Sun, sand and waves. This is the back drop for the debut video ‘Tide’ from local Sydney artist Kendall King.
Kendall has always had a feel for music, beginning at the age of 5. But it wasn’t really until nine years ago when he began to produce his own music. “I started writing in 2008 and recording myself on the PC with a cable I used to plug straight into my guitar amp,” he tells me before saying that he can actually play 10 instruments. These include the piano, drums, saxophone, flute and violin along with the guitar and vocals.
I wonder if having the ability to play so many instruments makes it easier to create different sounds for each song? Kendall tells me that he creates all the sounds, excluding vocals, on a computer. “It’s rare I’ll actually record an instrument. Even when I track a guitar part, it’s plugged directly into the PC through an audio interface and I’m using emulated guitar amps and effects”.
There’s a lot that goes into creating and, later, producing a track. The melody is first, which is usually created on a piano by Kendall. From there he will draw the MDI notes and start layering sounds, adding in harmonies and chords. “It usually takes me 5 minutes to come up with a song and then another 6 months of producing and re-editing until the final song is ready.”
Wanting the freedom to be his own artist and create what he visualised, Kendall started to develop his own label SKYLLA about 2 years ago. Creating a label meant that Kendall would have independence as a musician along with creative individuals working alongside him that he has a deep connection with. But SKYLLA has become more than just about music, as Kendall tells me during our interview. “We are a 360 company. We don’t just make music. We do photography, videography, artworks, bookings and promotions. We make our own rules. We are free to express ourselves the way we want to express our art.” Kendall feels that this approach is more authentic, as he isn’t owned by anyone or locked into a particular contract, something a lot of artists strive for.
Although beginning out with just music, Kendall is now involved in the visual aspects of it, because music is more than just audio. “It’s become a visual medium and that forced me to become a photographer, a videographer and a graphic artist.” Essentially, when Kendall is creating the music, he is picturing the finished package with the cover art and music video.
Kendall put his video skills to practice during production for his music video ‘Tide’. Filmed at Manly and Stockton beaches, the video offers a visual journey for the viewer. Before ‘Tide’ was filmed, Kendall had planned out exactly what vision he had for it. “I was part of the lyric writing process so I instantly had visions of sand dunes and the ocean.” Kendall also produced, mixed and mastered the track. Although Kendall is seen to be singing in the film clip, the vocals are actually performed by Jacob Michael.
‘Tide’ was shot in two days with Kendall doing a majority of the camera work. This included him setting a drone on autopilot to follow him through the sand dunes. He did, however, use a cameraman for a few shots. The shooting of the video was followed by two solid days of editing and producing the final product before it was ready for release.
‘Tide’ was released less than a week ago and has already amassed nearly 80,000 views. That is an incredible effort for an independent artist releasing their first film clip.
Having already released ‘Tide’, Kendall is planning to release an album, with 15 songs ready to go. “It’s just a matter of putting all the songs through the final production process. Mixing, mastering, film clip, art work and then release.”
In total, Kendall has been working on this album for a year now. 2 years prior, he conceptualised the idea of SKYLLA and created a full album last year but decided to scrap it because it wasn’t up to standard. “I’m very happy with this new collection of songs. I’m happy with how each song is sounding. I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing vocalists.”
Whilst Kendall works to release this collection of his work, and as such has no release date just yet, his vision for SKYLLA as a brand remains clear. “Me and the team have discussed starting a clothing line.” But Kendall explicitly states that they only do what they love and want interests them. “We want to make a clothing line because we want to wear the clothes. We make music that we want to listen to. If people out in the world enjoy what we do as well that is a bonus.”
For now, ‘Tide’ is just a taste of what Kendall and the team at SKYLLA have to offer, and if the track is anything to go by, the future looks very promising.
You can view the film clip for ‘Tide’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhVY94G7Y-I
To keep up-to-date with what Kendall is up to , check out their social media pages.
Spotify: Search ‘Kendall King’
Itunes: Search ‘Kendall King Tide’