Sitting Down with Singer/Songwriter Ken Pomeroy
Words by Kiana Moridi
Photos by Courtlyn Stout and Madi Rae Jones
There’s something undoubtedly special about singer songwriter, Ken Pomeroy. At just 19 years old, she’s insightful and introspective, intuitive and intentional. With notes of Phoebe Bridger's vocals and inspiration from Faye Webster's feel, Ken evokes feeling through her sound and writes with raw honesty-one that can only be learned after entering an industry at such a young age. Her seemingly effortless ability to tell a story is uncanny, often leaving you hanging on to her next word.
Ken is sitting in a coffee shop in Oklahoma City on an early morning in September, ready to discuss her new album, Christmas Lights in April. She's sitting confident and calm in an oversized jacket as she introduces herself. There's a cool and wise ease to her that's strangely magnetic. “I'm Ken Pomeroy," she grins. "I'm 19 years old and I'm a Virgo."
Music was a constant in Ken's life from a young age. At just six years old, she took a noticeable liking to a famous song that would later change the trajectory of her life. Ken’s stepmother burned said song, John Denver’s “Jet Plane” on a CD for Ken to listen to. “I probably listened to that song until I was nine years old, continuously all the time on loop,” she says, her icy blue eyes dancing as she relives the memory. “I think that really shaped who I am. It’s the reason why I play music- that song made me feel things I didn’t know I could feel. It was a nostalgia I had never experienced.”
Her father, a musician himself, took Ken under his wing, bringing her along to his Blackberry Jam band practices and shows. “I started playing bars at 13,” she chuckles. “That can be a really, really weird dynamic. I’ve always had to be an adult and I think that was to my advantage in that scenario. I had to grow up quicker, which has its advantages and disadvantages, but so far, I’m okay with it.”
Photo by Courtlyn Stout
Photo by Madi Rae Jones
Photo by Madi Rae Jones
Now with her newly released acoustic album, Ken steps into a new songwriting approach. Transitioning from metaphorical writing to writing more directly, Christmas Lights in April is intentional, purposeful, and heart-wrenching in its honesty. No games, no subliminals, just the honest, make-you-feel-something truth.
“My writing is a lot different than what it used to be,” she says. “The sound and chords I'm using in this new record are different and not traditionally cowboy chords. I used to try to come up with all of these metaphors and try to get my feelings out, but I would cover up all of the feelings with the metaphors, and it would completely defeat my purpose of trying to show people how I feel. Now, I'm more okay with people knowing how I feel- I don’t have to put on a facade anymore.”
Keeping feeling and intuition at the forefront of her approach, Ken prefers to let things flow naturally, never forcing the process. “You know when you really have to use the restroom?” she says, laughing. “That’s exactly how it is for me when I write. I’ll know that it’s time, and I just sit down and start writing. I have a hard time writing about something I didn’t experience or witness, or was involved with because I don't feel an emotional connection to it. I can’t force the creative process- I have to feel it first and then it’ll come out.”
Some people create art for reaction or notoriety; Ken just wants to make people feel. "I just want people to feel things that they have never felt before when they listen to my music," she says. "That's really all I'm trying to do."
Check out Ken’s new record on Spotify, and keep up with her upcoming projects and shows on Instagram.