Interview

Goth YouTuber Kaytlyn Stewart on Growth and Change

A social media muse and YouTuber in Australia, Kaytlyn Stewart thrives, like a vampire, on music and adventure to feel alive. Always on the go, always busy, she hates staying in one place for too long for fear of boredom. She’s an open book, always on the verge of telling you the most incredible personal stories, about her cactus that she calls Jeremy, her wackiest and most traumatic experiences. Yes, Kaytlyn is also a girl with a long history of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. A Babygirl from Musical.ly and Instagram from her teenage years in Melbourne, she made a name for herself with lip syncing videos and fashion photos. Just thinking back about her old videos sends her chills through her spine. Endless photos and content for likes. Kaytlyn has since matured and changed. And, today, she refuses to define herself through her setbacks and her mistakes although her diaries continue to keep a memory of her past: “I have way too many diaries in my closet that will never see the light of day, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through a rough situation, lit up a cig and sat outside and wrote my little heart out.” She gradually recognized her inclination for leather jackets, chokers, black metal, horror movies, and her goth identity: “Darkness doesn’t mean evil or bad, but it’s taking the darkness from certain things and seeing the beauty in it.” And now, she’s determined to create beauty, and only beauty, for herself.

Auxiliary Kaytlyn Stewart Interview

You regularly tackle mental health, whether on social networks or on YouTube. I guess there hasn’t been a year more relevant than this to talk about it, has it?
KS : Well, that’s true. I’ve always been pretty vocal about mental health since it’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life, talking about it is very much second nature to me. Especially now though, I think everybody is struggling and needs to feel listened to/understood with their emotions and how they’re trying to cope. I feel like talking about mental health was such a taboo topic in the mainstream, that now because we’re going through something that affects basically the entire human population that it’s a lot more accepted to be so open about our everyday struggles. Some people are finding that they’ve never even struggled with mental health issues and now they are because of the absolute state the world is in currently. It’s scary how quick problems like these can arise, I’m just hoping we can come out of this stronger than ever before.

How did you manage to fight bad thoughts and bad energies this year, despite the past and current situation?
KS : Oh man. I have had such unhealthy ways of coping with bad thoughts.

Oh… and what do you mean?
KS : Last year when the pandemic hit really hard where I live and we were locked down for weeks on end I struggled a bit with alcohol. I would wake up and have a secret bottle of vodka in my bedroom which I would have in a glass of iced tea; come night time, I’d down a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. That’s all my money was going on, alcohol and what they call “the devil’s lettuce”. I’ve been through extremely traumatic situations where I was able to cope better with it because I was able to leave the house etc. but at that time we were basically locked up at home with our thoughts. Once I had quit drinking and was completely sober for six months, I started to really work on my higher being. Doing tarot, meditations, you name it I did it and still do it till this day because working on your spiritual self never really stops. I had to dig really deep into who I am as a person and what my purpose here on earth is and that’s something that has really helped me cope and get by. Knowing that I am here for a reason and I must complete this mission ‘til its very end. And it still is hard, don’t get me wrong. I don’t really talk to anybody about what I am going through because it’s hard to not feel like a burden at times. But I’ve had to learn to not bottle this up because it just doesn’t end well with me. I’m very hard on myself so if I feel like I’m not doing enough or I could be doing better I punish myself. And it’s still a work in progress to not be like that and to not use self-destruction as a coping mechanism, but hey at least in the future I can pass down what I have learnt from being in situations like these and help people who are in a similar place that I used to be in.

