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Interview with Chayce Kennedy
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up playing the piano and started singing and searching up my favourite songs to find the chords and lyrics, so I could play them. At about 8 years old, most days I would play for hours, singing along to songs and dancing and pretend that I was performing for a stadium full of people.
I started taking vocal and piano lessons and then started training classically when I was 13 years old and competed in Kiwanis Music Competition multiple years in a row, getting chosen to represent Penticton at Provincials 3 times. I competed in classical voice as well as musical theatre, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I have had tons of support from my parents along the way, for which I am so grateful.
If I wasn't doing music today, I would be in school getting a bachelor’s degree in English and then going into entertainment law.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to go on hikes and run. Being outside in nature clears my head and gives me time to think and sometimes this is the time I come up with some of my best songwriting ideas.
How long have you been making music?
I love everything about making music, so I’ve really been making it for as long as I can remember. It started when I was 11 years old, when I wrote my first real song and got it recorded.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Penticton, British Columbia in Canada. It is a small town, so I perform a lot at local restaurants, wineries and festivals but for recording I travel to Vancouver and my videographer is based in Kelowna. Everything is relatively close which is nice, so I don't have to travel too far.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
A really memorable show was when I was the lead singer of a band that played every Sunday at a lakefront resort here in Penticton. We were playing during a long weekend with a packed house. There was lots of dancing and singing along and the whole vibe was just insane. All of us were so happy and it was a very fun night!
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Every venue I have played has been great and unique in its own way, but my favourite venue this summer was The Barking Parrot, where we were the house band.
I also played a big festival in Penticton called Peach Fest. I performed a duo set with my bass player, Joe; and for this gig he played the acoustic guitar and I played piano and sang. We performed 5 of my originals as well as “Creep” by Radiohead and “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. It was a really big stage and a great festival environment. We had a lot of fun!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Well my dream would be to open for Taylor Swift. That would sure be incredible.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Do it because you love it. Take every opportunity that comes your way for performing. I've learned that connections are super important in the industry for getting helpful input and advice. It's not what you know but who you know. The more you perform, the better you will get on stage and the more comfortable you will be.
When I was younger, I was super nervous to perform. I loved being on stage once I was up there for 5 minutes and got comfortable, but It was pretty nerve wracking leading up to the performance. I’ve learned that the more I've performed, the less nervous I am and the more I've enjoyed every moment up on stage, soaking it all in. Being prepared is very important so you can go up there and own it! I've also learned that sometimes mistakes happen in a song, and that is okay. I always prepare tons before a show to make sure I'm super ready, but sometimes mistakes do happen and that is part of life.
I would tell my younger self to stress less and enjoy everything more!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
My song ‘Prettier’ is one of my songs that means the most to me. I have re-written it multiple times to get it to where it is today, and it is on my debut ‘Yours Truly’ which will come out next year. The song is about Body image and the idea of perfection.
Social media is so prominent in our society nowadays and we are excessively influenced by what we see, but a lot of what we’re seeing are very edited versions of people to make them seem flawless and ‘better’. This results in us comparing ourselves to these edited unauthentic versions of people online, putting the bar up to unrealistic standards for ourselves.
The basic idea of “Prettier” is, you can never be pretty enough.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
“Creep” by Radiohead is one of my favourite songs to play. I have created a piano rendition of it. I love, love, love to play it and people always really enjoy this one.
I also love to play “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. People love this song at any venue I play it at.
I also love to play all my originals, as I love to show people some of my own work.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process is usually sitting down at my piano, sorting out a melody and chords and then writing to that when I have a concept I want to write about.
I am inspired to write by thoughts, feelings, fears, struggles and experiences I have in my life.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? If so , please tell me about them.
I seem to write a lot about mental health and anxiety struggles as anxiety is something I've struggled with off and on since I was 16 years old.
I also write about body image, as it's something extremely prominent in our society. I think lots of people, myself included, have struggled with it.
I also love to write about relationships and connections with people. Whether it be writing about a best friend, someone I'm no longer friends with or a romantic relationship, and the good and bad that comes along with being 19 and trying to figure out feelings, love and navigating through the happiness and drama that comes with dating and relationships.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
As I mentioned earlier, I have my debut EP, “Yours Truly”, due next year. It was produced by Brian West and Ryan Stewart, who I love working with.
The first single from it is “Mr. Super Fine”, which is out now. It’s about the feelings you get when you first connect with someone you like.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I will be releasing more singles leading into the EP release next year and I’m excited for everyone to hear that.
I’m also excited to be opening for the Juno Award- Winning “Good Lovelies” in Lake Country, BC on October 26th. I am super stoked to have this opportunity opening for these extraordinarily talented women.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
My Instagram.com/chaycekennedymusic is a great place to keep up to date with exciting things happening in my world of music!