Photos | Kaya | Episode Flipbook (Ep #1) | Pushing Back Posted 10/22/2007 16 photos
At a packed club, thousands of fans anxiously await their idol to emerge onstage. Everyone's eager to catch a glimpse of Kaya, the world's biggest up-and-coming rock star. Kaya's manager eyes his watch backstage and the chanting is oddly syncopated with the ticking of the second hand, counting down the moments before Kaya is supposed to hit the stage. As the crowd grows restless, rumors swirl that Kaya has bailed on the show and her band, Crossing Coldwater. Wait, what's going on? Let's back up.
Three weeks earlier, at a press conference to discuss the band's new recording contract with major label Metro Sound, Kaya strolls in, signing autographs for fans as reporters bombard her with questions. The inquiries are about her band -- or lack thereof. It looks like the rest of Crossing Coldwater -- drummer Gunnar, guitarist Taylor and bassist Manny -- have decided not to show up, but Kaya doesn't lose her cool. She says her bandmates are probably still asleep or getting ready to party later that night.
When a reporter asks whether Crossing Coldwater, whose first album went platinum, is on the brink of breaking up, Kaya halfheartedly laughs. As she's inundated with questions about selling out, trashing hotel rooms and whether she's launching a solo career, Kaya grows quiet. The pressure of being a rock star is clearly taking its toll on this 21-year-old singer.
As Kaya retreats from the conference room, she refuses to do any more interviews. She hates feeling like a piece of meat that's being thrown to the lions. Kaya's father, who's also her manager, tries to calm her down but she ends up peeling out of the garage in his car, finally safe from the hungry mob.
At a lavish party thrown by her new label, Kaya is introduced to Grammy award-winning producer T. Davis, who wants to produce Kaya and Crossing Coldwater's next album. After the band finds out that they'll be able to stay in a pimped out Malibu mansion while recording their new album, they take a celebratory dip in the pool. When Gunnar tries to put the moves on Kaya he's interrupted by Taylor, who cannonballs off the balcony above.
The following week the group heads into the studio with T. As they rehearse a very personal ballad Kaya wrote, T halts the performance, saying no one is going to listen to such a depressing song. Kaya thinks people will relate, but T says it won't sell. He says people listen to music so they can fantasize about getting lucky, meaning sad songs don't sell ? sex does. When he says he's going to retool the song to make it more marketable, Kaya storms out of the studio.
Crossing Clearwater's Gunnar, Taylor and Manny chase Kaya outside, trying to reason with her so they can finish the album. Kaya reveals she slept with T and thinks he's just out to hurt her by tinkering with a song that's close to her heart. As her bandmates try to talk her into changing the tempo of the song to appease T, she wonders if they even care about what the album will sound like or if they just want a paycheck. Being pressured by her bandmates and her father, Kaya heads back into the studio.
The next day, Kaya listens to the up-tempo track T forced her to rerecord. She thinks it's overproduced bubble gum crap, not the indie rock sound that Crossing Coldwater is known for. But when she calls her father to complain, he reminds her that the president of the label -- aka the man who signs her checks -- loves it, which is all that matters.
At sound check before the big gig, bandmates Gunnar, Taylor and Manny are furious at Kaya as soon as she walks in. Taylor tosses a magazine her way that features a full-page story about how Kaya is supposedly leaving the band. Kaya says it's all a misunderstanding stemming from the fact that they failed to show up at the press conference, but Gunnar says they weren't even told about the press conference. When Manny mentions that he heard she's moving out of the mansion, Kaya says she doesn't want to live in a frat house anymore. As the argument escalates, Kaya turns and walks away.
To relieve her stress, Kaya flies down the street in her car. When she thinks she hears someone say her name, she looks in the rearview mirror. A young girl appears in the back seat, telling her to get her act together or face the consequences, causing Kaya to slam on the brakes. The figure vanishes, leaving Kaya all alone and in tears. At home later, the apparition appears again, telling Kaya she must regain control of her life or things will surely spiral out of control. When Kaya spots a tattoo on the girl's wrist, she has a flashback to a car crash that left the girl dead on the side of the road.
Cut back to the club full of cheering fans and an empty stage. Where is Kaya? She's in her hotel room, lounging around in her bathrobe watching a news report on how she could be the next Gwen Stefani if she'd just dump her band, Crossing Clearwater.
A few minutes later, Kaya rushes into the club, where the band tells her she must perform the up-tempo song that T produced because it's going to be the first single off their new album. Her father says that the success of the song is going to shape her future. But Kaya wonders if he's more concerned about his future.
Finally hitting the stage, Kaya begins performing the song as-is. But just one line into it she stops and tells the crowd that she wrote the song for someone she loved and if she can't sing the song the way she wants then she won't sing it at all. As she leaves the stage, the crowd is bewildered and the rest of the band is pissed.