Kerli

Yeah, Who IS Kerli?

Though she does have some fans, most people have no idea who Kerli is or where she's from. So, who is Kerli? She's an talented Estonian pop singer, a songwriter, a poet, a DIY fashion designer, vlogger and so on. She's not yet mainstream, but with her vocal chops, unusual but eye-catching sense of style & looks, she very well might be within the next few years. Read on to learn a bit more about Kerli...

Kerli intro photo courtesy of Photobucket.com.

Kerli's Beginnings

Kerli is an Estonian singer/songwriter from Elva, Estonia- a town with a population of only 5,000 people. Estonia was freed from Russia and became independent in 1991, when Kerli was only 4 years old. However, Kerli has said that it took a long time for Estonian people to change the closed mindset they had about the world, having been very restricted under Soviet rule for 47 years.

Even at a young age, Kerli wanted to become a singer and eventually move to America and travel the world, but initially she was discouraged from doing this and for even thinking about it. As a result, she felt misunderstood during her childhood, especially by her own family. (And though she hasn't outright said so, she's alluded to serious issues with her father in her Formspring answers (http://www.formspring.me/bubblegoth/q/192368029579... and http://www.formspring.me/bubblegoth/q/192720331062... .) Likely this-- combined with an already restrictive culture-- caused her to cope by retreating into her own dream world, writing short stories, poems and such.

She eventually decided she would do everything she could to making her dream a reality, and so she began competing in singing contests in Estonia. In 2002 she entered a Baltic singing contest called Fizz Superstar (and lied about being older in order to compete). She won that and signed with the record label Universal Sweden, but was dropped when the individual who signed her got fired. That same individual signed her to an independent record label, but the label soon went bankrupt.

She tried again and entered the 2004 Eurolaul competition, placing 2nd and gaining fame in her homeland of Estonia. She spent 2 years in Stockholm, Sweden, working on music. She didn't make enough income to afford decent housing and food, having to opt for living in an abandoned house and eating nothing but rice for 3 months straight. Feeling quite depressed, Kerli tried to commit suicide at 17 (as stated on her Formspring -- http://www.formspring.me/bubblegoth/q/1898493430). So once Kerli turned 18, she made the decision to move to the United States for a better shot at a music career.

She was signed to Def Jam/Island records in 2006 and began writing music for her debut album. But, not knowing anyone in the States and continuing to feel lost and depressed, she began using marijuana regularly (on an almost-daily basis), but eventually stopped, saying in a videochat that in the end, it wasn't worth it. She's since made an effort to be healthier, not just by not smoking or doing drugs, but also eating healthier as well.

Back in Estonia, because they weren't aware that Kerli was working on music even though she had no album out yet, they assumed she wasn't doing anything and had failed at becoming a successful artist. When questioned about it in an interview (http://neonlimelight.com/2008/07/08/neon-limelight... Kerli essentially said she was aware of her fellow Estonians & the Estonian media's negative view of her career, but also said she felt no resentment about it, as they seem to be more understanding & appreciative now of what she was doing in the years before her first album came out (especially now that there's been buzz about her).

Kerli's Music

Kerli finally dropped her debut album Love is Dead, which was released in the States in July 2008. Her song "Walking On Air" is probably the most well-known song from the album. Other songs from this album were used for video games and TV show commercial promos. While the album didn't catch on the way many critics and fans expected it to, it still managed to chart on the Billboard 200 at #126 in the summer of 2008.

When questioned (in this interview) about her music being categorized as pop music (or being categorized at all), Kerli basically said that she doesn't like how music and artists are labeled, but that she doesn't care if she's labeled as pop, and no one else should either.

Kerli herself has categorized the music she makes, as well as her fashion and the imagery she uses in videos, only as being both dark and beautiful.

Comparisons

There has been some negative attention from fans & the media on the fashion similarities between Kerli & another pop artist, Lady Gaga. There have been times when both were seen wearing similar hairstyles, makeup, or particular pieces of clothing. Neither had made any public statement about the similarities until early in 2010.

