When Kirsten Proffit’s parents split up, the only thing they fought over was their record collection. While that obsession with music was instrumental in the singer/songwriter becoming an artist, the emotional fallout of the divorce has been equally defining for her art.
Love, passion, pain, and loss. These are the subjects of Kirsten’s brand of guitar-driven pop/rock. Her songs ache but aren’t depressing. They’re emotional without melodrama. In both her lyrics and her performance, she conveys a hurting honesty with a sense of hope. With a powerful yet sultry voice and a captivating stage presence, she engages an audience with hooks they can sing and feelings that they’ve experienced.
Although she’s been singing and playing music since she was four, Kirsten has been working on her own material for just the past two years. With the help of producer Bruce Witkin (Vanessa Paradis, Supremium), she has crafted Lucky Girl, an album that delves into the often turbulent world of relationships. Along with Witkin, producer Rick Neigher (Ron Sexsmith, Michelle Branch) lends his talents on a couple of tracks, and together they attracted top-notch musicians to her project including Michael Lockwood (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple), Warren Huart (Star 69) and Jim Bacchi on guitar, Karen Teperberg and Rob Klonel on drums, and Doug Nahory (Alanis Morissette) on piano.
Of special note on the album is her collaboration with Peter Malick on “Chance & Circumstance”. Malick brought an unknown Norah Jones into his band and recorded the vocalist for his “New York” album, prior to Jones’ own release of her monumental debut album Come Away With Me (18 million sold, 8 Grammy awards). To follow up that project, Malick enlisted Kirsten’s vocal and writing help for two songs for his next album, of which “Chance & Circumstance” (co-written and co-produced with Witkin) became the title track.
Further evidence of Kirsten’s immediate talents, her songs have already found their way into TV and film. She performed 3 songs in Martin Short’s film Jiminy Glick in LaLaWood, and “Something I Can’t Be” from Lucky Girl was in TV’s Dawson’s Creek. Her songs have also appeared in the DVD’s for Party of Five, Dawson’s Creek and Felicity, as well as three songs in the full-length documentary Normal People Scare Me. For the 2006 Orange County Music Awards, Kirsten won “Best Female Artist” and was nominated for “Best Female Acoustic Live Performer”.
Born in Santa Cruz, CA, Kirsten’s family moved to Spain when she was about 10. They lived in the port city of Majorca chiefly so her father could smuggle contraband and soak in the Spanish culture (no lie). A few years later, her parents moved Kirsten and her brother and sister to Orange County, CA.
Music has always been part of her life. Her mother listened to Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, the Beatles and the Eagles and there were all types of instruments around the house that she and her siblings were encouraged to try. Kirsten gravitated toward the guitar because once she learned a few chords she could actually write a song. From that point forward she was hooked. When she got a bit older she discovered Jeff Buckley, the Cars and the Pretenders, which influenced her own musical style.
Whether the Fender/Guild endorsed Artist is performing acoustically or with a band, Kirsten just wants people to connect in some way to what she’s expressing.
“I want to make people feel something when they hear my songs. A song is a great opportunity to say something—good, bad or otherwise—and really make a point,” she said. “I just want to make my point in the coolest, most clever way possible.”