dialogue with treehouse artists

photo credit: Sinziana Velicescu

Who are you and what made you that?

Who is I and what made me that?

My name is Kera, last name is Armendariz. I think in the 1970’s my mother and father met, they fell in love, they procreated and they had me. I don’t know what date it was. I just have to subtract, hold on. [laughs] 

Your birthday minus 9 months?

Totally. Goddamnit!

So, it was 1987! They had already met, they were still in love and they had me. Great.

What have you been working on recently?

Well, I’ve been working on a few singles. One of them, in particular, is being released on February 15th and I’m really excited about. It’s called “Bright Future Ahead” and it’s featuring one of my favorite artists, Devendra Banhart.

What’s your biggest form of self-resistance as an artist?

Can you explain that?

What you do to stop yourself. 

I think sometimes, I can be my own worst enemy and really self-critical. I think that gets in the way. Am I answering that correctly?

Yes. Elaborate a little.

Well, I’ve always been really hard on myself which can sometimes be a good thing but it can also not be beneficial. I’ll just sit with my thoughts so much to not be active and DO anything about it, you know? So much time will pass with me just looming with these thoughts instead of just doing. I feel like I’ve been better at that and I’ve had a much healthier relationship with music. I’ve been kinder and more patient with myself.

photo credit: Devendra Banhart

Why do you make music? What is the point?

I’ve always been really inspired by artists that have intention with their words and those that have an honest message. It doesn’t necessarily have to be positive. I think music does such a wonderful job of connecting people. It does it in such a beautiful way. The reason I create music is that I’ve always felt like I’ve wanted to help and contribute to my community and the way that I like to do that is through song and performance. That’s my way of feeling connected to people.

I’ve always liked singing songs about resilience because while writing them, I would be in a low place but once I sung about it, it helped bring back this resilience and strength.

I hope to be a positive example.

I’m sure you are. What do you think art’s role is in society?

I think that’s subjective. In my life, I think it’s so cool that you can have a true connection with art and it is so personal. I love that it makes you feel things even if you hate it [the art]. You’re still feeling something. That’s what makes us human. It makes me feel like I’m embodied in myself in that moment. - like, what is it about this song or this piece that makes me feel uncomfortable or enlightened?

What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you? Did you use to fuel your art?

My last release was called “Fall Apart” and I really felt like at that time in my life, that I was falling to pieces. Mentally, I was going under. It really taught me a lot about myself; To be in a place now where I’m gaining resources tools for my mental health struggles has been really helpful because it has allowed me to write more.

What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?

I think meaningful connections that I’ve had are some of the best things. There are certain people that can come into your life who show you and teach you things about yourself. I have to say that some of the people that have really shaped my life, I will never forget. They were part of some of the best conversations and best moments I’ve ever had.

What’s next?

Releasing new music and I have this interest in bridging the gap between being a musician and contributing to my community.

I want to learn how to build these adobe houses because I want to find more artist residencies where my contribution can be these beautiful homes.

I also want to work on more music and fill my art with more intention.