Interview: Rick Kevill

Picture 19

Photo by Pshikotra Photography

Recently back from visiting SXSW in the US, Rick Kevill has just finished shooting his first video for his song “By The River” which he says is about meeting someone spiritually.  Rick has a refreshing sound for a UK artist, crossing over into country and blues style music, most prevalent in “Let It Start”, “I Won’t Be There To Call” and “1000 Drums”.  Rick describes himself as honest, soulful and emotional and having listened to his songs on Soundcloud for the past week, I tend to agree…

SP:  Hi Rick, When did you first start playing the guitar? Did you always aspire to becoming a musician?

RK:  I started playing guitar when I was very young, from home with my brothers. It was only when I was 14 and around the time I was listening to bands like Stereophonics, Muse, Radiohead and Coldplay that I knew I wanted to be in a band. So I started singing and trying to write songs…

SP:  Your sound is quite country and western?  Is this a sound that you think the UK lacks in?

RK:  Yes! I love American music, especially the guitar sounds of western/country music and also the bluesy vocals that everyone will love when watching, say, a Tarantino movie! It’s great to see bands like Mumford & Son’s doing so well. Any music that’s written from the heart, wins me over as a fan… Especially if it’s that kind of style!

SP:  Inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash and David Bowie, why did you prefer their genre of music?

RK:  I wouldn’t say I prefer that type of music, it’s just there’s not enough getting played on mainstream radio that makes me want to turn Johnny Cash or David Bowie off my iPod!

SP:  Growing up in Manchester in the 80’s/90’s you could have easily have produced a Manchester sound.  Did you stray away from that intentionally?

RK:  I didn’t intentionally create the sound I have. Its 100% from the heart; from the lyrics, to the chords changes, to the way I sing or whisper a line. I’ve never really understood what a ‘Manchester sound’ is. Is it the style, or the fact you sing with a ‘Manc twang’ in your voice?? The Smiths are my favourite ‘Madchester’ band and I don’t think I could recreate anything close to Morrissey, vocally! That isn’t to take anything away from my idol – Richard Ashcroft – who is a god in his own right!!

SP:  You’re currently working on an EP?  Can you tell us about your plans for it and who’s producing it etc?  Are you working with any other artists?

RK:  Yes, I’ve spent 3 and half years now writing a collection of songs. In the past year I’ve created this new sound which I believe in. It’s almost ready! I’m releasing a single first called “By The River”, with a video and a UK tour, which is very exciting! In terms of collaborating with other artists, it’s not something that’s normally ever excited me. However there’s a new tune on piano, which I’ve written a female vocal part for, which I’ll be doing with an upcoming female artist.  And also, a local songwriter/producer called Kinrade will be remixing/reworking all my more upbeat tunes and he’ll be doing his live thing with them across the UK too!

SP:  I believe your music may be crossing the Atlantic, to the American market?  Is this true?

RK:  I’ve just come back from the music industry festival, SXSW (Austin, Texas). I got some great feedback from some major labels and producers over there, which was amazing! I’m heading over there at some point to do some showcase gigs in California and at SXSW 2014, next March!

SP:  How do you begin your writing?  Chords, lyrics or melodies?

RK:  That’s a hard question. As much as I’d love to say I sit at the top of a mountain with animals and spiritual healers dancing around me naked, unfortunately that isn’t the case!! I know what chords sound good to me and what I like, so I just play, sing lyrics, in a melody, and more often than not I hit an emotion somewhere in my body and it snow balls. That’s all I’ve ever done and ever known! Works for me…

SP:  Why should people listen to you and check out your music?

RK:  I think people should check out my music purely because if you do, you could feel what I feel when I write it. One style of music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t give something a chance, you’ll never get that connection… And that’s what music is all about!

SP:  Are you excited for the rest of 2013 and what it may bring for you?

RK:  Yes, very! A lot of stuff going on, keeping me busy. I’m rehearsing with a full live band pretty much all week, getting ready for some big shows that I’ve got booked in. So yeah, 2013 is looking very exciting!!

SP:  Describe Rick Kevill in three words.

RK:  Honest, soulful, emotional.

Rick Kevill: “Let It Start”

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