What are your tips for fighting mental instability and anxiety?
KS : I suffer from really bad anxiety and am constantly trying to fight it off. It gets really hard at times because I’m already so hard on myself. I would constantly try and use external things such as drinking and smoking to get “rid” of it except that only just makes it worse. Because you see, once the substances wear off and you’re sober again, the problems and thoughts and everything of the sort are still there. You can’t run away from how you’re feeling because in turn you just create more problems for yourself such as unwanted addictions etc. My best advice for anybody who is in the same or similar position I am in, is to become your own best friend. I have a hard time talking to people about what I am going through, so I literally started talking to myself. Like hey, I’m about to have a panic attack but we will get through this. Turn on some music, visualize yourself somewhere you want to be or what you want to be doing and just focus solely on that. I get really terrible panic attacks out of nowhere sometimes, it feels like my stomach is dropping to my feet and I start shaking really really really bad and at times, uncontrollably cry. So what I had to do while that was happening is go to somebody in the house whether that be my mom, sister, dad. etc. and just talk to them about random shit. Just to get my mind off of how I’m feeling and what I have been doing lately has been really helpful. I advise anybody to not spend too much time on social media, reading the news, because I noticed that can at times trigger a panic attack to come on due to the information overload we get here on social media. You’ve just got to believe you will be okay and have that semblance in mind. You will be okay because you said so.

Auxiliary Kaytlyn Stewart Interview

You have now been a YouTuber since 2015. What impact has this had on your mental health?
KS : Being on social media has had a crazy hit on my mental health. Before I even was on social, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety so to have that already, my mental health issues were kind of exacerbated. I have had an issue ever since I was a kid with judgement, I always felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and was a complete outcast from everybody I was around. Come to opening social media accounts early into my teenage years it only got worse. Because anyone can say what they want behind a screen. The phone screen protects them, so people feel as though they can say whatever they want about you and make you feel like a total piece of shit. I used to read comments all the time, which actually turned me away from the alternative scene for a few years because of the conformity I had to go through from being on social media. When you start to build a following and make money from it, agencies and managers come into play. I was told what to do, how to dress, what to look like and what NOT to look like… almost like I was putting on this “social media suit” which made me feel like I was not adequate enough by being myself. I had to finally let that shit go and say hey, if you want to manage me, if you want to be a part of my life any sort of way, accept me for who I am, but I digress. I think from being on social media at such a young age I can deal with a lot of shit now. Like, you want to call me an ugly bitch because of how I choose to present myself? So be it. Because my thing is, if you say that kind of stuff to people online, that is a reflection of yourself rather than me being an “ugly bitch.” But who knows, maybe I am that, I just don’t care enough to be upset over stupid shit like that anymore.

This year, you convinced one of your followers not to complete suicide. It is a rather thorny question, which it is difficult to talk about or even solve without having all the details. Did you know her? What was your reaction when you read her touching message?
KS : This is a touchy subject since it was hard for me to help them with this, I didn’t even know I could possibly possess the power to help somebody with something as brutal as that. I have always let my followers/supporters know that if you need a listening non-judgement ear or a virtual shoulder to cry on, I am here for them since I know how it feels to have absolutely nobody to turn to with crippling thoughts/emotions/situations etc. I didn’t actually know her personally, she had reached out to me via Instagram messages with a very touching story about her upbringing and traumatic situations she had gone through. She told me about how when she found me on social media and was constantly watching my content that she felt she had a connection to me because of our similar traumatic situations and what we’ve both gone through. I remember responding to a few of her messages and then the very next year she reached out to me thanking me for “saving her life” when she felt as though she had nobody to turn to and that she was doing so much better than before. It was a very lengthy message thanking me for being open about my struggles and helping people with them. I remember dropping my phone and laying on my bed just crying. I was so happy to hear that she was doing better, it made my heart smile. I was so proud of her in that moment for overcoming the struggles she had told me about, but to thank me for having a part in saving her was a lot. I didn’t know how to react since I, again, had no idea I could help people like that. That story alone inspires me to get out of bed every morning and create. Shoutout to that girl, I should find her messages again and see what she’s up to/ how she’s doing today.

