IT has been cool speaking with Devin Kennedy…
about his latest track, Bad Habit. He discusses his musical start and studying at Berklee College of Music; which albums and artists are important to him; whether there will be more material coming later in the year – he recommends some rising artists to get behind.
I ask Kennedy whether he has a favourite memory from his career so far; how he chills away from recording and performing; what advice he would give to artists coming through – he ends the interview with a Bruno Mars track.
Hi, Devin. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! I’m doing well; thanks for asking! My week’s been a little hectic, which seems to be a trend lately. I’m splitting my time between writing and producing for others and continuing a push for my solo music. It’s definitely keeping me busy.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Absolutely. I’m an artist/producer from Los Angeles, born and raised. I’m addicted to the craft of Pop music.
Bad Habit is your new track. Can you talk about its story and history?
I think love has the potential to be our worst habit. We tend to pawn our worst habits on to others that we spend time with. In a way, the love that connects us is the bad habit. I wrote and recorded the song in one day at my home studio in L.A.
Might we see an E.P. or album coming later this year?
You’ll have to stay tuned on that one! For now, I’ll keep pushing some singles and, if they become part of a bigger release, my guess is that that’ll be in the first quarter of next year.
You are a multi-instrumentalist. Do you recall when you picked up an instrument? Do you think your talents regarding instruments give you a lot more creative freedom and flexibility?
I do. I have vivid memories of getting my first drum set for Christmas when I was three. I also remember my dad taking me to get my first guitar - it was very hard to play because my hands were so small. Being able to play and communicate on drums, piano; guitar and bass help me tremendously. I’m all for getting whatever I hear in my head into the computer as fast as possible.
When did music come into your life? Which artists did you follow when you were young?
At a very young age. My grandfather was an accomplished concert pianist and my dad is a film/T.V. producer/mastering engineer. I grew up in studios and playing instruments. When I was really young, I listened to whatever my dad listened to: Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Kansas…etc. I love those bands and, as I grew a little older, my musical taste developed into loving bands like My Chemical Romance, All Time Low; Fall Out Boy…etc.
How important was your time at Berklee College of Music?
The most important...
Berklee taught me how to have an open mind; to embrace high-quality music regardless of genre. I am not a producer, writer or an artist without my time there.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
By the end of 2018, I want to have some more music out and I want to get out on the road and start meeting some of the amazing folks who have been streaming my solo music all year.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
So many great memories. Last week, I had the pleasure of headlining The Peppermint Club and having some of my best friends open the show. We had a packed house and it was one of the most exciting nights of my music career thus far.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
My favorite album ever. Emotional. Raised me.
Continuum - John Mayer
Easy listening. Relaxing. My go-to. always. Have probably listened to this album over one-thousand times.
24K Magic - Bruno Mars
A masterclass in production and songwriting. Showed me how to truly embrace Pop music.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would love to open for John Mayer. One of my al-time-favorite musicians.
I don’t even need a rider for that. I’d show up unpaid; I’d bring my own food. My only condition: gummy worms in my dressing room.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
Definitely. You’ll see some more West Coast dates pop up through the fall and then we’re hoping to head east and potentially add in some international dates in the first quarter of next year.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be-open minded. Collaborate often and with as many people as possible. Serve the song, always.
IN THIS PHOTO: Brooke Williams
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
These days, I don’t get much time away from music but that’s exactly how I want it. When I do get a moment, I love sitting down and listening to vinyl or playing something mindless like RollerCoaster Tycoon.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Throw on something funky. How about That’s What I Like - Bruno Mars
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