Kristen Barkuloo is an independent singer/songwriter who is known for her relatable, thought-provoking writing style and lyrics. In the summer of 2013 at just 18 years old, Kristen released her debut full length album, “Halfway to Tennessee,” a compilation of 11 original ballads that are a blend of country and pop.
In the early days, Kristen spent more than twelve years in musical theater, and worked with the FSU film department as an actor. She wrote short stories and played the piano. But things suddenly changed when she was 15, when she picked up a guitar for the first time. All of the elements came together and she began songwriting. In 2010 she landed a small role in the feature film “Lifted” (starring Dash Mihok, Trace Adkins, Ruben Studdard), in which she was credited for writing and performing an original song titled “I'm Thinking of You.”
After her debut CD release concert, Kristen began singing her originals in and around the northwest area of Florida, including Panama City and the Scenic 30A area near Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, and Seaside, all areas along the panhandle of Florida known for rising musicians.
Along with local venues, Kristen was invited to sing as a showcase artist at the Florida Music Festival in Orlando, at the Spring Festival of the Arts in downtown Panama City, the Furry Festival at Gulf Place Amphitheater in Santa Rosa Beach, and most recently, at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Nashville as part of the CD Baby annual musician’s conference. She became an active member of the Music Matters! initiative in Panama City, a partnership among musicians, restaurant owners, and the Downtown Improvement Board to revitalize the downtown area and encourage patrons to support local businesses while enjoying the sounds of local musicians.
Kristen’s music was found and noticed by many independent radio stations from around the world, including England, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Uruguay – just to name a few! She has received many kind and encouraging words from listeners across the globe.
In 2014, Kristen released a follow-up single, “Last Chance,” a nostalgic reflection of first love lost. The following year, “Last Chance” was selected as a Top 5 winner in the Singer/Songwriter category of the Great American Song Contest, earning a top spot from more than 1700 international entries. That same year, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) evaluated Last Chance, and Kristen was added to the "Ones to Watch" list as a songwriter who is recognized by NSAI as a writer who is "on the rise." Kristen got the attention of NSAI evaluators for her "unique and promising writing skills."
In addition to writing and performing acoustically, Kristen was heavily involved during the production of her music in the studio. From identifying which instruments to use in each song, singing lead vocals, working closely with background vocalists, and assisting with post-production, Kristen immersed herself in the entire process.
"I didn't have to create a sound for her. She already knew that. That was the uniqueness about Kristen Barkuloo. Kristen was very young and knew already what she wanted it to be. All I was a vehicle to try and help her get what she wanted. That's a neat – a very neat thing to see happen in an artist that young." —Calvin Gann, Producer
Not long after the release of “Last Chance,” Kristen moved to college just outside of Nashville to work on her music business degree and enter the Nashville music scene. After graduating, Kristen began working on a follow-up EP album of six more of her original songs. It was quite a process narrowing down to just six from the over three dozen songs that she regularly plays acoustically at gigs. "I can't wait to share these new songs with everyone. It is always my goal to grow as a musician, so I'm excited to be back in the studio and continue making music."
- Kristen Barkuloo is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recording Industry Management, Music Business emphasis, with a minor in Music, from MTSU in Murfreesboro, TN. She splits her time between NW Florida and Nashville, and is currently working on her sophomore album, scheduled for release in 2018.
Her music is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and most music streaming sites.