You are someone who often cares about the general condition of people around you, including your followers. But do you sometimes feel the need to distance yourself from other people’s problems so that you don’t get buried in some unintentional toxicity?
KS : This is something I was actually talking to one of my best friends’ mom about not too long ago who works in a mental health ward. I had to take some time away from getting back to everybody’s messages about their troubles because my mental health started to decline pretty badly and it was something that was hard for me to do only because I’ve always stressed, hey, if you need somebody please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. But, before my mental health started to decline I had gotten a really scary message saying that if I didn’t reply to them that they would harm their animals and or harm themselves and I took a step back and realized I can’t help everybody. That is just… too much. I’m not responsible for anybody’s struggles, if you are going through something and just need somebody I’m here but once you make it into an “I’m gonna harm myself or innocent beings because you didn’t respond to my messages,” it makes me not even want to answer anybody’s messages. Guilting somebody to answer you like that is something I don’t respect. And even though that happened at the start of the year, the message low-key still traumatized me because it’s like, if you’re gonna say that to someone, what else are you going to say? That for me is too toxic. I’m more than likely going to answer back to a message about struggles rather than guilt tripping. That is not okay to do to people, no matter what.

Your kweenfamily on the internet doesn’t just follow you and get in touch with your news. Many take you as an example, a role model. You even have fansites on Instagram. Are you experiencing it as a pressure or not at all?
KS : I think it’s really cute to be honest, never in this lifetime would I have expected people to be fascinated by who I am and what I do, especially idolize me since I have self esteem issues. Like, dude, I hated myself for so long only for people to love that part of me? I don’t think of it as a pressure honestly, if you’re gonna idolize somebody like myself don’t expect perfect or normal. Because there’s no such thing as perfect and normal.

You seem very close to your parents whose identity seems as alternative as yours. What role have they played in writing your identity and the choices you’ve made in your life so far?
KS : I would have to say I follow a lot in my father’s footsteps when it comes to music, style etc. since we have almost everything in common. He was the one to buy me my first Slipknot shirt and posters while you have my mom shaking her head in disgust. [laughs] I idolize how strong and courageous both my parents are, they have been through hell and back and still gave my siblings and I the absolute world. I remember being really young and going through crazy hardships but they had the mentality of “never quit no matter what”. It has really carried into my life personally and work life, if you really love what you do and shit, you’ll never give up for nothing. My parents have supported anything and everything I’ve done and for that, one day, I hope to give back to them tenfold. My mom has always given me the tough love I needed at one point to get up and continue with life, because my mission here on earth is not yet completed. She’s actually the one who got me super into spirituality with opening my mind and heart to new possibilities, because there’s endless of them. My mom has definitely made me into the strong woman I am today. My dad is super supporting and encouraging of the way I express myself along with the music I listen to. You can definitely say I’m my father’s daughter [laughs], I thank my parents for everything they’ve taught me over the course of 20 years. Without them I can almost guarantee you I would not be the person I am today.

Auxiliary Kaytlyn Stewart Interview

Let’s talk about your activities. I seem to have heard you say that you didn’t like being called an “influencer”.
KS: [loudly laughs] Yes that is correct I really dislike being called an influencer and it’s funny because I’ve never really been called an influencer anyways. I don’t like labels as it is because I don’t just fit into one thing and one thing only, but the term “influencer” is so flawed nowadays due to the fact that the “influencers” who are quite mainstream and popular don’t do things that should earn them the title of being an influencer. I remember during the height of the pandemic last year when basically the entire world was locked down, I would see “influencers” go out to parties and shit while saying “we don’t care” basically as an F U to the general population who were losing their jobs, families and homes etc. I found that to be everything that goes against being an influencer because I thought that influencers were meant to influence people to do good? Not to be a complete asshole to the people who pay your bills, you know? I found it to be quite distasteful, so because you have followers and fuck tons of money that makes you above everything and everyone… right. That was around the time I lost what little respect I already had for them. Not to mention the fact that being in this “influencer” world as one would call it, is so fucking superficial and fake. People in this world only want to have something to do with you if you have better numbers than them so they can leech off of them. They only care about what you have, not who you are personally. The amount of times that I’ve been to these influencer events and was looked at like I was, I don’t know, a clown, was insanely gross. Oh I’m so sorry Emily I’m not wearing the latest Gucci shirt. Or, my favorite, when you know some certain influencers talk complete crap about you but will come up to you at these events like “Omg hey Kaytlyn! Long time no see!” Okay good, let’s keep it that way. I don’t want to come off as harsh, but with the experiences I’ve had they’ve made me hate this industry along with the superficial events you go to. That’s why I don’t go to them anymore. Not enough respect is shown to people at those things.

