ECHO EXCLUSIVE: Kayla DiVenere Wants More Than “Small Talk” on New Single

Imagine if life was as simple as an 80s movie, where coming of age was glamorous and the girl always got the guy.

Singer and actress Kayla DiVenere yearns for her 80’s romantic dream on her new single “Small Talk,” released on Sound Factory Records. 

A follow-up to her recent hit singles “Date Myself” and “Jumping the Gun,” this punchy alt-pop earworm contrasts the highs, lows, and plateaus of unrequited lust with fantasies of the ultimate 80’s romance.

We recently had more than just “Small Talk” with Kayla who chatted with us about her creative process, directing, and what fans can look forward to next!

What inspired your new single “Small Talk”?

“Small Talk” is about a secret crush I’ve had on my brother’s best friend ever since I was 14. I created the song in my longing to have more than 5-minute fleeting conversations with him every time he would come over to our house. I let my imagination run wild and I found myself aching for the kind of love from a John Hughes romance movie… the boombox at the window, playing his favorite mixtape, that kind of secret love. After rewatching every romance movie to exist, it was absolute torture to continue entertaining meaningless small talk with my brother’s best friend, so I decided to write “Small Talk” in an attempt to pour my heart out and make sense of my desire for something more.

How did you get connected with producer/songwriter Jordan Witzigreuter (The Ready Set) and songwriters Maia Kelly and Zach DeGaetano? What was it like to collaborate with them on this song?

The songwriting circle in LA is surprisingly small. Everyone knows everyone and, because of that, I’ve been able to meet so many talented people through word of mouth and through Tony Moras and my supportive team at Sound Factory. I love working with Jordan, Maia and Zach! We probably spend 2 hours at the beginning of every studio session talking about conspiracy theories and falling into black holes of deep conversations. They’re all SO TALENTED and it’s such an honor to be able to make music with them!

You can play guitar, drums, bass, piano, and ukulele. Do you think being a multi-instrumentalist helps you in your song writing, and if so, how? 

I think it really helps me tap into different vibes, which can be really helpful whenever I’m experiencing writer’s block. It’s also just really nice to understand how instruments blend together in the production.

Your secret crush on your brother’s best friend isn’t so secret anymore! Have you shared it with your brother or your crush and what were their reactions? 

I’ve played “Small Talk” for both my brother and his best friend, but I left out the part about who it’s about, haha. They’ll find out soon enough though…  

In the song you make reference to John Hughes’ “Pretty In Pink” and Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything.” You’re an actress and a singer, do you have any desire to add director to your many talents?

Oh, wow! I haven’t thought too long and hard about directing. I do creatively direct all my visuals and lyrics videos for my music already, but I’ve never thought about doing it for other people, but I’m sure I’d like it just as much. I don’t think it’s in the cards for me right now, but if the opportunity presents itself in the future and I’m in the right place in life, I don’t see why I wouldn’t give it a go!

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Small Talk,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

In a fantasy world, I think it would be really cool if I got my fan’s crushes to hold up a boombox outside their bedroom window to blast “Small Talk.” I think there would be no better environment to listen to “Small Talk” than from the comfort of their own bedrooms!

What are you looking forward to most in 2024? 

I can’t wait to release all the music I’ve been holding onto for so long! 2024 is going to be filled with a lot of new music and more live shows!

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?

My favorite quote is “you did your best with what you knew at the time.” I tend to overthink a lot and I can be really hard on myself about mistakes I’ve made while growing up. But, I need to remind myself that I’m experiencing this life for the first time and that I’m constantly evolving, growing, and changing, and that I really did do my best for what I knew at the time.