Brighton based music producer Kev Minney is a guitar player, singer and songwriter who takes inspiration from folk greats, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young and Nick Drake. After a lifetime of becoming well-known for his virtuoso guitar skills, Kev turned to singing and songwriting at the age of 30. Before this, he had lacked the confidence to sing due to a stutter. After years of hard work, fine-tuning, and carving out a name for himself doing what he loves, Kev was invited to New York to record his debut EP titled All You Need in 2015.
Now his second album, Modern Stories, is due to be released in February 2020. The first single, God is an Algorithm, has already had radio plays from Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 Music. Both of Kev’s albums were recorded with a Mercury-nominated producer in Brighton, UK. Kev has toured internationally, playing hundreds of shows in some of the UK’s and Europe’s finest venues. His debut album Stories of the Sky has gained over 250,000 streams on Spotify.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I started to listen to music around 9 or 10 years old. My parents would play music such as; The Beatles, Free and various ‘60’s artist. Shortly after this time, I started learning the guitar and which led me to explore many more great artists.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
There are a few different ways, though most of the time I’ll be playing around with the guitar in an open tuning and creating some sounds that may interest me, around the same time if there’s something I want to write about — something on my mind, or something that has inspired me — I’ll start to pen words down. I often find that if I get the first line down, and it has meaning, it has a better chance of becoming a song.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Having space and time. As a DIY musician, I constantly am floating between being on the computer; booking gigs, promoting, making posters etc, and practising my songs. At the moment I’m due to release my second album, so I’m not in that space to write, once it’s released I’ll probably take a year out to write and practice.
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
The bottom line is the quality of music. The problem with the industry is that there’s so much music out there, that it’s kind of harder to find great music. Being a musician in modern times is liberating and frustrating. It’s never been so easy, yet so hard. My advice is to just focus on the music being as good as it could be.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I do enjoy them all, though I lean more towards the songwriting process. Being in the studio or playing live comes with a lot of pressure, though I like that, there’s just a time and place to tour, and the same with recording. Timing is everything, and touring is about being ready, and picking the right places to play, and recording is about making sure your song is strong and ready enough to record.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
Someone messaged me recently saying they play my song ‘Dark Stars’ to their child most nights to help them sleep, and it always works. I’m glad my voice may sound soothing to some.
What’s on your current playlist?
Jackson C Frank, Joni, Motopony, Neil Young
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
My second album ‘Modern Stories’ is to be released on the 28th of February— this is something I have been working on for the last two years. After this I’ll be doing one more tour in April then I’ll be staying at home, writing new songs, practising and recording.
Famous last words?
Never give up
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