Though it was a sunny Thursday when we stumbled across Kuki and The Bard, we were feeling grey of mind. Kuki and The Bard’s latest single, ‘Dalai Lama’ caught the vibe of our soul and reminisced in the mind. On steady repeat their music is like fine wine, at twelve and fifteen, it will only get better with age.
Home is where your story begins would you tell us a bit about yours?
Kuki: I live in a hippy house made of sticks and blankets with my mum, my dad, my brother, our rabbit and three horses.
Izzi: It’s very chilled, at the moment we’re living Off Grid. It seems we’re at a place now that we all enjoy very much and we might even settle here for a while. I’ve made so many sound friends here who have a lot of the same interests, a fair few interested in music, like me. Homes cool.
How did music find you?
Izzi: When we first moved from London and started travelling we didn’t have much technology based entertainment but did have loads of instruments crammed onto our bus. I loved the guitar from the off, still do. It’s in the blood I guess. When a tune comes on I like it’s as if the whole world disappears and it’s just the music…..it’s always been like that.
The self-titled debut Album is a pivotal composition of being on the flip side of a relationship. One doesn’t always understand until you have been there, but you have to push on and this album works through all emotions: sad and true. We don’t always know where to begin, but through sorrow is born great things and this was meant to happen to promote a heart work, relatable, and groundbreaking entrance.
At the end of the day isn’t this what music is all about: Picking yourself up, getting lost, and resonating with what feels right.
Home is where your story begins, tell us a bit about yours?
Midnight Pilot: Grant, Kris and Kyle’s families all have original roots in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle. Although we all moved to Iowa at a VERY young age (in fact some of us weren’t even born yet), we still have a piece of Seattle in our hearts. Grant, Kris and Kyle all grew up in Iowa for the early part of their life and then moved to Michigan in elementary school. Holland, Michigan has really been home for us for quite some time. We love it there. It is a beautiful part of the country filled with a bunch of quality people. We still frequently visit our families and friends there as well as playing some local shows. Meanwhile, Dustin, our keyboard player, spent his life in Grand Junction, CO. Very different from Holland, MI but still incredibly beautiful and also filled with amazing people. In 2013-2014 the entire band moved to Nashville, TN to get Midnight Pilot going on the right foot. It has proven to be a great choice for us, and we love it here.
How did, ‘Midnight Pilot’ and the name come to be?
Midnight Pilot: We actually have been playing music together for a very long time under a different name (Ringer T). When we relocated to Nashville, TN we decided that a name change would be a good way for us to kind of kick start this new beginning. After a crazy amount of time and energy spent going through name after name, Grant finally came across a World War II book called “Flyboys” where these fighter pilots where actually called “Midnight Pilots.” We liked the sound better of dropping the “s” and so we went with Midnight Pilot. Our look kind of has that retro feel to it and the sound reminds us of cruising… So we thought the name fit us well. Grant Geertsma sings, writes the songs, and plays mainly guitar. Kyle Schonewill plays Lead guitar as well as keys, trumpet, and percussion. Kris Schonewill plays Bass guitar. And Dustin Wise plays Organ and other key parts. We are currently in between drummers.
The self-titled debut lay it all on the table: Take us behind the creation of the Album and the heartbreak that cleansed your soul.
Grant: The inspiration behind the album was to really create something we felt fulfilled us musically. We have been making records for very long time and this one is kind of a culmination of the past decade of work we’ve done.
Katie Buchanan stopped by with her new album ‘Glow.’ This collection is filled with the essence of her experience as a rocker girl breathing life into the heart of New York City. Katie lets you into the back room of an intimate setting unfolding over a warm bottle of whiskey that will rouse all those feelings stirring under the surface of your soul.
Name: Katie Buchanan Age: My birthday is in June. I will turn somewhere around mid-20s. Where are you writing this: My studio in downtown NYC.
Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours
The where is a little boring really. I’m from Kansas. I grew up in a big suburb of a big (enough) city. It’s not a “farm girl running off to New York” type story. But I did grow up with a large musical extended family. So every family gathering (of which there are many) was punctuated with musical instruments and hours of long jams.
When did you know that music was going to be such a big part of your life?
Birth. See above. It has honestly never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be my life.
What is the song writing process like for you?
I am a total, slightly terrifying creature of habit. I cocoon myself away; I have a very specific type of notebook I write in. I have the whole system set up so that my mind can just go; so that I never have to worry about losing things or getting distracted. And I’m typically writing a handful of songs at a time. I need to keep things moving forward, but I also am not a fan of forcing a song out. It’s all about finding that balance between pushing through and letting it come to you. Also I find doing laundry incredibly helpful. Really, every time I got stuck on a line during the writing of Glow, the answer seemed to come to me in the laundry room.
Take us behind the creation of Glow
Glow was, more or less, an accident. I meant to make a bunch of singles, got seven songs in, and realized it was probably not just a bunch of singles. I mean once you have synthy interludes and repeated themes, you kind of have to break it to yourself. And because I didn’t set out to make a RECORD, it was just so easy. Songs were falling out, things were lining up, I knew exactly the sound and mood I was chasing. It wasn’t much of a hair puller until the very end. Final decisions always get me.
Yamir means so much to us at Fresh Independence. His story is inspiring as he brings life and dedication to all he does. The music industry is tough, especially as an independent artist, but there is a place for everyone. Show your support, feel the latin passion, and experience the Music in your veins. We cannot get enough of that, ‘Party Love.’
Home is where your story begins, please tell us about yours.
I began in the streets of one of the poorest and most dangerous barrios of Managua, rapping and singing reggaeton. I was raised by my mother, grandmother, and aunts but my mother had to leave the country for many years to study medicine and help better our lives. There wasn’t a very bright future for other kids from my barrio, many of my childhood friends got mixed up with drugs and alcohol. And while I was not a saint back then, I was still able to distance myself from all of that and fight for something bigger in life.
Tell us a little about your musical history in Nicaragua.
Over 10 years ago I started rapping, mostly with friends. But little by little, I started writing my own songs and finding people who could record my demos. After a few years, I had the opportunity to form the urban pop group “Myla Vox” with other musicians in Managua – I added the urban-rap element to our sound. With patience and hard work, we became quite successful with our music, having 5 consecutive songs become radio hits and being able to play shows for thousands of fans. We even had the amazing opportunity to open for artists such as Pitbull and Wisin & Yandel. Myla Vox reached somewhat of a “celebrity status” in our own country and helped develop the idea of having “loyal fans”, something that was not seen before in Nicaragua.
(Above) “Kukra hill” is an indigenous community on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua where Spanish is not the first language, they speak Miskito– but when I went to Atlantic Coast with Myla Vox, these little girls knew me and my music! It was very special moment.
What is the song writing process like for you?
Songwriting for me is very liberating, it gives me a great sense of relief and allows me to find myself but at the same time let my imagination run and invent a totally new story. Generally, I start out recording a basic melody, usually with my cell phone (hahaha) and then once I can sit down and think things out, I work on the song structure and lyrics.
Shout out to your favourite bands or artists at the moment from both of your home countries.
Saludos a Carlos Mejia Godoy! He is a folkloric songwriter who, along with his family, has created a huge appreciation for Nicaragua’s folk music amongst our people. I also really dig Malos Habitos and Milly Majuc, they both have a great sound.