From the age of 13, Austin native Kady Rain knew she wanted to sing. During her formative years, she channeled her creative energies into everything from music camp to her own high school band. But it wasn’t until her split with a local sludge metal band did she settle on her current pop direction.
Along with her writing partner Ben Bazzrea, Kady Rain is one of the local scene’s most celebrated stars, despite the fact pop music sometimes gets a bad rap here.
Starting at Starbucks
As fate would have it, Rain met Bazzrea at the Starbucks where she worked and discovered he was a kindred musical spirit. The two bonded over similar tastes and quickly produced a song called “I Tried.” As a long-time songwriter, Bazzrea knew he had crossed paths with someone special.
“When Kady and I first started working together, the first thing I noticed was that she was dying for somebody to take her seriously. Every project would tell her she was too pop,” shared Bazzrea. “She came in with a melody, and when she sang it, I said, ‘Oh my God, I need to get my guitar.’ It was the best melody I heard in the room and unabashed pop.”
From there, a beautiful partnership was born. During that first summer of 2014, the pair were writing one or two songs a day for close to three months. As of this article, they have hundreds of songs in pipeline, with only 10 out in the world due to budget restrictions and strict quality control.
Body-moving Music With Heart
During their Jan. 3, 2019 birthday performance at Historic Scoot Inn, Rain and Bazzrea performed a delightful collection of well-known favorites and unreleased tracks. But it wasn’t the light-drenched spectacle you’d expect from a pop star. Instead, the pair decided on a subtle acoustic set.
None of the music suffered from the stripped-down instrumentation. Guitar-driven rhythm and vocal beauty was the order of the day. Tunes like the swinging “It Wasn’t the Roses” and the saucy “Bad Kids” got the crowd grooving, despite the lack of electronic back beats. The latter, Rain’s latest single, is a winking tribute to wild behavior, youthful exuberance, and mistakes made for the sake of making them.
Not All Parties and Jams
Kady Rain doesn’t shy away from more serious subjects stemming from life’s rough patches. A personal favorite, “I Don’t Date Potential,” presents a wish list of relationship deal breakers sourced from personal experience. The spare guitar/vocal combo at Scoot Inn made the lyrics stand out and pack an unexpected punch.
Then there was the hit. A near perfect piece of pop production, “R.A.D. Moves,” ignited a near sing-along among the modest Scoot Inn crowd. The album version is an uplifting, candy-coated party jam written for spur-of-the-moment road trips, skinny dipping, and the heart-flutter infatuation of a first kiss. Coupled with an earworm hook so tasty it’ll turn a day from sour to sensational, and you have a track worthy of any Pandora summer jams playlist. In a fair and just world, this would be a fixture in any Top 40 station’s heavy rotation.
Onward to Bigger and Better
And the hits should keep on coming. According to the duo, they have almost 400 songs written and in various stages of production. Rain and Bazzrea have about 10 songs ready for a pair of EPs, one acoustic and the other produced. The timing of the release will depend largely on funding. But if all else fails, many of these tunes will end up as singles in 2019. And, to the delight of fans, an enhanced live show is also in the works.
Family of Fans
But it’s not like the music suffered from a lack of background dancers and laser lights on that chilly January night. When Kady Rain finished her set with the bouncy, uplifting “All I Ever Wanted,” the crowd applauded with enthusiasm. At that moment, the audience ceased to be a random collection of Thursday night concert-goers. They were family.
By creating an easily digestible brand of shimmering musical goodness, Kady Rain has cultivated a loyal following of fans both local and abroad. Through hard work and dedication, this ATX native has grown into a leader, advocate, and vanguard of Austin’s growing pop music scene. If you’ve disregarded stations like 96.7 KISS FM as disposable corporate trash and cleansed your Spotify playlists of anything resembling the genre, I implore you to throw Kady Rain on your list and give her a spin. You’ll find tight beats, heavenly vocals, and song craft worthy of the greatest respect. And yes, a whole lot of fun.
For more information about Kady Rain, including shows, videos, and music, visit kadyrain.com.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Have you dipped your toe into the growing Austin pop scene? If so, who are you listening to?