Rock Revival: Killing Kenny keeps the dream alive

Dreams of becoming famous musicians are often seen as children’s fantasies that never truly come to fruition. However, Ken Sunter, or ‘Killing Kenny’, has set about changing this perception.

Ken had started his career in music in the 1980s, playing in a range of bands at venues across the UK and recording EPs, but eventually music became a simple hobby rather than the long and flourishing career he had first envisioned. After he found success in other walks of life, Ken’s passion for songwriting and performing eventually took a back seat.

Fast forward over thirty years and Killing Kenny is planning to release new music and become an inspirational figurehead for those who had also given up on their dreams of stardom by sharing his story.

Ken had started off on a promising music career, even finding his music compared to that of hugely influential bands like The Smiths and New Order. After a lengthy hiatus, he is now back in the studio as Killing Kenny, and is aiming to revive a career that has been dormant for so long with a new album.

Ken’s passion for writing his own material was discovered while playing in his first ever bands, and even after he had stopped performing live in the late 90s, he continued to write music for solo artists and bands alike. Now, however, he is keeping some of this music for himself as he rises from the ashes.

Alongside a new album, his journey is being documented in a series of short videos on YouTube, containing candid interviews with the man himself hoping to bring inspiration to those in a similar position, and stories about the music industry and his early days touring the UK’s music circuit. 

“There will be regular posts, a little like a musical soap opera, so you can see how I am developing and if you like what you see maybe you will bring friends to the ‘party’ as well, and help me to travel with you all as my ‘back seat drivers.’”

After learning to play the piano in order to write songs more quickly and effectively, old colleagues in the music business heard Ken’s new material and encouraged his revival. Now, at 53, Ken Sunter returns as singer/songwriter Killing Kenny with big dreams and a wealth of experience.

“I do look forward to hearing from you and naturally also look forward to seeing you all at Wembley Stadium in the near future! Well, we can dream, can’t we?”

You can find Killing Kenny on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as his own website:

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George Freeman

Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle dies aged 38

Original Article

Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle has died aged 38, according to a statement on his social media accounts.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” said the statement. “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys. You will be missed dearly Justin.”

No cause of death has been confirmed.

Earle was the son of Steve Earle and took part of his name from the singer Townes Van Zandt.

Early in his career, he was named new and emerging artist of the year by the Americana Music Association.

Justin Townes Earle’s most recent album, The Saint of Lost Causes, was released last year.

Our thoughts are with Justin’s family and friends at this difficult time. May his music continue to be enjoyed by fans across the globe. A true songwriting talent who will be sorely missed.

Reported By: Jessica Rowe

Weekly Wordsmith- Phebe Edwards

It’s time to share with you our next Weekly Wordsmith. This week’s feature is on the talented Phebe Edwards with her latest single Get It Right

Phebe Edwards oozes soul and passion, her vocals are powerful, pure and ethereal. With emotive lyricism Phebe’s music is proof that R&B is by no means dead.

Vocal talents such as Phebe Edwards prove that the R&B genre is full of promising talent in both style and innovation.

Get It Right is a sultry track, featuring dreamy chord progressions, a grooving beat and Phebe’s smooth as silk vocals. This is a single you don’t want to miss, and an artist to watch out for in 2020.

Follow the talented Phebe Edwards on Twitter

Written By: Jessica Rowe

Beyonce uses BET accept speech to call for the dismantling of ‘a racist and unequal system’

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Beyonce urged U.S. voters to “take action to dismantle a racist and unequal system” as she accepted the Humanitarian Award at the virtual BET Awards on Sunday night.

The 38-year-old singer was introduced by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who paid tribute to her philanthropic efforts as well as her musical success.

Following tributes from Tyler Perry and her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyonce used her speech to encourage fans to vote in the upcoming U.S. election in November in the hopes they can collectively try and change the system.

“I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change,” Beyonce said, referencing the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. “Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”

Beyonce is the perfect example of using an immense public platform for good, we hope more artists will follow in her footsteps. 