In January 2010, Kerli had a momentary outburst about Lady Gaga copying her looks and claiming them as her own. She posted her frustrations on her MySpace page. (You can read about that here -- http://neonlimelight.com/2010/01/01/pop-singer-ker... .)

After being bombarded with negative comments by tons of Gaga fans who read what she said, she later apologized on her Myspace, saying the following (taken from this article -- http://neonlimelight.com/2010/01/02/kerli-explains...

"I feel awful right now... I wish I wouldn't have done it. I don't want anyone to think I have anything bad to say about her [Lady GaGa] because I've always said that she's awesome at what she does, and I've been watching her career long before anybody knew who she was and met her long before anybody knew who she was.

"This morning I was reading the news and I saw that Lady GaGa also had yellow hair... I've been doing so much to not look anything like her and I feel like everything I do she'll do two weeks later.

"I'm starting my next album cycle and I'm trying to look different so I don't get these comparisons, right. But it's like every time I do something different and I post a picture up on Myspace, she's also looking the same way within two week's time."

She continued by mentioning that she knows members of Lady Gaga's team (which I assume actually means "wardrobe team"), and said that she is frustrated by how much she tries NOT to look like Lady Gaga, but then Gaga goes and gets the same look soon after her. Kerli also goes on to say that it was immature of her to verbally express her frustrations online, and wishes she would have kept it to herself. (You can read the full comment at the previously mentioned link.)

Lady Gaga has made absolutely no comment concerning the incident, and still has not acknowledged any of the fashion similarities between her and Kerli.

The Next Chapter

Despite all of this, Kerli has moved forward. She had two songs- "Strange", with the band Tokio Hotel, and "Tea Party"- on the soundtrack to the live action movie version of Alice in Wonderland in 2010.

Kerli, along with Lindy Robbins & Toby Gad, also wrote a song for Kerli titled "Skyscraper". Kerli even recorded vocals for the song. But Gad then offered the song up to pop-singer Demi Lovato, who agreed to take it and put it on her 2011 album Unbroken. (See the music video here.) It became one of Lovato's biggest hits and has been covered by artists like Jordin Sparks and The Veronicas.

Kerli recently completed her music for the next album, Utopia, which will drop in March 2013. She's described her new sound & look as "Bubblegoth". The first two singles, "Zero Gravity" & "The Lucky Ones", are already available on iTunes and both have music videos which you can watch below.

First photo of a fairy/elf/elfin-looking Kerli in a lace dress is courtesy of Last.fm (http://www.last.fm/music/Kerli/+images/36489017).

Second photo of Kerli singing, wearing a feathery white dress was taken by Melanie Wydler on 18.9.2008 (September 18, 2008) and is courtesy of Wydler and Flotgarn.com (http://flotgarn.flotgarn.com/joomla15/ -- located much closer to the bottom of the webpage; in fact, better to start at the bottom and scroll up).

Third photo of Kerli singing, wearing a black lace outfit courtesy of Photobucket.com.

Fourth photo of Kerli courtesy of Photobucket.com.

Kerli Music Videos, Special Clips & Fashion Videos

Featured here are some of her older music videos, some special clips, one of her first webchats, and some videos about her fashion. I do not have any interviews posted here because she tends to cuss, and that's really frowned upon in any form here on Squidoo. So I had to pick and choose carefully. Of course, you can find lots more Kerli videos on YouTube. (And definitely check out some of her interviews, as she is very well-spoken, perceptive about the world, and has some positive and interesting things to say.)

NOTE: In two of the videos, she speaks mostly in Estonian the whole time, but the videos have English subtitles. If you cannot see them, click on the "CC" symbol to make adjustments.

 

Kerli "Walking on Air" VFX Breakdown - Basically, that means showing you the behind-the-scenes digital effects of the music video...

