Sing a Little Higher with Jon Kenzie

December 11, 2013 in Media, Music

UK artists are known for their raw talent and strong connection to their musical history. Jon Kenzie brings the heat with his latest project, “Sing A Little Higher,” showcasing a unique sound. Jon has performed in cities across the world, with appearances in Prague, Switzerland, London and New York to name a few. I absolutely love Jon Kenzie’s sound and direction and am glad to share with you, our readers, an exclusive interview with the Manchester-based artist.

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1. Tell us about yourself in a few sentences.
My name is Jon Kenzie. I was born on the month of July in Chester in the north of England and I now live in Manchester. 
2. Some would date your vocals to an 1800′s folk/blues sound. Is that accurate? Describe your sound.

Im not sure if I would classify my vocals in that way, although I have been influenced over the years by some old folk and blues artists.  I love the raw soul that comes across in so many of the old folk recordings.

3. Where and when did you learn to play the guitar?

Ive just been picking it up along the way since I was about fifteen, I’d like to think that I am still learning today.  I was first inspired to truly put time into playing when I was shown some simple blues riffs by a fella in the village I grew up in, down in the south of England.

4. Who are you top four influences on guitar? Why these four?

BB King was one of my earliest influences for playing electric guitar; I’ve always loved the way he makes the guitar sing and doesn’t feel the need to over play.  For the same reason many of the other Blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Son House, Howling Wolf and Albert King.  However I think the greatest influence has come more from the great musicians I have been lucky enough to perform with over the years.

5. Tell our readers about your new project “Sing a Little Higher.” What about your music is different than the music being released in similar genres today?
I don’t know really, I guess you’d have to have a listen and see what you think.  It is my very latest album and at the moment I am quite proud of it. I have not tried to be different, I have only tried to create some music I will enjoy to perform and listen to.
6. Who is responsible for the album cover artwork? Why did you choose this artist and what is the significance of that particular album cover?
The artist responsible for the art work on my album ‘Sing a Little Higher’ is a girl called Jessine Hein.  I met Jessine when I was on tour through Germany and was lucky enough to see some of her amazing pieces of art.  I was just blown away and knew I wanted to use her when it was time to do the cover for my next album.  

In terms of the image its self, its just an idea that I had and wanted to give it a go, perhaps you could say it symbolizes creativity but that sounds a bit pretentious to me ;)  … I always enjoy working with artists to develop the images I’m thinking of and with Jessine it was no different, although we did do it all by email which was new for me.  I have great respect for her talent.

 

7. What are your top three goals for the next three years?

I have made a living from music over the last ten years and I have made a living from my own music over the last two years and I have traveled all over the world and had some amazing experiences and met some amazing people.  I guess i would just like to continue in that vane.  I would love to be playing some really big venues and main stages at festivals over the next few years, it would be a wonderful feeling to perform to a huge audience that has just come to see me, but we will see, I can but try.

8. Who are the other artists that comprise your band and which instruments do they play?
Technically its not a band, its just me. The musicians I play with vary from gig to gig and I quite often perform on my own when I don’t have the budget to pay the other players.  Its a really nice thing to be able to change who you are performing with as it helps to keep things fresh and I am very lucky in to know allot of very talented musicians and good friends that I can call on when needed.  The musicians who recorded on my album were; Ben Williams guitar (who I also wrote some tunes with), Matt Owens Double Bass, Eryl Roberts Kit and Justin Shearn on keys.
9. Talk about the chemistry of your band. Which of you is the glue that holds it all together?

If the musicians are good enough and are able to listen to whats happening around them then it will always naturally come together. Of course the drummer and Bass player are the back bone to a solid groove but if the rest of the band are not on the same page then it can never truly get cooking.  I think me and the guys hit some real sweet spots on this album. 

10. Where can our readers find your music (please provide links to all websites and social networks)?