As defined by Kerli, “bubblegoth” is about “putting together things that don’t necessarily go together. It’s about making dark things beautiful and beautiful things dark.” The 24-year-old Estonian singer/songwriter is the hybrid’s poster child, believing in and living out those ideals everyday, extending her fascinations into both extremes and working to understand their dichotomy through her music. Kerli’s unique brand of electropop personifies the light and dark polarity of “bubblegoth”; it is ethereal and smoldering, gossamer yet tenebrous, electronic, intricate, expansive.
It seems clear that conviction and innovation are key factors in the creation of Kerli’s music as well as her image, inspiration that most assuredly stemmed from the necessity of imagination during her childhood. “I grew up in Estonia, and my family was very small town. I never had any art or creativity around me, so I had to create that for myself.” Now, that ideology has manifested itself into something more sophisticated, even visionary. “I always write in colors,” she explains. “I try to paint the picture with lyrics and with sounds and melody, so that each song has a lot of personality.”
Despite the distinctiveness of her background and philosophies, Kerli has a songwriting process not unlike the time-tested patterns of a pro. “I like going out into the world and taking note of what people are thinking and feeling, then I try to see everything that I’ve gathered through my own lens and attach it to my own concept.”
And that concept is shaping up to be both insightful and esoteric: “the human search for perfection, or somebody’s idea of perfection.” For her sophomore album, expected this fall, Kerli succumbed to her natural obsessions. “I find a lot in my art that I write about overcoming obstacles… even if I don’t mean to, it just sort of comes out that way.”
As for her motivation, well, it comes full circle: She is a conscientious poster child, representing a greater population of the “bubblegoth” community. “My fans are a big part of what I do… it’s like we’re all doing it together. I’m just a piece of the puzzle.”