Elise Harrison and Kaitlyn Kempen make up Komparrison – an acoustic duo from Redcar that want to give a candid look into the struggles faced by young women through their music. After playing gigs all over the region, they’re finally realising a dream by releasing their debut EP, ‘Tales Of Youth’, so Johnathan Ramsay caught up with the girls to find out more about the four-track project.
Tell us about your name…why Komparrison?
We wanted something that contrasted – as me and Kaitlyn are quite alike – but also couldn’t be any more different! It was sat in Elise’s grandma’s living room where we realised if you mixed both of our second names together (Kempen and Harrison) it sounded a lot like ‘Comparison’, however, we kept the K and the double R to represent us and emphasise that we’re different and interesting.
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
When it comes to music, we take inspiration from everything around us, but we particularly like strong female vocalists and songwriters like Amy Winehouse, for example, who made dark songs about personal issues with still a somewhat happy vibe. Also, on our songwriting, we believe it’s very similar to the likes of Lilly Allen or Kate Nash who touch on the subject of life experiences and mock them within lyrics to uplift listeners.
How did you both meet?
We actually grew up together. We went to infant school together and sang in the choir together (cringey we know), then Kaitlyn happened to go to a different secondary school to me and we lost touch. She then joined my school in year 9 and just like that we were back to being inseparable. We didn’t actually start singing together again until I forced Kaitlyn to audition for our summer show of High School Musical with me because I wasn’t ballsy enough to do myself, which is probably why we bounce off each other so much and work so well together as a duo because we both appreciate the elements and the confidence we individually bring to one another.
At what point did you both decide you were going to take music seriously?
We were pretty much forced to start gigging outside of our music hall at school by our music teachers – they pushed us so much over the couple of years we had them and gave us such a confidence boost. We started with the open mic scene and got to know so many other talented musicians and were given so many opportunities from there. It wasn’t until festivals and radios were approaching us that we realised we could actually take this further and start sharing our own original music out there.
You’ve recently released your ‘Tales Of Youth’ EP…are all of the tracks based on things you experienced growing up?
Our EP does explore personal experiences growing up that we think our peers can definitely relate to and enjoy. Boys, bitchy girls and learning to love yourself are all things young girls are 100% surrounded by in their youth and that’s the real element we wanted to put across!
Are there any tracks that stand out as the most special to you both?
Elise’s favourite track on the EP is ‘Voicemail’ – it’s a bit different to the other songs because it explores the notion that sometimes it’s yourself that’s the problem and it’s all about accepting that. Kaitlyn’s favourite is “Me, Myself and I” because it emphasises being independent and no longer needing toxic people.
To find out more about Komparrison head to facebook.com/Komparrison.