and I can write a song about anything. You have to know what you like to do and what you don't like to do...what you have an aptitude for and what you don't...and outsource the rest.

Absolutely. You are thinking like a productive, experienced independent artist. Surprisingly, not everyone may be aware of your diverse artistic range, spanning in genres like Easy Listening with your single “Thumbelina”. What made you step outside of dance to create a song like this?

Well, I can see the beauty in all sorts of music. I don't only like dance. I can see the beauty in rock, jazz, easy listening, rap etc. I just figured the easy listening vibe might be best for that type of subject matter I was writing about. The song is actually about the death of my rats from pituitary tumors. I rescued three rats...they were sisters and after a while they all got sick with pituitary tumors which I believe was genetic. Biggums was the first rat to pass away, then her sister Thumbelina and last her sister Master Splinter. I was actively in the process of losing Thumbelina and hand feeding her and trying to get her to take her meds when I wrote "Thumbelina". I felt so hopeless and helpless. And I feel anyone who has ever lost a pet can relate to that and to that song.

I particularly enjoy your song 'Out of the Shadows' with its acoustic guitar elements, evoking a nostalgic sensation reminiscent of 'Burning from You' by Kreo blended with the essence of Lasgo's hit 'Something.' Your lyrical depth and profound storytelling, often overshadowed in the electronic genre, truly stand out to me. I’m curious, what sparked you to write serious songs, like Out of the Shadows, to electronic music?  

Thank you. "Out of the Shadows" is one of my favorites too! I do like electronic dance music but something the lyrics are lacking, minimal and/or repetitive. So I decided to do something different...write deep lyrics but still have that soul stirring feeling of electronic music giving life to the lyrics.

Reflecting on your initial EP release in 2018, do you perceive songwriting as a more manageable task compared to when you were crafting the songs for "Lady Sisyphus" EP?

Yes, I do find songwriting easier now. It could just be increased confidence. I am better at just feeling the music now instead of trying to force something. Just let the words and melody and rhythm develop organically in your head first and then put it to paper instead of trying to force it. Just let it develop from your soul.

Yes, let everything come organically! In 2024, our interconnected world thrives more than ever. Can you envision yourself continuing to explore different genres and potentially collaborating with more producers online? 

I definitely can. The internet is a huge help to indie artists who don't have huge budgets. You can talk to and work with people from all over the world and I definitely want to continue to do that. I flirted with rock music a little bit on "Give It Another Go!" which is a song about possible reincarnation and I would definitely like to explore more songs like that in the future. Like I said, there's beauty in all types of music and I am open to it!

With social media platforms artists have learned to put on multiple hats and as the internet evolves, the expectations of talent do also. Becoming an entire brand is now the new norm. As you dive deeper into the realm of music and entertainment, how have you evolved in your approach to utilizing social media?

Yes, I definitely have been forcing myself out of my comfort zone more and posting more to social media and putting my face out there more. Social media is here to stay....we can stick our heads in the sand or run from it or we can use it to further our careers and that's what I am trying to do. I have been posting more, posting more videos instead of static content and using more hashtags to drag in new listeners. I am always willing to learn more about social media marketing though. I am open to all tips.

If our audience could only listen to one of your songs, which one would you recommend, and what makes it stand out to you?

"Out of the Shadows" is definitely a favorite of mine. It is fun and upbeat but has a good message behind it. I wrote it after things started getting back to a new normal after the acute phase of the Covid 19 pandemic. I was saying that it is time to get out and live life even though we have fear and doubt....we can get past that and build fulfilling lives for ourselves. As long as we have breath in our bodies, we can do that! It just doesn't have to be about the can apply to any situation where you feel that you are being held back. Break free of those chains and build a life that is fulfilling to you.

Spring is just around the corner, what can we expect to see from you?

Right now, I am working on a new EP. Things are being mixed and mastered now. I haven't settled on a title yet, but I have some collabs on it from other indie artists. I delve a bit more into an R&B flavor while still keeping my electronic roots. It should be released later this year. Stay tuned!

As we wrap up our exclusive, are there any individuals you'd like to shout-out who have supported your music and brands throughout the years?

Teddy Mykaels has been super supportive of my music. He is also an indie artist. He too loves the dance music vibe. I am addicted to his song "The Sweetest Pills". Please check him out. 

How can people reach out to you?

I can always been reached via email at or through my Facebook page @krystalmuzik, Instagram @krystalbrownsinger or Tiktok @krystalbrownmuzik

TKK RADIO: That pretty much sums it up! Krystal, thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this TKK Exclusive. We appreciate you. 

Krystal Brown: Thanks so much for having me!


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