Kevin Garrett is an award-nominated artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist that just released his debut album HOAX on 22 March 2019.
Kevin’s roots lie in Pittsburgh, and he has been surrounded by music his entire life. From taking violin lessons at age 4, to finding chores at age 10 so that he could buy his own Ray Charles CD, the young artist has always been eager to create. Kevin takes inspiration from soul icons Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke, and Bob Dylan.
His style can be characterised as “odd soul” with an emphasis on tones + textures. The creation of HOAX included “restraint, refinement, and purpose,” which is excellently displayed in the album.
His sold-out headline show is at London’s Omeara on 24th April.
We had the chance to ask him a couple questions…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Kevin. I write songs and sing them for a living. Big hockey fan. Probably dying to meet you one day.
What is the meaning of your latest release ‘Hoax’?
There are some layers to the meaning, but the essence of hoax is a moment of self reflection. My goal was to let the songs provide listeners with an opportunity to react internally to their own personal conflict, or at least connect personally on their own level. The word also stands for “hell of a heartbreak” in this case.
How has music been a part of your life while growing up?
I’ve been around music my whole life. I started playing violin when I was about 4 years old. That stayed with me for a while and got me into school in New York, where I was able to start playing my own songs. I started writing when I was about 13 or 14. Didn’t care for too much of it until I entered my 20’s.
What are you most looking forward to in 2019?
I’m looking forward to finally playing in front of people again. This tour in May is something I’ve been excited about for a while since I’ve been off the road for too long in my head. Also trying to write a lot more.
You were recently on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert..what was that like?
It was my first late night TV performance, and I was admittedly nervous but excited to be on a stage like that. The theater is legendary, and I’ve been introduced to some of my favorite artists via performances on that stage. It’s rare and special company to feel a part of now.
What or who has been the biggest influence in your musical career?
Well I feel like this is bigger than one artist, but Sam Cooke has always been at the top of my list. His voice and his vocal stylings have been so instrumental in how I’ve taught myself to sing. I think Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder are also consistently atop that list of influences.
How would you describe your sound?
I think it lives in an alternative world driven by R&B and songwriter influence. For a while I was calling it Odd Soul to describe the variety of music I listen to that shapes my writing centered around a very soulful and honest core. I like leaving things open to interpretation because it gives me the freedom to navigate through different styles and feelings.
Check out his music here!