Beauty’s highest-paid blogger is getting into music.
Today, Kristina Bazan, founder of her Kayture blog, will release her first music video for “Out,” the single she released on iTunes and Spotify in May. The video will premiere on Vevo.com.
While best known as one of L’Oréal’s brand ambassadors and a digital influencer — the 22-year-old Bazan has 2.4 million Instagram followers and inked a reported seven-figure deal with the beauty giant late last year — she insisted that her career as a blogger started as a side project.
Her main passion is music, and Bazan’s been an aspiring singer since she was a kid. Raised in Switzerland, she attended music school at the age of 11 and started a band — The Phew — at age 14 with three male friends.
“It’s the perfect first single. It’s not a big pop anthem; it’s a moody, vibey, sexy song. It lets people discover a new side of me. I’m not putting out a massive commercial hit,” Bazan told WWD of her song and corresponding video, which has alternating shots of her first writhing on a couch in an Elie Saab dress and then dancing and writing on a bed in La Perla lingerie.
According to Bazan, “Out” is about the “absent one,” or the former lover who’s omnipresent in your mind but “very much gone in reality.” It also celebrates the pleasure of being tortured — but liking it at the same time — and the paradox of wanting what you can’t have. The song includes lyrics such as: “Lost in you/Just tryin’ to keep it together/Feels like sweet poison in me/And it drives me insane.”
“I feel like I’m juggling a second life — I’m in such a great creative flow [right now],” she said.
She noted that although L’Oréal is supportive of her music, the company had had no involvement in the project beyond supplying cosmetics and having Karim Rahman, makeup artist for the L’Oréal Paris brand ambassadors, apply Bazan’s makeup for the video.
“I didn’t want them to necessarily invest money and put product placement in it. It’s my first video and I wanted it to feel organic and not like I was putting in all the brands I work with. They just did the makeup,” Bazan said.
Three years ago before she relocated to Los Angeles, Bazan sent Jennifer Powell, her agent and head of Next Model Management’s influencer division, a few songs she had written. A 19-year-old at the time, Bazan was soon flying back and forth to California to meet producers. When she decided to move to L.A. permanently two years ago, the main purpose was to pursue music.
“When I meet with producers I don’t talk about my social media following. I don’t want them to work with me based on numbers. I wanted to do it the right way,” Bazan said, explaining that she had a “long development stage” figuring out what she wanted to do as an artist.
For “Out,” she worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Kennedy on the single, who’s best known for his work with Rihanna and Chris Brown. The two are working on a full-length album, which she expects to come out early next year. Justin Wu directed the video.
Bazan added: “Everyone associates me with fashion and being light and cute, and the whole video is dark and tormented and tortured and sexy. I wouldn’t say I’m deeply sad, but I am a Scorpio. It’s the most conflicted sign.”