During a discussion about influencers, you particularly made me laugh when you said you hate the endless refrain of influencers : “My job is so hard !” So refreshing!
KS : I don’t want people to think I completely hate influences because I don’t [laughs], I just don’t like the ones that complain that their job is so hard or one of my favorites I’ve seen “we don’t get holidays or holiday pay!” Which is to me, quite selfish. They know they make an ungodly amount of money just by doing dances on their iPhones, or looking pretty for a video. I’m not necessarily saying that no effort goes behind it, I would know this since my “job” is inside entertainment creating content for a living. I just think it’s selfish to think that only they have burnouts or only they have struggles with their job because that is just not true. With this realm of work, it can be done at home, literally anywhere. And because of this pandemic, I would have to say we are the luckiest people to have these jobs because we can do this at home no problems. Other people however who work in real life tend to have a lot more issues with this pandemic because you can’t just work construction or a retail job at home can you? No. I am forever grateful to have a career in what I do since not only has it been what I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s generally pretty easy despite being somebody who has mental health issues etc. I think the only thing that can/could get in the way of a job like this is mental health issues.

Don’t you think that people tend more and more to complain instead of taking advantage of their opportunities and having fun in their activities? Isn’t that additional unnecessary negativism?
KS : Oh most definitely. This is a career where you have to take advantage of anything or you lose the chance. For instance, there are influencers I know of who decline great opportunities because they think they’re too good for them. But, all this can go away tomorrow, you know? Of course don’t accept just anything that doesn’t align with your values, morals or brand. It’s just good to keep an open mind to anything.

Have you ever had arguments with other influencers, alternative or not, because of your strong opinions?
KS : [laughs] I’ve had my fair share of arguments with certain influencers over opinions. Except I’m never the one to instigate an argument because I don’t care enough. I don’t even really care enough to have an argument anyways because we both know; we’re not going to change each other’s minds so what’s the point in fighting over it. I guess maybe sometimes I can come off a bit arrogant with my opinions so that may be why certain influencers have a problem with it, because of my delivery of the message (still working on that [laugh]). But discourse with influencers only ends you up with them posting subliminal shit about you and maybe they send their stans your way. As I said I’m not a fan of arguments to begin with, so whatever.

Let’s go back for a moment to one of your delicate topics, mental health awareness. I have a question about your involvement in the cause. Do you think that talking about it is always a good thing for those involved? I mean, don’t we say that it is sometimes good to avoid a problem, to force oneself to minimize it artificially to reduce its devastating impact on the mind and body?
KS : It’s important to acknowledge that hey, sometimes you really do have to suck it up, puff out your chest and move on with your day. Because if you don’t, you’ll just drown in the pain. And that’s something I’d rather avoid. I think it’s also important to create a conversation about our mental health wellbeing due to the fact that not everyone can be like I am and shove our problems down and swallow it to continue on with the day. This is the exact reason why I’m a little cautious with what I put out online about my mental health, due to the fact that it’s not always a good thing. I want to create a space where I can distract people from their issues even if it’s just for ten minutes through a YouTube video. Sometimes being reminded of what you’ve either gone through or are currently going through can be overwhelming and stressful. I understand that everyone is going through their own paths in life differently, and want to make sure that my audience is okay with talking about mental health at times. It’s important to know that yes, you do struggle and yes you have had shitty things to have happened in life but what’s that stopping you from turning shit around in your favor? I have gone through some fucked stuff, but that has never stopped me from bettering myself and making sure I help others do the same as well. Constantly talking about and or dwelling on mental health issues isn’t always the healthiest thing to do.

