Pop artist Kennedy Nöel chatted with TFC prior to her appearance at the final date of the 2015 #TYNO Tour at Rocketown in Nashville, TN on December 15. Kennedy told us about her music and her influences as well as her recent on-stage performance with Kelly Clarkson.
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hi Kennedy! Tell us a little bit about you, when you started playing music and how you got started.
Kennedy Nöel (KN): Thanks so much for this opportunity! Well, I grew up in a musical family. My dad is a touring musician, so pretty much all I’ve ever known is traveling the world on a tour bus! Since I did grow up in that environment, I have always loved music and wanted to do it. My dad would record me in his studio every once in a while, and I did musicals when I was younger, but I didn’t start doing music seriously until we moved to Nashville from LA when I was 11. It was then that I wrote my first song and knew for a fact that music was what I wanted to do!
TFC: Dad's are always awesome inspirations. How did you get invited to the #TYNO Tour and which dates are you playing on the tour?
KN: I got invited to participate in the #TYNO Tour by the boys in Monday’s Mona Lisa. We played a show together in July of this year, and became friends that day. I was so excited when they asked me to join them for the Nashville show on Dec. 15th!
"I’d say my strengths as an artist is being very real in what I write about. Being totally honest..."
TFC: Tell us what instruments you play and what are your strengths as an artist?
KN: I play piano, ukulele, and I am attempting to learn the guitar. I know very little guitar, because my hands are so incredibly small that it makes it hard. That’s why I play the uke! It’s perfectly sized for me! I’d say my strengths as an artist is being very real in what I write about. Being totally honest...it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to do this...but I try and be as real and vulnerable when I’m writing or when I’m talking from the stage. I want people to feel like they got to know me in some way, rather than me just singing a bunch of songs and then leaving.
TFC: Vulnerability is a hallmark of many great artists. Tell us a little bit about your music...what bands, artists or albums have inspired you?
KN: I would say my music is indie pop/rock. It took me a while to find that sound, but I feel like that’s what fits me best. I grew up listening to a mixture of 80’s classics...My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds to Mars, Owl City, and many other different kinds of bands. I never really stuck to just one kind of genre. I feel like the EP I just released, "Cross Over", was a mixture of a lot of those bands. We referenced 30 Seconds to Mars, M83, Sia, and Bleachers for some of the songs on this project, and I feel like we successfully pulled from my favorite bands, but still made it feel very much like something that is my own.
TFC: Who are your band members and how did you meet them?
KN: I currently have Jordan McGee, James Black, and Otto Price in my band. Jordan is my amazing drummer. He actually used to come to some of my shows a while ago to support my old guitar player, and we needed a new drummer this year, so we called him up. He is SO GOOD! We absolutely love him, and he is one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet. My current guitar player is James. He was recommended to us when we were looking for a new guitar player. He hasn’t let us down once since we brought him in. He is so professional and so talented, but don’t get me wrong, he is so fun to be around! He has the best dry humor and is always making us laugh. Then, Otto is my bass player. We only recently brought him in, and it’s crazy because I’ve known him my whole life! Our dads toured together 20 years ago, but then my family moved to LA and we didn’t see each other. We recently reconnected after running into each other at the beach, and heard he was an amazing musician, so we brought him in! He is so good, and it’s so cool to have that kind of familiarity with a band member! Not to mention, he is so creative and talented.
TFC: Bands can almost be like family. How long have you been working as an artist and what is your most memorable experience performing?
KN: I’ve been seriously pursuing this career for the last 7 years. Like I said, I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was 11 and started song writing. Ever since then, I haven’t stopped. One of my most memorable performances this year is I got to perform on stage at Kelly Clarkson’s show in Indianapolis! I performed my cover/mashup of "All The Small Things" and "The Middle" during her Open Mic portion of her show! It was the most AMAZING experience ever performing in front of almost 20,000 people and getting to sing with her band! I will never forget that.
TFC: That's awesome! What are your long-term musical career goals?
KN: When it comes to my long-term goals, I’m really quite a simple person. All I’ve ever wanted to do was travel the world through music. If I can make a living off of my art and see the world while doing it, then I am happy.
TFC: Do you know the bands on the #TYNO Tour personally, or have you ever shared the stage with them before?
KN: I’ve gotten to know the Monday’s Mona Lisa boys after playing a show with them in July! They’re all so nice and very funny. We all bonded over leather pants, so I’d say we’re pretty close. ;)
TFC: Leather pants are a good thing! What has been your most exciting or interesting show to date?
KN: I just had my EP release show on October 29th, and I would say that would be my most exciting show to date! It was like my dream show came to life. I built my own stage props, added a few extra musicians to my band to get a fuller sound, and I got to take the time to perform the songs exactly the way they were on the EP. I also got to tell the stories behind each song as well as tell the process of writing and producing them. I wish I could do every show like that. Someday!
TFC: Sounds like that was fun. Wish we could've been there! Anything else interesting about you that you want the fans to know?
KN: Something the fans might not know about be is I have always wanted to be a ninja! I train with a bunch of tricking guys at a local gym when I have the time, and I am determined to be able to do my own stunts if I ever get the chance to! I’m nowhere near being as good as them, but I like to think someday I will be.
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