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Interview with Winsome Kind
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music always felt like something I was meant to do. My mom recognized my musical talents early on, and thanks to the suggestion from my elementary school music teacher, I auditioned for the local choir. That same year I ended up performing on stage with Donny Osmond! That was my start in showbiz at nine years old, and I’ve never looked back… my dad gave me my acoustic guitar when I graduated high school and turns out my grandpa bought the Gibson guitar in the mid-1960s. Feels pretty special to play that old guitar.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love spending time with my family and also traveling. That’s basically how this new album ‘Love in a Hurricane’ came to be. We started writing and recording it, while we were travelling through Mexico. The first single, Hola Hola, came to me while standing in the customs lineup minutes after stepping off the plane. We came back to Canada and decided to live in a 32 foot camper and go to Saltspring island for the winter to finish the album. So many stories… These days we’re back in Saskatchewan and spending lots of time in the garden with our kids.
How long has your band been around?
Leora and I started making music together in 2012 when we travelled across Canada by train playing music on board. It was such a fun trip! That’s when we came up with our name Winsome Kind. ‘Love in a Hurricane’ will be our third studio album.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We were based in Vancouver BC for many years, which is near where I grew up. In 2019 we decided to move to Saskatchewan, and after travelling for the last couple of years we’ve returned here to put down some roots. I think wherever we go, we are always influenced by our surroundings. I think you can hear that on our new album, which really has an eclectic world music vibe.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We came up with our name during our cross Canada train trip in 2012. Winsome is an old word with many different meanings. It means alluring, charming, vibrant… Characteristics that Leora and I so naturally embody as performers and entertainers. We both come from a musical and acting background having performed in theatre, films, cartoons, cover bands… but we both immediately felt so at home, singing together the way our voices blended, was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Kind was the right fit with the double meaning and also how Leora and I are as people in the world; as heart centred human beings, trying to put some positivity out there with our music. Winsome Kind just felt right.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We have played some epic locations over the years! From performing on board a moving train, to playing the harmony arts festival in West Vancouver, with Stanley Park and the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Honestly, my favourite venue we played at was Mateada on Salt Spring Island. We had the pleasure of playing there back in April, and it is a top-notch venue. They have had some incredible artists coming through there, they have an amazing set up, and they even captured a beautiful version of Hola Hola live acoustic. Would love to play there again. As a musician, I have always wanted to go to Nashville to check out the music scene there, and another place that’s on my list is to perform at SXSW. Leora and I both have Scottish roots and we thought it would be so cool to play at Glastonbury next year.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That’s a tough one because there are just so many amazing artists. Two artists I’ve been particularly enjoying these days are Kim Churchill and Jason Mraz. I’m imagining some epic good vibes and collaborations with perhaps an orchestra backing us up. Yeah that would be so cool.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I’d say first and foremost remember to have fun. If I could go back and talk to my younger self, I’d say don’t be afraid to take more risks and put yourself out there.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I would have to say, probably ‘Hola Hola’. I feel like that song came to me for a reason at this particular moment in history, with what is going on across the world right now, and this lifting of the veil, this great awakening. It’s our Latin infused anthem to inspire humankind to embrace this new Earth, and it’s unlimited potential. Bienvenedos a la Tiera nueva!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We played a House concert in East Vancouver back in April, and we ended up playing ‘Hola Hola’ twice! It was a two set gig, and we finished the first set with that song. Everyone enjoyed the show so much and at the end, and people started shouting, Hola Hola!! So we played it again! That song definitely catches peoples attention and we love singing it together.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I think I find inspiration in almost anything. It could be something I read about, other music, experiences I have, traveling, spending time with my kids. Often either Leora or myself will come up with a melody and some lyrics and then we will sit down together and workshop it and hone it and then usually we will finish the song together. The creative process for our new album was different than our first two albums because we were writing it and recording it while traveling. I feel like it kept it very fresh that way and we infused our experiences into the music. The opening song, and title track ‘Love in a Hurricane’ was recorded in 432 Hz in Puerto Angel, Mexico. It’s basically live off the floor and so raw and real and emotional… I just can’t wait for people to hear it in September.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We tend to use our personal experiences and stories in our music. I think the world needs more music with positive messages that uplift and empower people to be better for themselves and their communities. Music has an incredible way of bringing people together and I hope people connect with the messages of love, and loss, and hope, and new beginnings.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Usually the trickiest thing for us to navigate is who is going to sing what harmony. There’s a funny story about our song sunrise which is the last track on our first album. We were trying to finish writing this song and Leora said my melody was selfish because I was hogging all of the high notes. So we figured out a way to sing it together that sounded even better. I think that’s some thing we’ve learned over the years, is how to figure out the melodies, and where the harmony will go.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are really excited for our new album to come out on September 22, 2023 everywhere! We are releasing three singles this summer in anticipation, and all of them will have music videos. The video for Hola Hola took almost 2 years to complete, with footage taken on our Mexico trip and back in Canada. It was really fun to make! The music videos for ‘Keep on Lovin’ and ‘Trail of Love’ were filmed in a couple of epic locations on Salt Spring Island, with the very talented Syd Woodward, who is well known for his camera work with the band Rising Appalachia.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
You can find everything at www.winsomekind.com. We’re also going to be launching a Patreon very soon, so keep an eye out for that. Cheers!