As a photographer, Myra Kivett uses her eye and talent behind the camera. But more recently you’ll find her on the other side of the lens, playing a guitar and singing in her new music video.
Kivett, a graduate student studying applied communications in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has dreamed of pursuing music since she was a kid. She started learning piano in third grade, but even before that she started to write her own songs.
“I definitely have a journal somewhere that says ‘Myra’s songs,’ and it’s just my little kid handwriting,” Kivett said. “My dad was a DJ back in the ’90s and released music, and my great-grandpa had a Slovenian polka band that he ran for 30 or 40 years, so I just grew up being around music.”
Kivett said she really started to take her music career seriously after an injury while running track for Fishers High School. She had more time to spend on her songwriting and attended a music writing camp, where she was selected to professionally record one of her songs.
“I had only written maybe three songs at the time, like three real songs, and I was so nervous,” she said.
“After that experience, I recorded a few songs in 2020, which was a really weird year. I was supposed to go to college out of state for songwriting. I originally wasn’t going to go to IUPUI, but I felt like the Lord was saying ‘Myra, you need to stay here. I have plans for your music.’ So it ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was able to work at a studio, Round Table Recording Company.”
She has written and recorded multiple songs since and now has four music videos on her website. While at IUPUI, she is able to take voice lessons and continues to hone her craft. Many days you can find her playing piano and writing songs in the music practice rooms at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex.
Billy Joel, Dua Lipa and the Weeknd are among some of her biggest inspirations, but when it comes to writing, Kivett said a good song can come from anywhere.
“It sounds so cheesy and so like a songwriter, but sometimes things just come to me,” she said. “I can’t even explain it. I just think of something and I’m like, ‘I need to write that down,’ and I’ll get a whole song from it.
“But aside from the random inspiration, I like to draw inspiration from personal experiences or experiences from other people. Songwriting is storytelling, so it’s always fun to sit down and write something fun.”
Her friend Bella was the inspiration for her first music video. Kivett wrote a pop song about her relationship with her longtime friend and was even able to include her in the shoot as her hair and makeup artist.
“Bella and I grew up together,” Kivett said. “She unfortunately got cheated on, and you know family friends, you’re there through it all, so I wrote a song called ‘Guys Like You’ from her perspective, and she just happens to be really good at hair and makeup.”
In the past year, she has released multiple videos. Her latest, “We’re History,” was released March 24, and she has more on the way. She gave a behind-the-scenes look at her video shoot for two upcoming songs on the IUPUI Department of Journalism and Public Relations’ Instagram page. Kivett showed all of the cameras, the green screen set, hair and makeup and more during the two-day shoot.
Between all of her music and graduate school classes, Kivett is busy on the sidelines of IUPUI games taking photos for the athletics department. She also serves as a social media ambassador for the Department of Journalism and Public Relations and is involved in the Delta Zeta sorority, the Christian Student Fellowship and TEDxIUPUI.
As she continues her education in communications, she is working on perfecting her broadcasting skills with the hope of one day hosting a TV show like Kelly Clarkson. But whatever happens after graduation, she knows music will always play a part.
“I love being in front of people, and I think doing songwriting is my first priority. If I could do songwriting full time, whether that’s writing for myself or other artists, I think I would feel fulfilled,” Kivett said.
“I feel like it’s so easy to just be like, ‘This is not going anywhere, maybe I should do something else,’ but just keep pushing and keep working at it because eventually — if you’re working hard and you know it’s your passion — it’s going to pay off in some form. It may not be the form you expected it to be, but it could pay off in even better ways.”