Kerli "Walking on Air" VFX Breakdown - Basically, that means showing you the behind-the-scenes digital effects of the music video...

Kerli's Army of Love Webisodes & "Army of Love" Single

In 2010, Kerli put out a series of webisodes showing behind-the-scenes footage of everything - from her in the studio, to her new music video, to her creative process when it comes to her style/clothing. The entire Army of Love web series is available below, as well as on AOL. Also available below is her "Army of Love" single, as well as some behind-the-scenes looks at the "Army of Love" music video.

Something to note- "Army of Love" is a "set-up" single she released for her fans. The official first single is actually titled "Zero Gravity". See the video below titled "Kerli In New York (New Single Details)" for more about her "Army of Love" single...

 

Kerli - "Army of Love" - Official Music Video

NOTE: You will notice several words being flashed in the video- "Intregrity", "Love", "Unity", and "K713". "Intregrity", "Love" & "Unity" are the motto of her special following, Moonchildren. (It has been said that you do not have to be a fan to be a Moonchild, just as you do not have to be a Moonchild to be a fan. The two are mutually exclusive, but often Moonchildren are also fans). You can read more about Moonchildren by clicking on this Moonchildren FAQ link.

The "K713" is a bit of a mystery, but has been somewhat fleshed out here- K713 Meaning on Kerli Wiki. Kerli has yet to publicly explain what it means...

 

More Kerli Videos - Performances, Interviews, Special Clips & Fashion Videos - These are more recent videos of Kerli, from 2011 to now...

These videos feature Kerli at SXSW (the South By Southwest Festival), a performance remix of "Army of Love", her discussing her fans/Moonchildren, more about her fashion process and a little about her music recording process. Enjoy!

NOTE: The "Entrevista Kerli @ Acesso MTV (18/07)" video features some show hosts speaking in Portuguese, but Kerli is still speaking in English while they display Portuguese subtitles for their audience. So don't worry if you start that video and can't understand what is being said at first. You will when Kerli starts talking. ;)

Also, with the "Interview with Kerli about her single 'Zero Gravity'" video, Kerli & her interviewer are speaking in Estonian, but there are English subtitles on the screen, so you'll understand that too.

 

Kerli's Newest Music Videos, "Zero Gravity" & "The Lucky Ones", & Their Behind-the-Scenes Videos

Kerli on Amazon - NOTE: You can listen to clips of ALL the tracks on both of the CDs listed below.

To view ALL Kerli products on Amazon, go here.

 

Kerli Links

Photo of Kerli with star decals by her eye courtesy of Photobucket.com.

Official Kerli Links/Webpages

Kerli Links/Webpages Run By Fans

Other Kerli Links/Webpages

Audrey Kitching and Kerli Photoshoot - Behind the Scenes with Dirk Mai - Catch a behind the scenes look at Audrey & Kerli's photoshoot with photographer Dir

Alternatively, if you want to know more about Miss Kitching, you can check out the Audrey Kitching Squidoo webpage here.

 

Photo of Kerli in black and white courtesy of Photobucket.com

What do you think of Kerli?

See results without voting

While there are definitely some key issues I disagree with her quite strongly on (no, I'm not listing them here), I've decided to just agree to disagree with her on those issues & admire her for other things:

1) Kerli is super-creative (I relate strongly to creative people), and it shows in her music videos and concerts, as well as her fashion sense. In fact, I love, love her fashion sense. Not everything (the leather dress in the "Walking on Air" video is a bit too much for my taste), but most of it. From her hair extensions to her chunky platform shoes, and some of the unusual outfits she's worn- I love it.

What I don't like - that Kerli maybe now feels like she can't be herself without a certain someone (mentioned earlier) ripping it off and not acknowledging that the look was inpsired by her. If that someone would at least say that they pulled the idea from her instead of pretending that they came up with it themselves, there would be absolutely no issue at all. I hope that in the future the comparisons between her and this other person stop altogether, and that Kerli is acknowledged for being an artist in her own right.

