Steel Ivory has made the most of 2020, releasing three terrific singles, and most recently, a self-titled five-song EP with two new songs. Steel Ivory is a duo comprised of sisters Kayleigh DeLozier and Kristin Denton. Their music features beautiful harmonies and creative hooks. The sisters are initially from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, but moved to Nashville three years ago. Undiscovered Nashville has been a fan of the duo after seeing them perform at a writer’s night sometime last year. You could tell Steel Ivory has spent years playing together and working hard to develop their sound. Please keep reading to discover what we learned about Kayleigh and Kristin.
What are the origins of Steel Ivory?
When you come across a duo, I am always curious how they began playing together, when they started writing together, and how they develop such beautiful harmonies? Kristin said, “We started singing together when we were very young. Our first gig together was at the mall when we were six and eight years old. Our dad is a musician, and he took us to play with him.” Kayleigh said, “We both have been singing since we could talk. Almost every home video you have of me, I was singing. Every time someone had the camera out, I was singing, usually my ABCs.” Kristin said, ” Our dad was a huge influence on us with music, and he taught us to play the piano. In high school, we took guitar lessons. However, a lot of what we learned on guitar was from YouTube.”
Interestingly, Steel Ivory did not start with Kayleigh and Kristin. Kayleigh said, “Our dad came up with the name Steel Ivory. I am two years older than Kristin, so I graduated from high school first. After graduation, I began playing gigs with my dad. He played the keyboard, and I would play guitar. The name Steel Ivory came from steel guitar strings and ivory keys of a piano. A couple of years later, when Kristin graduated, we decided that we would play together and keep the name.”
Deciding to Move to Nashville
For many songwriters, it’s not a matter of if to move to Nashville, but when. Steel Ivory moved to Music City three years ago but wanted too much earlier. Kristin said, “Our dad wanted to move to Nashville when we were babies, maybe even before we were born. However, we had so many close relatives in Ohio.” Kayleigh said, “Basically, the wife vetoed that idea. When we got older and wanted to move, we told our mom it is three against one. So, our parents moved to Nashville too.”
The duo was delayed in their move but have not wasted any time meeting people and writing good music. Kayleigh said, “I had talked about moving to Nashville when I graduated from high school in 2010. However, I have had health problems, where I was bedridden and in and out of hospitals. I was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis when I was nine years old, so I dealt with this most of my childhood. Because I was so sick, we couldn’t move here. In 2014, I had surgery to remove my pancreas. After I recovered, I was able to go out and do things without being sick all the time. I am diabetic now, but it was worth it. Once I recovered and adjusted to a new lifestyle, we decided it was time to move.”
Developing Their Sound
Before moving to Nashville, Steel Ivory performed numerous gigs in Ohio. Kayleigh said, “We played gigs at bars and coffee shops until we were ready to move here.” Kristin said, “We got lucky in Ohio, being able to open for some pretty big acts before we moved, which gave us a taste of what it could be like.” Kayleigh said, “The summer before we moved to Nashville, we opened for Tyler Farr at the Columbus Zoo. Also, we opened for Scotty McCreery at the Champaign County Fair, which gave us the idea that we wanted to do this forever.”
For a duo to be successful, their harmonies need to be tight. Steel Ivory has put in a lot of practice time to perfect the blend of their voices. Kayleigh said, “We have worked hard to get our harmonies where they are. Kristin sings most of the harmony, mainly to develop a particular sound.” Kristin said, “We have had some tough love telling us we needed to improve our harmonies if we were going to be a duo. We appreciated the constructive criticism to learn how to get better. Also, I like Kayleigh’s voice better, so I will complement it.”
Kristin continued, “Maybe in the last year, we have found our sound. Singing covers has helped us learn different keys that work for our voices. With future releases, we want to incorporate more steel guitars and keys, which fits our name.”
Steel Ivory Releases Self-Titled EP
Kayleigh and Kristin released their EP consisting of five songs on November 20th. They talk about the inspiration behind the music. Their first single, “YOYO,” might be the most interesting story. Kayleigh said, ” The idea of YOYO came while we were driving home from a writer’s round. My mom started laughing at her friend’s Facebook post. The post talked about their plans for dinner being a YOYO night, which means you’re on your own. When she read that, I immediately looked at Kristin and said, we are writing that song. We turned it into a piece about a relationship, but it was inspired by a tired mom who didn’t feel like cooking.”
The EP has everything. It’s heartwarming, fun, and has some girl power. For example, “You Were There” describes someone special to the sisters, their grandfather. Kristin said, “You Were There” is an important song to us since we wrote it about our Grandpa. “Don’t Mention It” is an idea I pitched in so many writes, and finally, someone jumped on it.” When you listen to the words of both of those songs, I am confident they will speak to you.
The other two songs on the EP are titled “Pretty” and “I Dare You.” Kayleigh said, “Pretty is a girl-power anthem. I got the idea from an inspirational Facebook post, which said something like we shouldn’t teach our daughters to only be pretty. We should teach them to be pretty strong, pretty smart. “I Dare You” was a title in my phone, and Bill O’Hanlon played as the track, and it seemed to fit the vibe. We like writing songs with sayings and try to turn them around.”
Fun Facts with Steel Ivory
I found it fascinating to learn that Steel Ivory never actually co-wrote together until moving to Nashville. Kristin said, “I started writing songs when I was young, but they were dumb. We never co-wrote together before moving to Nashville.” Kayleigh added, “We had always written by ourselves, or Kristin would start something, and I would finish it. But we never sat down and tried to write together, but we realized we did better once we did.”
Music seemed to be where Steel Ivory belonged since their other career ideas would have been disastrous for them. Kristin said, “I always said I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I developed a lot of allergies as I got older, so that was a no go.” Kayleigh said, “I thought I would have been a nurse, but my immune system couldn’t handle that. So, we are lucky we have music.”
I asked the sisters to give fun facts about the other one. Kayleigh said, “Kristin used to be a huge metalhead. She would be the first into the mosh pit, and I would be behind her, elbowing people. Kristin said, “People who knew me then are shocked I am singing country music. People probably don’t know, but Kayleigh is a great dancer. She can get down.” She wouldn’t demonstrate her skills on the zoom call.
Future Plans for Steel Ivory
Steel Ivory has plans for another project that will release after the first of the year. They hope to release another music video, which was pushed back due to quarantine. They released the video for “You Were There” instead. Undiscovered Nashville looks forward to 2021 since we will get new Steel Ivory music. We also might get to see them dressed as the Kardashians for Halloween, complete with fake butts. In the meantime, follow them on social media @steelivorymusic and listen to their music on Apple Music or Spotify.