theaussieword.com catches up with KEELS!
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music?
My dad was big into his music and that’s what got me started- he always had brilliant, melodic records playing in the house, the likes of BBKing, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Elvis and Roy Orbison were always playing and he’d be singing along.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
When I listen to great music it can make me incredibly happy or incredibly sad. I love that music can evoke such strong emotions/feelings/memories. When I write I want to be able to do the same thing as some of the great musical storytellers. I have so many influences but I love the honesty in the vocal deliveries of the old school artists like Johnny Cash/Roy Orbison/ Ray Charles. I feel like that era of singer/songwriters were so in touch with the mood and feel of their time and gave such an honest vocal delivery.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
My biggest goal is to make a full-time living doing what I love; writing songs and getting the opportunity to play them to the people that want to listen.
Success, what is the secret to it?
I wouldn’t say that I have been successful yet so I couldn’t comment. What I can say, at the risk of sounding cliché, is having worked on my singing and songwriting over the last 12 years that it’s important to love what you are doing and writing. I think every singer/songwriter will write a huge variety of songs and explore different styles, which is a good thing but, ultimately, it’s important to focus on what you love writing and performing, which I have done and seen the best results- so hopefully success will follow 🙂
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I was and still am a big We Are the Augustines fan. Getting to do some of their tour was pretty awesome. Playing to a sold out KOKO with them was very special. One of the best acts I have had the pleasure of seeing live and very nice guys.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
There are too many to list as I find so many people inspiring but a favourite for me has to be Bruce Springsteen. Great songwriter/amazing performer and from everything I’ve seen an all round top lad. Love it when he gets fans up on stage to sing wit him. And to keep doing what he’s doing at his age is pretty inspiring.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
I see myself making a career doing what I love. Playing big shows with people signing my songs back to me.
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?
The great thing about the changes to the music industry is that social media has given everyone that wants to be a musician a platform to start building a fan base. The down side is that there’s so much more music out there that can be really tough getting noticed and getting the attention of managers, labels and publishers- as they have so much more to listen to. Ultimately it’s a good thing though and, while it is still very early days for me, the response to my music and music video for Surrender has been amazing and it feels great to get nice feedback- especially when it’s something personal. My debut single, Surrender, looks at love and loss and the video is very moving- as result many people have reached out and said how moved they were by it and how it makes them think of someone special that they have lost, which is lovely.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Matt Corby. Great songwriter/vocalist/guitarist. Incredibly talented guy. Sia is a great singer and incredible songwriter. Love that she has been on the scene for so long and kept grafting away and gets her no 1 album at 38, that’s pretty inspirational!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I am looking to release my second single in February. I am just trying to get the video finished at the moment. I want to get out on the road in the New Year, and do as many live gigs as I can.
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
Surrender is a real tear jerker of a track. I wrote it with a friend a few years ago now. It’s a song about loss and regret and if the video doesn’t evoke some sort of emotional response you’re a robot.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
No new projects in the pipeline at the mo, I’ve got my work cut out as it is. I just want to focus on making sure my album is as strong as it can be. I’m really happy with all the songs that I have written and now it’s just getting the recordings to convey the same feel that they had when written with just an acoustic guitar or piano.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Enjoy the weekend and thanks for the interview!