Get ‘Lost in the World’ of Hyson Green’s debut album.

Hyson Green have just released their much anticipated debut album. Aptly titled ‘Lost in the World’, the 10 track project really does pull you from the lockdown blues into a carefully crafted world of horns and harmonies. 

‘Lost in the World’ is best described as the music we know and love, but rarely hear on radio anymore. Hyson Green have produced a perfect collection of contemporary sounds shaped on experience and the love of good music, bringing us those nostalgic vibes we’ve been longing for. 

The project combines the musicianship of two brothers David and Roy Osbourne, and was devised across both sides of the pond from Nottingham and London all the way to Los Angeles. ‘Lost in the World’s’ first track ‘Clear Blue Sky’ is the perfect song to listen to on this sunny Friday afternoon.

Ready to get Lost in the World of Hyson Green? 

Jonny Dee became “The Man Who Fell From The Sky

In a world with so much credence on blurring the lines of diversity, Jonny Dee has offered us a refreshing understanding of how the realm of psychedelic hip-hop may hold the key to understanding ‘The Human Experience‘.

With brewing anticipation from the premiere of his debut music video for ‘The Man Who Fell From the Sky’ reaching full saturation, it fell on Music and Riots to loosen to gas, and you can now watch it here:

From the first instance, the uplifting nature of the record is self evident. The lyrical style is one that flows with its own back and forth rhythm, which does much to flesh out the underlying theme – with a smile that you can hear resonate through. As a rapper, Jonny Dee sets himself apart from his peers in the genre – from those concerned more with an assertion of material wealth and aspiration, with more of a heartfelt good vibe – urging people to be at peace and better themselves.

Perhaps most notably, it’s his own scattering of guitar performances throughout the album that differentiates his style. Immediately striking as being somewhat unusual and special in itself, it’s self evident as a source of pride and inspiration – citing personal tastes flaring towards the likes of The Beatles and David Bowie as possible reasoning behind stemming down that particular path.

Hailing from San Diego, the roots of Jonny’s influences have been ever-present through his life, having family ties to psych-soul stars 5th Dimension. For the album itself, a stylish flair brings together a range of influences to craft something more distinctive entirely. The overall tone of the record varies from track to track, a subtle nod to the spectrum of the human condition. From the free and laid back dancer in ‘A Ways Away’, to the supersonic soul-funk of lead track ‘Rhythm of My Life’, to the droning distortion found ‘In the Sound’, the flavour of this rainbow bounces from pillar to post.

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Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Pat and the Pros

There’s not a corner of this world that music can’t reach, Pat and the Pros are proof of that. Hailing from a remote part of the Indian Ocean, Réunion Island’s Patrice Pouzet is surrounded by the kind of scenery which only exists in holiday brochures and photoshopped desktop backgrounds, yet he has single-mindedly forged a music career completely at odds with his surroundings. We get in touch with ‘the Robinson Crusoe of Rock’ to find out more…

Did you write “Hey Ooo I A O” with the intention of it becoming an earworm?

I wrote this song because I had “Hey Ooo I A O” going in loops in my head! Each time I play this song it stays in the listeners head, that’s why the lyrics end with “now in your head”.

Which acts have inspired you to create music?

Pink Floyd,  Tears for Fears, Simple Mind, U2, Kings of Leon, Sound Garden, Supertramp, EWF, Christopher Cross, Led Zep, Aerosmith, AC/DC, America, Brian Ferry …

You’ve had a lengthy career in music, tell us some of your biggest achievements.

Winning Battle of the Bands in London (at the Fountain) in September 1999 with my previous band from Reunion Island (Parallele). We also managed to play at venues/places like the Garage, The Kings Head, Orange, in London in 1999. In Reunion Island we played at : Theatre de Saint Gilles, Theatre du Tampon, Palaxa which are three of the top theaters/venues.

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Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Hitha

At just 13-years-old, Hitha is bidding to be the next young starlet. The Californian singer-songwriter has recently released ‘Standing Up With Pride’, a pop romp which delivers a message of positivity. We speak to Hitha to find out where she finds the inspiration for her upbeat pop.


