IBG Interview – 8 Questions With… The Kev

The Kev

In our journeys we come all across all types of artists. Some take it super serious and need everything minutely planned out. Others play it day by day and and never take anything too worrisome. Neither is ‘correct’. A real artist will always remain true to themselves. Our recent discovery The Kev definitely leans towards the relaxed side.

We caught up with the innovative and amusing artist to get a little deeper into what The Kev is all about. Enjoy the interview.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound involves a bit of everything, from disco, to flamenco, to rock, to indie. With everything, I try to add a new (usually humorous) twist. For example, ‘The Great British Indie Song’ satirises self-serious guitar bands. ‘Wiggle Your Hips’ observes the increasing seediness of dancefloor-filling pop hits. ‘One Question’ is a religious song about what I, and probably most people, would say to God if we had the chance. 

What draws you to create such in-your-face music?

People who study literature tend to have diffident personalities. Due to low self-esteem, I constantly seek validation, so I make music that is hard to ignore. 

Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?

Since I am from a literary background, I probably draw more influence from John Keats than John Lennon. There aren’t many styles of music in which lyrics really matter, one of them is musical theatre, so I draw a lot of influence from the likes of Stephen Sondheim. 

My favourite songwriter might well be Jim Steinman, because he is so unapologetically over-the-top. I also have a deep history with the classical guitar, so all things Spanish and Latin-American also resonate with me. 

How does a song come together for The Kev? Tell us about your songwriting process.

I read a lot of poetry and often jot down rhymes, similes, metaphors, or other touches that I admire. I also read and watch a lot of comedy, and jot down the seeds of ideas. The creative process is a bit like snow falling off a roof, nothing for months and then everything happens too fast. 

For example, the song ‘Someone Somewhere’ is heavily influenced by the poem ‘Someone’ by Dennis O’Driscoll, which is about dying suddenly. ‘Empty Your Mind’ contains the line ‘ignorant armies are fighting somewhere tonight’, which is paraphrased from the final stanza of Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’, and ‘Hope It Might Be So’ borrows its title from a poem by Kit Wright about the Holocaust. 

My comedy influences include The Viz and The Daily Mash. I only seem to be draw the loftiest and the most low brow inspirations. 

What do you hope the listener will take away from your music?

I sing about everything from religion to space travel to the afterlife. So hopefully by the end of a gig, as well as having laughed their butts off, will look at certain things in a new way. 

Share some advice for other artists creating unique music?

The idea of giving advice is anathema to me, since my whole schtick is to play the clown rather than the professor. 

What does the future hold for The Kev?

Comedy skits and music videos, and more of the same when it comes to gigs, but hopefully with bigger audiences and even better audience reactions. 

Find more from The Kev around the web:


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