What I’m Listening To: Change My Mood

Today’s been a funky day.  One major up and one major downer.

Naturally, I’m focusing on the downer.  I can’t stop thinking about it and just zero in on the amazing positive of the day so far.

So I’m turning to music to block it out.  Here are a few tunes I can’t stop listening to recently that always make me smile.

Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie

Did you watch SNL last weekend?? I told Brad after the show that I am changing my “get out of jail free card” from John Legend to Justin.

Brad said he might change his from Marissa Miller to Justin, too.

Seriously, I can’t get JT out of my head.  And did you know you now can stream the whole album on iTunes from your computer or iPad until it comes out next week?  The album is awesome.  It reminds me of why I first loved pop music.  And his use of harmonies is unreal.

Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend

Another pop singer I grew up loving.  I love how Robyn has evolved from using Britney Spears’ writers to being this awesome techno pop queen.  And I love the girl’s insane dance moves.  If this song doesn’t make you dance, I don’t know what will.

Adele – Rumor Has It

First of all, this is my favorite song from the 21 album.  It’s great to sing along to in the car and just get it all out.  And there are hand claps, which automatically make a song more fun.

Second – isn’t Adele awesome?  Love how her speaking voice is so… rough?  And so thick with her crazy British accent.  But her singing voice is so amazingly good.  I want to be friends with her.  And say the f word as cool as she does.

So now I will take deep breaths and focus on getting through my night without crying or exploding into a fit.  I will try and push my exciting morning news to the front of my mood and my really crappy afternoon to the back burner.

And I’ll be singing JT in my brain the whole time.






Playlist: Birthday Karaoke

It is taking me forever to get through my past two weeks of eating and drinking and singing to tell you about it.  I can’t find a place to start.  I keep skipping from story to story.  From vineyard to … Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Kelly Bylsma-Mathews Rockstar

Sarah always reminds me that when we first met, I was a certified (well, in my mind) pop star.  I am still in her phone as Kelly Bylsmarockstar – even though I am technically Kelly Mathewsrockstar now.

We always end up drunkenly watching the video of me in bright red, plastic pants singing “Come On Over” by Christina Aguilera at my high school talent show, Showcase.  I had back up singers.  I had back up dancers.  I had choreography.  I had boy dancers.  I even had Alex Wolniak.

Most importantly, I had red plastic pants.  And absolutely no shame.

Why am I not a star right now??

Back when I met Sarah in 2007, I was living in Orlando. I had just graduated with a Vocal Performance degree from Rollins College. I had a record deal. I was always in the studio. I was working with Otis Redding’s son to co-write and produce my very own debut album…  It was super exciting.  I told everyone and anyone who would listen about my life and my career and exactly how famous I’d be in just a few years doing exactly what I wanted to do.

This was me.  Still, no shame.  I’m wearing a shirt as a dress.

Seriously, I’ve been listening to “Kelly Bylsmarockstar” songs all day.  Here’s a club banger.  And there are many more where this came from.


But somewhere along the way the record deal dissolved, the label disappeared, and I was left with a whole lot of fun recordings that will always remind me that I would have been a killer pop princess if only I’d been working with the right people.

Since then, I’ve taken songwriting courses, I’ve learned a few chords on the guitar, I moved to Los Angeles, I’ve sung with a cover band that wasn’t quite my style, I’ve written and I’ve written, I’ve gotten into new music, and I still haven’t found a great way to get singing again in this giant city.

It’s literally driving me insane.

Lately I’ve been reevaluating my path in life and what I want to be doing.  A small identity crisis maybe?  I think most people go through this a lot earlier in their 20s, but I just always knew exactly what I was and had a word for it.  I was a rock star.  I was going to be a rock star.  No doubt about it.

Now I feel like I have a million little projects going on.  I am working on starting a social media company and working FOR a social media company, I’m infusing liquors and making bitters, I’m working full time as a bartender, I am learning all I can to open a restaurant one day with Brad, I am learning about wine and studying to become a sommelier, I am making sure all of the bills get paid, I am writing this curious little blog that I adore and people are actually reading it (thank you!!)…

But I freaking miss music.

Seeing the amount of creativity and love that Brad has for and puts into his cooking and his path on the way to becoming a chef and a restaurant owner kills me.  Seeing all of my friends pursuing acting careers and going on auditions and going to classes kills me.

This is why I came out to LA.  What the heck am I doing just putting singing on the back burner?

So today, I made it my goal to find myself a voice teacher.  And I am not in my “pop princess” place anymore, but I still have a killer set of pipes and, obviously, a lot to say.

I’ve put in a few calls.  One I’m especially excited about.  But for now, I’m going into work as Kelly Mathews Rockstar tonight.

Too bad I don’t have those red plastic pants anymore.  R+D has never seen anything like those before…