Check Out YouTube Superstar Molly Kate Kestner's New Video For "Good Die Young"

Two years after her video “His Daughter” racked up more than 15 million views on YouTube, Austin, Minnesota-native Molly Kate Kestner is finally releasing her first video, for her debut single “Good Die Young.” The song—an edgy, soulful ballad written on the day of Prince’s death—already boasts a million streams on Spotify. In this Refinery29 exclusive, the 21-year old singer-songwriter (and recent newlywed!) finally unveils the much-anticipated video and the inspiration behind it.
This is your first music video, right?

Yes, it is my first official music video! I had the most amazing team of people. It went way longer than I expected. It went from 10 in the morning until almost midnight. It was cool, because I was the person who laid out the image of what I wanted for the video. Because I wrote the song about Prince, I wanted there to be something in [the video] that was kind of a tribute to him — a little Easter egg. So there is a [part] in the video where you see this neon purple cross. And that’s my little tribute.

Was Prince a big influence of yours?

I’ve always been an old soul when it comes to music. I grew up listening to a lot of artists who were before my time. The day that he passed away, I went into the [recording] session, and I was shaken by it. It’s so sad when you see someone who is so talented die prematurely, and I just wanted to write a song that captured that. It started out with me thinking about Prince’s death, but then it turned into me thinking about all the celebrities that have passed away at a young age, and all the young people who die in the world. It’s just a lot more universal when you think about it that way.

That seems like a recurring theme in a lot of your music.

I remember when I was in 8th or 9th grade, I heard a singer/songwriter say something, and it really switched my perspective. I remember him saying, ‘You can write music that’s just for fun. And you can write music that’s cool or trendy. Or you can write music that matters.’ And I think it just comes back to that. For me, I want to use my music to be a voice for people who feel misunderstood, hopeless, or just need some light in their life.

How has your transition to L.A. been?

It has been amazing. I moved out here in February, officially. I had been travelling out here for a few years before that, so I spent a lot of time here. And then, really I’ve been travelling a lot since I moved here. I’ve gone to London twice. I’ve gone to Nashville. I’ve gone to New York. I just got married two months ago …

Wow! Congratulations. How’s that going?

It’s so good. He’s absolutely incredible. [His name is Brock Baker.] We had met when I was on a trip out here a while ago, and we became best friends. He’s actually a singer/songwriter himself. We didn’t actually meet that way, but we’re both doing our own thing. I support his career, and he supports mine. We’re a team. I think it’s so cool to get to share something I love more than anything with a person I love more than anything.

Any plans to collaborate on any upcoming songs?

I don’t know. That’s an interesting idea. I mean I definitely know we’ll do stuff together in the future. He is so supportive of my career as an individual artist, and so that’s the focus right now.

So what’s next for you?

2017 is going to be an even bigger year than 2016, because it’s when all the decisions I’ve been making, and all the work I’ve been putting in, come back around. Our plan right now is to release a new piece of content every five or six weeks. I have some music that I’ve written for other artists [including Kelly Clarkson and Wiz Khalifa] that will hopefully be coming out in 2017. I’m just believing that people are going to respond really well to it. I’m just so excited to be able to finally sing it for everyone.

As a former YouTube star, who do you think we should keep our eyes on now?

There’s one girl. I just think she’s so sweet. Her name is Lauren Curtis. I loved her makeup, but I also just thought she was the cutest. Jaclyn Hill is great too. She just cracks me up. But this year, I barely had time to sit down and watch anything. It’s been the craziest year. I pretty much just go [online] to post and let people know what’s going on. Most of my time is spent writing and recording and trying to shift into this new phase of life.

Sounds like you’re super busy—your career, a new marriage. How do you stay focused with so much going on?

I think something that’s important, when life gets stressful, is to be able to take a step back and think about something outside of yourself. If I can take a second to breathe and think of something bigger than myself, that’s key to keeping myself grounded. We all have stuff going on. If we can keep an eye out for each other, then we’re all going to be okay. We can all love a little more.


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