December 3, 2023

California Baptist University alumna Kayla Friend is releasing her first debut single, “valentine’s day,” on all streaming platforms on Jan. 27.

Friend graduated from CBU in 2012 with a degree in theater and cultural anthropology. She said she had no idea she would be where she is today, not only with releasing her music to the public but with feeling such excitement and love for writing and composing music.

Friend began composing music during the pandemic.

Originally a writer for theater, she soon realized that theater-style writing is much different from writing music. She enjoys writing music more because it allows more opportunities for others to connect to her work. Friend views making music and sharing it as a way of investing in herself.

She said she discovered her love for writing music through the isolation of the pandemic, which influenced this upcoming release.

“It was March 13 when we finally got the stay-at-home order,” Friend said, “I just kept thinking that it’s so crazy to think that, a month before, on Valentine’s Day, people were having dinner together. They were going out and hanging out with each other and spending time with their loved ones. The song came from a place of just thinking that there are probably so many people, myself included, if you could go back to just a couple of weeks before all this happened, who (would want to) remember these incredible relationships that we had and be able to remember the people that we’ve lost in a very positive way.”

Friend opened up about her song’s inspiration. The song is mindful of the lives and relationships she and her friends had known before the nation was hit with months of isolation due to the pandemic she said.

With writing coming straight from the heart, her song “valentine’s day” can be described as a soft cinematic ballad. This genre of indie pop-folk release is intended to be nostalgic for the feelings many felt before isolation.

“That’s just something that we all were trying to grapple with and figure out for the past couple of years, even as we’re emerging from this and life is going back to a new normal,” Friend said. “What do you do with all that feeling of being so alone for a few years? I think I would want people to walk out just feeling less alone.”

She is hoping to release an EP closer to the end of 2023 with the same theme.

“The theme is a lot of the songs that were written over the pandemic,” Friend said. “I wrote probably 37 songs over the pandemic.”

Of course, the EP will not contain all of them, but rather closer to 12 songs.

Friend credits the programs at CBU with helping to set up the foundation for her music career.

“One of the things that really impacted me was the fact that CBU offers scholarships through their music program. I know that is where a lot of people get introduced to the music program,” said Friend, who began to pursue music several years after graduation.

Friend’s new single “valentine’s day” will be released on all streaming platforms in remembrance of those lost to the pandemic and to help process the “new normal.”

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