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Last time we spoke, pretty much a year ago, you were getting ready to release Things I Don’t See. How did that go considering the restrictions of the lockdown were really starting to dig in?
Kevin: Well, the release went as planned and was received really well. I made a few music videos and those were all released and viewed a lot, so numbers-wise, I’m pretty happy with it. BUT I had a VERY intense touring schedule planned and 100% of it was canceled, including my first big festival performance and my first official showcase at SXSW. Throw in the fact that I have a ton of merch that never sold because I wasn’t on tour, it was a big hit. It took a while for me to come back from that, mentally.
And did you learn anything from working in such a restricted fashion which have stayed with you and changed the way you approached making this album?
Kevin: In terms of music, I think everyone can agree live-streaming is here to stay. It’s not my favorite medium but I’m committed to it. In terms of the album, to be honest, I’ve always thrown together the best musicians I can find for an album, so it’s always been a bit of a scheduling nightmare with all my records. I actually think it was easier this time around because no one was on tour and no one was working. It was fairly easy to get a crew together both in NYC and Asheville. For many musicians, it was the only music they had played in months.
Been Here Before seems built from the same array of interlocking genres, folk, blues, country, even soul, and hints of pop and rock music. Do you set out to write songs in certain genres or do the sounds and style seem to come more organically?
Kevin: That’s something I struggle with. I really don’t want to be tied to a genre but in the industry you kind of need to be, at least at the beginning of your career. It’s mostly organic but I am trying to be a bit more pop than country these days BUT I love country music so much so it always finds a way in. Also, you can never have too many horns, so there’s always going to be a bit of blues and soul in there.
We spoke last time about there being a very loose theme to your songs about living in the moment, is this still something important to you, or has the last year suggested other messages which you feel are important to talk about?
Kevin: I still believe that everyone should try and live in the moment as much as they can. That being said, this album is largely about the past. In December 2019 my relationship of eight years ended almost overnight and then Covid happened. I went from living with a woman I thought I would marry, to being totally alone, no shows, in lockdown, and all my friends were basically gone. It was a DARK time, but I found a lot of hope in weird places. This album was really written out of the pain of last year and the hope of what’s to come.
With the likelihood of tours and live shows at least now on the horizon, what will that mean to you once you hit the stage again. What do you think that means to the audience and how do much do you think this last year has reminded us all about the power and connectivity of the live experience?
Kevin: There’s no denying there’s a different energy at live shows now. I have done a number of live shows this year and people are just so thankful. Really, people get emotional and just are so happy to be out, be around other people, and hear live music. You can see it in their faces, the way they dance, and what they say to you after the show. I think this year is going to be a really incredible year for live music.
As always, let’s finish by looking to the future. What are you looking forward to, musically and otherwise, now that some glimpse of normality is returning? And how different do you think the next few years will be compared to the future that you envisaged pre-pandemic?
Kevin: I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road, especially back to the UK. My last real tour was in the UK and I fell in love with the place. I’d love to get back and am hoping to do so in 2022. For me, I just think I’m going to really do whatever I can to get in front of people and get them to hear my music. I think it speaks for itself and I just want to give people the opportunity to hear it.
More information about Kevin Daniel found HERE
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