Fresh off the release of new single “Holy Water (Basement Acoustic)” is an interview with Kenyth! Kenyth is an artist who’s heavily involved with the LGBT community, and uses his experiences and stories to create music for those who may be experiencing the same too. This is easily one of the most in depth, powerful interviews we’ve ever done on Sounds Good, so thank you to Kenyth for giving us the opportunity to do this.
Hey Kenyth, how’s it going? I am doing great! Life is busy, but I love it! How are you doing? (I AM GREAT, THANK YOU)
First of all, what got you into music and making music? When I was a kid I used music as an escape. Growing up on a ranch in Montana, I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of space to explore – especially during the summer. I would load up my backpack with batteries and cassette tapes (mostly Disney soundtracks and pop-princess albums) and just head out with my dog, Blue. I started writing songs because I wanted to make music that could do for other people, what the albums I was listening to did for me.
You’re new single ‘Holy Water’ is set to be released in the New Year. What can you tell us about it? The song was written by Tim Feehan and pop music icon Tiffany (whom I grew up listening too – and loving)! It’s a song I’m very excited about as it is my first step into a more mature sound and subject matter. I love the song so much I’ve actually decided to release a special acoustic mix (the basement acoustic) on 11/30. It’s a rough little teaser of what’s to come.
It references the struggle that comes with addiction, with a stronger focus on addiction within the LGBT community. Is this something that you’ve witnessed personally? I have, not in the sense of having an addiction myself, but I’ve been through the pain of watching loved ones struggle. A guy I was dating had a really serious meth addiction. I watched him go from this strong, beautiful muscular man to this ghost of the person he used to be. It took him spending time in prison to finally start to get clean. He still struggles, like I think a lot of people do every day, but he’s trying.
Is all of your inspiration and songwriting ideas formed with the LGBT community in mind? Yes. “It Was Love,” and “Real Me,” were both written about the LGBT community, as that’s the community I belong to (I came out at 15). When I first started I was told I should straighten it up – especially in my music videos because I’d get more listeners, and followers, and fans, but I didn’t want to. The one thing I refuse to be is something I’m not. My grandmother actually said to me, doing that, portraying myself as insincere to who I was would do a great disservice to the people who stood up for me when I was younger.
It comes almost a year after the release of your previous single ‘Real Me’. How come there was such a big break inbetween songs? I lost my grandmother just a few days after “Real Me” was released. She was one of the most important people in my life – she was my rock – my sounding board. I took some time to relax, regroup, and rethink how I wanted to market myself as an artist. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to release the acoustic of Holy Water. I didn’t want a full year to pass without releasing some sort of song. It’s not a perfect mix, but that’s why I named it the Basement Acoustic. There’s a vulnerability and realness in the flaws of the recording.
The new single appears to line up with a more mature sound and mindset for yourself. What was the reason for this change, and can we expect to hear a more matured sound from you in future material? I think I just decided it was time to take a step into a more adult persona. When “Unlock Your Heart” came out, one of the very first articles that came out called me The Wholesome Homo. I mean, there are plenty of worse things I could be called, but for a while everything I did had a cute and cartoonish tone to it. So, people have seen that side to me, now it’s time to show them something new.
Can we expect to see at least a little bit of rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers from you? LOL, Probably! There is still that side to me and I’m not going giving up on it completely – just exploring other paths of my personality. I love what I did in my past. Those songs and videos will always have a special place in my heart.
As 2018 has now come to a close, what have been some of your favourite releases from this year? Tiffany released a new album Pieces of Me which is incredible and Zee Machine (who plays the acoustic on the basement mix of Holy Water) released and EP called Brainchemistry that’s absolutely brilliant. Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer is probably one of my most favorite albums ever.
Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? Just how excited I am to share these new songs. The music video for Holy Water is going to be a trip. It’s going to be released the second week of February and I’m working with some pretty outrageous people.