And what impact does talking about it so openly and wagging the knife in the wound have on your own sanity?
KS : Well, for me it’s hard when I’m finally ready to open up about something only to be shot down by a complete random online saying what I’m going through is invalid because of this, that and the third. I think, not everything needs to be said to an audience of thousands of people because you risk worsening your own mental health by opening up about something that already makes you uncomfortable to think/talk about. Not just that, but by opening up about certain things such as my experience with being addicted to alcohol for a period of time, you run the risk of people repeating your behavior because they idolize you and they hear “that got Kaytlyn through that rough negative time in her life, I’m going to do that too.” Which is scary to me because I don’t want my actions to be repeated by hurt people. That would make me feel horrible about myself. So yes, I think to keep your sanity about you, you’ve got to just say your peace and move forward because that’s all you can really do.

Studies have focused heavily on the impact of social media on people’s mental health for several years now. In the United States, for example, studies linger on Facebook. Which social network do you think is the most followed in Australia? Which do you think is the worst in terms of harmfulness?
KS : TikTok and or Instagram would have to be the most popular here from my belief. TikTok in my opinion can be really annoying with the fact that they barely do anything when it comes to people spreading nasty hate on your videos. I’ve had countless Australians tell me to kill myself or I should self-harm because of the way I choose to present myself. I don’t get those kinds of comments anywhere else but on TikTok. You can report a comment, but that’s about all you can do and nine times out of ten they don’t do shit about it in the first place. Even if you are to block an account on there, the same person can continue to endlessly make more until they’re bored with shitting on you. They’ve really got to do something about that. The amount of times I’ve come across a fellow Australian alts video and read the comments and have seen nothing but pure hatred is disgusting.

One of the negative effects revealed is stress. Many people, average citizens, influencers or celebrities feel stressed because of the race for likes, comments, subscriptions on any network whatsoever. How do you live with this? You have a lot of followers on Instagram, you have several YouTube channels. You must have had some experience with this kind of hassle already.
KS : I used to care about likes, views and shit because I would equate my worth to that until I realized they are just little virtual numbers that sometimes people can even fake so why should I care so much about that. I create content not just for myself, but for others like myself. If I don’t get 10,000 likes on a picture it’s not the end of the world because in real life none of it even matters in the first place. I know people may feel discouraged by getting low views, likes, followers etc but if you’re gonna let that hold you back, you’re silly. Do you babe. You’ll get the results if you stick at it.

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and especially TikTok are apps that are increasingly tools for confirmation and identity validation. Sean Parker, first president of Facebook, turned objector to social media, said, “God only knows what it’s doing to our […] brains. The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them… was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content… more likes and comments. It’s a social validation feedback loop… exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting the vulnerability in human psychology.”

Have you ever felt that you based your social validation, your identity construction and your self-esteem on your digital activity? What is your own experience in this area?
KS : Oh hell yeah. I used to change myself all the time to please randoms on the internet, I thought that if I was to be this carbon copy barbie doll on social media then that’s what will bring people to “like” me. I used to self-tan all the time, make sure my hair was platinum blonde, wear tight tiny clothes… whenever I remember that shit I cringe so much. I guess you could call that growth [laugh]. I used to feel so shit about myself because I was trying to be somebody I wasn’t, all for social media. That’s why I think it’s extremely dangerous at times for young teens who are finding themselves to be on social media. Because you’re constantly comparing yourself to people who you don’t even want to truly be. Comparing yourself to anybody for a matter of a fact is toxic in general because we were created to be our own diverse individual selves. We’re not meant to all be the same, that’s why I find so much beauty in difference. There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who says fuck societal conformities, I’m me and if you don’t like it, oh well. I know of a few younger creators in this industry who heavily equate their worth to Instagram likes or TikTok views. Constantly changing themselves to see if people would want to like/follow them. It’s just not right, it really isn’t.

In one of your videos, you mentioned vlogging and selfing kits for children. In part of the video, you said that although this kind of concept has its drawbacks, it is still better than a kid vlogging rather than spending his days on his iPad. Is it really that different in that if he vlogs, he will post the content on a network or a site and necessarily spend even more time on the internet, promoting his videos, getting feedback from people etc.?
KS : The vlogging kits I was talking about are just toys, not real cameras or anything of the sort, so yes in my opinion I think if a kid is to play pretend with toys like that it is so much better for them than to be on their devices. Parents seem to use these technology devices as a form of babysitting for children which I’m highly against, kids have unlimited access to whatever, whenever and that’s so scary within itself. Especially because of what I’ve seen online before, it does not compare to what kids see online nowadays. So if a kid is playing with pretend cameras and ring lights, so be it.

