Special Interview: Kim Cheshire

THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Kim Cheshire.

How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?

It all began in England in the pop music explosion of the 60’s for me in my parent’s garage with a few mates from school. With a half a dozen chords, a cool pair of shoes and a Beatle haircut life took on a new meaning for a working class lad from Norfolk, changing the trajectory of my life forever and what a long strange trip it’s been. What drove that new found fascination was ultimately an insatiable passion for music!

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?

Life with all of it’s magic and mysteries, the people and places, the diversity of experiences and my absolute never ending love of it all. 

What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?

Connecting with as broad a range of people as possible and hopefully making a difference in their lives, however small.

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

Mostly promoting my new album “Looks Like Heaven” via radio, the internet, magazines and podcasts. Sadly no live dates as yet, due to the current restrictions but hoping to be a presence at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Jan 2022

Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?

My latest release “Looks Like Heaven” is my third solo album. “Rocking Horse to Mars” 2002 and “Dead Man’s Shoes” 2010 were my previous solo albums….. it seems I like to leave around 10 years between releases….just enough time for everyone to forget who I am so with each new album I get the chance to reinvent myself musically; but by then my previous audience has grown older and moved on, so not the best marketing strategy but good for my musical growth. I would describe my music as organic, melodic and soulful country music

Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?

I nearly always start with a few lines of lyric, the meter of the lyric usually implies a tempo, feel or rhythm, the lyric/rhythm after repetition (in my mind) starts to develop it’s own melody before ever picking up an instrument. I generally let this process develop (in my mind) each time I find myself in motion…walking, riding a bike, driving etc until I have a substantial amount of the song. I take the reasonably developed idea to the guitar or share with a co-writer if I suspect I might be plagiarising myself and we/I chip away until I/we feel like I/we have captured something worthwhile. I continue to refine the melodic and lyrical detail (once again whilst in motion) until I feel it’s as good as it can be. I never pick a subject I prefer to let the subject pick me, the mysterious subconscious mind is a treasure trove of creativity, I try to give it as much free rein as possible then even I’m surprised by the results.

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

Sometimes there is, sometimes not.

Success, what is the secret to it?

Defining it!

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

Far too many to mention, but they include meeting Jimi Hendrix, speaking with Beatles producer George Martin about my music on the phone for about 45 minutes, backing soul acts The Exciters and (Curtis Mayfield protégé) Major Lance back in the early seventies in England, playing and hanging with legendry Texas songwriter Guy Clark, playing supports for the legendry Irish band Thin Lizzy, singing with Nashville’s gospel singers The McCrary Sisters on my new album, having had the opportunity to be constantly surrounded by some of the country’s finest musicians contributing to my music and much, much more 

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

 There are literally thousands of artists that I have found inspirational over the years, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Merle Haggard, Prince, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Nina Simone, John Mayer and many, many more

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

Not at this point although I’d love to make a strictly Honky Tonk album before I leave the planet.

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?

I try to focus on the present and I’m not much of a plan maker, I prefer to be pulled by my instincts rather than taking the helm.

What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?

I love music unconditionally, I particularly love both rehearsing and recording, they are such creative spaces to inhabit. I love having written a song much more than the process of writing it, the writing process for me is like being on a perilous journey, finishing it is like arriving home safely. I have no affection for the workings of the music industry. 

Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.

Paul Kelly, Ross Hannaford, Dave Brewer, Kevin Bennett, Joe Cammilleri, Shane Howard

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

Being the age I am and having lived through what has to be a golden age of popular music it’s hard for me to adjust to the current digital environment but hey I’m giving it a shot….I’m a man out of time, a stranger in a strange land but I’ve got a new album and let’s see where it goes.  

How do you plan on cracking the international market?

Stealth and charm!

Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?

Yes I do in all of my musical ventures, writing (sometimes) playing (always)

Collaboration as a songwriter is a challenge but I’m up for trying with anyone, although most of my favourites would be incredibly intimidating but I’d still give it a shot….how about Bob Dylan, I’d just love to see the credit in print!

What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

If you’re looking for big mainstream success I’d follow someone else!

A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?

Face to face at a gig, I love talking to people who truly love music and particularly people who have been moved by one of my songs….whoever they are.

Any last words? “If music be the food of LOVE, play on”  William Shakespeare

Website: www.kimcheshire.com

Facebook: @KimCheshireMusician