What’s your single ‘Standing Up With Pride’ about?

Even though we all may have many activities and things we care about in our lives, this song is about putting forth your biggest passion and going for it. I used to play soccer and basketball and tennis and volleyball while also doing vocal lessons twice a week. I realized that I liked singing the best, and so I decided to put it as my number one priority and focused on that. I still play volleyball, but everything else I’ve set aside and singing is my number one focus.

Your songs portray a message of positivity and hope. What’s your main source of inspiration?

My main source of inspiration is everyday life. I try to take problems from everywhere to make my songs relatable so everyone can connect with them.

What’s your biggest ambition as a teen popstar?

I hope that I become known as the positive little girl who loves to write and perform. When people hear my music, I want them to know that they can always count on themselves to figure out what their true passion is, and then put in the hard work and practice alongside their talent to get the achievement they’re looking for. There’s always a positive ending if you try hard and don’t give up.

Does your Asian heritage influence the music you make?

I actually started my music with India Classical singing when I was 4. Indian classical signing helped me with many vocal/technical attributes and I have realized that music is my passion. Basically, it gave me foundation to build my music future on. ​

 

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Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Harp Samuels

Take the soft croons of James Vincent McMorrow,  the cinematic atmospherics of Sufjan Stevens, and the gut-wrenching storytelling of Bon Iver, and you’ll have the essence of Harp Samuels’ devastatingly tender slow burners. With his sophomore record in the pipeline, we catch up with the Australian songwriter to find out what went on behind the studio doors…

Describe your music in five words.

Deep, thoughtful, unique, melodic, and vulnerable.

What’s the story behind forthcoming album ‘Breathe’?

I lost my Dad last year right when I was in the middle of promoting my debut album ‘Wanting.’ I decided to go home to Melbourne, and I was feeling a lot of tension/ grief and all kinds of stuff. I wanted to put those feelings somewhere so I turned to music and art, initially purely to process what I was going through. It’s about tension, closure, new chapters, and our relationship to the eternal.

Is there a song on the album that’s particularly close to your heart?

The song ‘Closure in C’ (an homage to Canon in D) was played on my Dad’s piano, and the reason is that my family is going to sell it, so I wanted to write/ perform a piece on it as an act of closure.

You’ve said there are a lot of ‘easter eggs’ in the project. Can you give us an exclusive on what to expect?

The track listing is in alphabetical order and the amount of tracks (9) represents in-completion. The songs and project have been carefully named, and are designed to flow as one 30 minute themed musical project.

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Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with George Swan

We’re not sure what’s more intriguing about George Swan the legend that he was ‘born in an unspecified swamp and raised by alligators’ or that his musical pseudonym is Big Dik Blak. Either way, we figured the Canadian songwriter might have some interesting things to say about his brand of ‘swamp rock’. We catch sixty seconds with the songwriter to find out more about the process behind his weird and wonderful songs.

Where does your songwriting process start?

Usually, while fooling around with a keyboard of some kind, I’ll come up with a chord progression that sounds cool to me. I’ll jam on it for a while with the band and see what we come up with. I adjust the progression as I go but try to keep it really simple. Four chords are about right kind of thing.  I then listen to the tape, write down the words and work out the melody, trying to really nail that down.

What usually comes first, lyrics or music?

Sometimes I have some words that I’ve written that I want to get into a song, such as ‘World Peace’ and ‘Free Love’.  Other times, I try all kinds of sounds of my Korg Triton Extreme workstation and usually will find something there I can start with. I also try it out with the distorted Hammond as well.  It’s even better when I can put them both together like I did in both World Peace and The Connector song.

Has a song idea ever come to you at a weird time?

Sometimes a song will come to me while I’m sleeping, like the piano riff in my song ‘No Past’.  I woke up with it running through my mind.  I went to the piano to see what the riff was and then recorded it.  It took a while to come up with the melody and the words.

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Website: www.bigdikblak.com