Do these kits not also encourage overconsumption of the internet a little too much and would they not expose individuals too soon to the anxiety that emanates from digital life?
KS : They do in some sense, but unfortunately this is just our new normal. Of course we can criticize the kits, but let’s criticize the companies for even profiting off of what could possibly end up being harmful for children in the long run. Because I don’t know the long term effects of toys for kids like this, I’m kind of in the middle where yeah it’s good for the kids to be off of their devices but at what cost? Unfortunately these kids are growing up way too fast and it seems as though there’s nothing we can do about it. I try to be as vocal as possible with issues like these, but it constantly gets thrown back in my face that I’m not a parent, I wouldn’t understand. I was a kid too once, you know. I myself kind of wish I wasn’t on the internet until I was at least 14. Because that’s an age where you kind of have your head about you, speaking from my experience anyways.

Of course, we all agree that social activity, even on the internet, can save people or at least get them out of a situation. I am thinking in particular of drugs in certain subjects, especially young people. Considering your past few years, you must be especially sensitive about alcoholism you’ve been familiar with. How did you get into alcoholism?
KS : Well with alcohol, I’m not too sensitive to it since I can drink in moderation now. It definitely wasn’t great waking up and feeling as though drinking was the only way to “fix” the issues inside. It was just creating more problems for myself, I was drinking because it felt like an escape from reality at the time. As I spoke earlier about the first lockdown that was put in place in 2020, I felt there was nothing left in me to continue so why not drink it away. Morbid mindset at the time, but in a sick way I’m kind of glad to have gone through it so I know when I should stop. I just couldn’t stand waking up to the same loop of shit everyday, the constant bad news on top of bad news as well really took a toll on me mentally. I couldn’t bear the thought of being locked down longer with nothing positive happening so I drank it away. I had to finally quit it though because I was abusing my body with garbage food, weed, cigarettes, energy drinks and alcohol so one by one I just had to stop.

And it’s been your wake up call I assume…
KS : I woke up one morning feeling the sickest I’ve ever been and that really was my wake up call to call it quits on the drinking. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and being so sick constantly. Since that point I have not turned back, but for a period of time I was abusing weed quite a bit which caused me to have intense hallucinations so I stopped that too. The weed I’d say increased my anxiety, because when I first started smoking it I did it to help relieve my anxiety. But once I started hallucinating and shit the anxiety only got so much worse.

As an anxious person and prone to psychological problems, have you ever felt bad about negative comments on your videos, your social networks relating to your content or your whole being?
KS : Oh yeah, it used to give me hella anxiety reading negative shit about myself. How I’ve “gained weight” or I’ve “changed” or maybe I didn’t have the “right” opinion on certain topics. But I had to learn to just leave it. Leave the comments where the comments belong, in the comment section, and move on with my day. You can’t be drowning yourself in what other people say about you, especially for me because I choose to put myself out there publicly so unfortunately I have to deal with people saying nasty shit. It doesn’t make it any less wrong, but I choose to ignore comments. It only brings down my day if I’m to read something negative about myself, I mean, who wants to see nasty shit written about them? Nobody. It still doesn’t go without saying that I do check comments from time to time and my day can be a little ruined if I see a “you’re ugly” comment.

You have very eclectic tastes. Although you are an alternative, that does not prevent you from displaying an inclination for ungoth artists such as Britney Spears for example. Have you ever been criticized because you are, on the contrary, open musically and artistically?
KS : Apparently I’m not goth because I listen to all genres of music, I’ve heard. Which is just ridiculous because I’d find it to be quite boring for a person if they were to listen to one genre of music and that singular genre only. And if you do listen to one genre, don’t mind my opinion [laughs]. I absolutely love all kinds of music, one of my favorite artists actually is Lil Peep. I have a ton of black metal bands on my wall alongside a Darkthrone flag, right next to it though is a huge Lil Peep poster which confused a few people on my Tiktok for some reason.