2) Kerli has very eclectic music. Some of it does sound like music you would hear on the radio, and some of it does not. And she seems to put a lot more of her own emotions into her music than most artists do. Sure, other artists might say that they do, but their music sure doesn't come across as emotional as Kerli's music does. Perhaps it's because she seems to feel things much stronger and much deeper, and isn't afraid to show those emotions.

3) Kerli has a big heart. She wants love, peace, and happiness for everyone. She always makes an effort to connect with her fans, which includes vlogs & live videochats and answering questions on her Formspring account. She doesn't just say she cares about her fans- she shows it. And you know what? It's really hard to hate on someone like that. Really hard.

Photo of Kerli in her panda outfit performing at the February 2010 Alice in Wonderland fan event in Los Angeles, California is courtesy of Zimbio.com.

Follow Me On Twitter

NinaLee_CherryB (my personal Twitter page)

OR

Cherry Ambition (my official Twitter page for my Cherry Ambition blogs)

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves, and so on about Kerli. And tell me how I can improve this page (from faulty links to new websites to add, etc.).

Oh, and just so you know- Kerli does NOT run this webpage, nor is she in any way affiliated with it. She will NOT see messages you leave her here. Please visit her Myspace page or Twitter page if you want to send a message to Kerli. Thank you.

Photo of Kerli in white t-shirt & jeans courtesy of Photobucket.com.

NOTE: This guestbook is moderated 24/7. HTML comments are not allowed. Spam will be removed & reported immediately.

Also, although I hate doing this, I'm going to ask that you please do not leave only generic comments like "good lens!" or "great webpage" or "nice stuff", as Squidoo seems to consider that spam because a lot of spammers will leave a comment like that before dropping a spam link, & it doesn't provide anything relevant to or related to the webpage. So... leave comments only if you have something relevant to add. Thank you.

 

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Shout Out For Kerli! 9 comments

Linda BookLady profile image

Linda BookLady 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

This is the first I've heard of her. I wish her well and hope she has great success in her career.


capriliz lm profile image

capriliz lm 6 years ago

She looks like someone that the younger crowd will like very much.


GrowWear 6 years ago

First time hearing of her as well. Yes, can admire one's fashion sense or talent, but that is a far cry from admiring someone's thoughts and choices and such. Much success to Kerli. :)


anonymous 6 years ago

What an informative article, thanks! I really wish I knew Kerli personally, she seems like such an amazing individual + human being. Her sense of style is mind-blowing, and she takes some of the most beautifully artistic photos I've ever seen. May her success increase + she get all the credit she deserves. <3


Tyla MacAllister profile image

Tyla MacAllister 5 years ago

I have to admit I had never heard of Kerli before. I liked her song and I'm a sucker for rags to riches stories so I think I have just become her newest fan. I think it's a shame that other singer is copying her style.

*This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.*


pixelposy profile image

pixelposy 5 years ago

I was introduced to Kerli when 'Walking on Air' came up on my Pandora station. Loved it and love her. I didn't realize the comparisons and controversy around Lady Gaga. How frustrating for her as Gaga has blown up in stardom lately.


anonymous 5 years ago

I have been a Kerli fan for quite some time, and I really admire her for following her dreams in a world where creativity was discouraged. I which she was more popular though. She actually wrote "Skyscraper" then sort of gave it to Demi Lovato, I just wish they gave her more credit for that. And yes her father was abusive, that's what her song "Supergirl" is about.


mihgasper profile image

mihgasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

Thanks for introducing Kerli. She has bright future!


bensen32 lm profile image

bensen32 lm 4 years ago

I never heard of her before and honestly don't care for the music or the style, The best picture of her is the one just above in the white shirt and jeans but hey guess were all different.

That aside you did well with this lens, informing us it's good to learn something new even if you don't like it or agree with it. Thank you.

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