19 Aug @kirkbyworld talks ‘The Way She’, family life and music in interview
Between writing new music while visiting the world’s most scenic cities, and working alongside Italy-based Ego Music to promote the upcoming release of his single, The Way She, Kirkby is an obvious rarity in the world of music. Few artists share his ability to combine such a tough exterior with soft and sensitive vocals reminiscent of artists like Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. We had a little chat with him …
Q. Tell our readers who is Kirkby?
CK: I am a 28 years young songwriter / recording artist from the UK with a voice that many people have described as sounding like a mixture of Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, Years and Years, The Weeknd and Justin Timberlake. I write all of my own material, and I’m currently working on many collaborations with producers around the globe. I am an independent artist but I am managed by Leo Chantzaras who is involved with Black Rock studios where Justin Bieber and One Republic sometimes go to record their material. I also go there twice a year to the exclusive Black Rock song writing camp.
Q. You’ve recently released ‘The Way She’, how’s the reception been?
CK: The reception for The Way She has been great the main audience was Italy as the track was signed by an Italian label called Ego Music. Those guys are currently working on radio and club promotion over in Italy so Kirkby should start to be known in Italy too soon. But The Way She is just the tip of the iceberg.
Q. How did the name Kirkby come about?
CK: Kirkby is actually my surname. I spent like a week thinking of what name I should call myself, I even done a poll on Facebook to see what my friends preferred and it ended up being between Christopher Kirkby or just Kirkby so I just chose Kirkby as its easier to remember and not too much on the tongue. Plus when I visualised it on hats and clothes it seemed short enough lol.
Q. Your tattoo and beard game is strong; does this contribute to your music style?
CK: I do like having a beard and tattoos but I think they are a complete contrast to my music. I guess that’s a good thing as assume when people see me they probably expect me to start singing rock music, but then when I start singing soulful stuff I’d imagine they are pleasantly surprised.
Q.What’s stopping many young artists from making it, in your opinion?
CK: In my opinion what stops a lot of young people making it is a few things:
- Ego – many young artists think they are gods gift and cantle handle criticism. You need to be able to accept criticism to grow.
- Persistence / Determination – I think in the music game you have to decide you’re gonna make it and then go and make it. If you give up too early how can you ever know?
- Many young artists haven’t saved for this career and they think it’s just easy like it is on TV shows like X factor. This means they don’t have a budget for promotion of their material which instantly puts them at a disadvantage. If you’re gonna do a music video it’s probably best if it’s not a video filmed on your iPhone. I believe if you’re gonna do anything, do it properly or not at all. Same with CDs if you’re gonna hand out CDs don’t just scribble on a disk and expect people to take you seriously. You need a website, you need to understand the importance of social media, you need to save money because as an artist you are a business and you need to treat yourself like one. I guess some artists have no direction. You need to act like a professional to be a professional and to be taken seriously. Music isn’t a joke.
Q. How do you juggle the wife and kids and the music business?
CK: Fortunately my wife is a super mum. She does a great job at looking after the kids when I’m away and she understands the importance of music to me and that I need to travel to different countries as part of my job. The kids understand and they want their daddy to be a superstar.
Q. What have you got planned for the future?
CK: I’ve already done a few important collaborations but right now I’m grinding, writing as many songs as I can, working with as many people as I can. I’ve got some really great tracks up my sleeve ready to release soon. So all I can say is watch this space. And keep an eye out for on Social Media – @kirkbyworld.