As a goth, you have to stick to some cultural references then…
KS : Apparently to be in a subculture you must like this one thing and one thing only which is like, no, if I like what I’m listening to then I like it. Music is one of my favourite things on the planet, it’s always been there for me when no one else is. Music will never judge you, music will never treat you like shit. That’s why I love it so much. Alongside with the fact that there are so many different artists, bands you can find. If I could marry music itself, I would.

Besides that, what are your most undark facts?
KS I like eating garlic bread and watching old Spongebob episodes. Tip: garlic bread and salsa. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Auxiliary Kaytlyn Stewart Interview

Let’s talk a bit about your projects. You have already released a couple of dark urban tracks, very witch house, very dark rap. “Help Me!” is also a great title.
KS : Ahhh. I actually took down all my old music, it’s all gone. I used to be super into dark rap, then I took a weird pop turn, then was working on some rock style tracks. Basically all just experimental stuff for the past couple of years or so. That was until I wanted to take a completely different direction with my music altogether and was experimenting with death trap.

Looks to me like you’re up to some new stuff.
KS : A song I’ve been working on for months now (shoutout to VEINS) is called “Bodies”, it’s a very dark song about mental health and love. Changing into somebody for someone you love but you end up completely hating yourself for it etc. I’m not working on an album until the new year, but from the few songs I have under my belt at the moment people are going to be shocked. I’m just waiting for lockdown to end here and as soon as it does, I’m going straight to film the music video for Bodies and then I’ll release the two. Excited for everyone to see the new Kaytlyn and what I’ve been working on.

Have you always wanted to make music? Did you have in mind using YouTube videos as a promotional springboard for your future music or was music possible because you had a loyal crew on YouTube beforehand?
KS : Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a singer/songwriter, I’ve always written either poems or stories that could’ve been made into songs. Writing for many years eventually turned into making music. So I would fuck around with YouTube beats and my writing which was really fun at the time. However, now I want to be more serious with my music and create art instead of what will “get me somewhere” because I don’t care about being popular. I just want to be listened to, you know? Not like, oh I want people to listen to my music because if you do that’s awesome. But more like, I want people to feel the words I’m saying and listen to it on a different level. You’ll learn a lot about me by listening to my lyrics, I put absolutely everything into them. I’m really thankful for my best friend LIMBO for helping me with this though. He has really taught me a lot about self-producing. I posted about my music maybe a handful of times on my YouTube community posts thing, but wanted my music to speak more for itself instead of trying to promote it. I still don’t really care what numbers my music does because I love making it. Numbers or whatever comes along with it is just a bonus to me.

What artists, whether active or not, would you have liked or would you like to collaborate with?
KS : That’s a bit of a tough question, I would say Lil Peep but he’s no longer here with us. I honestly don’t know though the artists I love do not do the genre I’m in [laughs].

Would you be interested in featuring on screen? In a series, for example.
KS : Ooooh I’m so glad you asked this question.

Really? Why?
KS : I’m planning on attending acting classes once I’m able to travel outside of Australia again. I would be so down to do on screen work, particularly in horror films. Oh how much it would make my heart jump if I was to star in one of those.

We talked a lot, right? Rather challenging, isn’t it? [laughs]
KS : I’m not used to being asked a lot about myself. [laugh] My opinions on matters, however, different story, that’s like my job! I really enjoyed doing this though, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak here. I feel like for once people are able to learn a lot more about me through what we’ve spoken about today. Definitely is challenging when it’s hard to open up to people.

I really appreciated chatting with you on so many topics, Kaytlyn!
KS : Thank you! I really appreciated talking to you about these topics too.

You can find Kaytlyn Stewart on YouTube and Instagram. And for me reading, check out more of our interviews.

Demona Lauren
Demona Lauren is a contributor for Auxiliary, a PhD candidate, and a self-described nu goth passionate for EBM, experimental, and ambient music based in Paris, France and Málaga, Spain.
Demona Lauren on Instagram

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