Featured Artist: Ken Yates

July 15, 2013

Ontario-native, Ken Yates is making a visit to our own FNDTN Gallery and Liveroom for his first Buncearoo show, supporting his recently released record Twenty Three.  We reached out to Ken to talk about his new record, his musical influences, Buncearoo, and more! Get to know more about this great singer-songwriter below.

You can catch Ken Yates and Jeff LeBlanc next Saturday (7/20) at FNDTN Gallery & Liveroom.

When was the moment you were inspired to become a musician?

I sort of always knew I wanted to be in music once I started learning the guitar at around 11 years old. It was always in the back of mind. That’s why the only college I applied for was Berklee College of Music in Boston cause I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.

What other musicians past or present have influenced you and the music you make?

I’ve always been into the classic folk stuff like Neil Young, James Taylor and CSNY. I’ve also been really influenced by some of the present singer/songwriter’s like Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne and John Mayer. But I always say that I get inspired to write the most by the music some of my friends make. I’m lucky enough to know some seriously talented people (Liz Longley, Brian Dunne, Peter Katz to name a few) and nothing inspires me to sit down and write harder than hearing a good new song from them.

Your latest record “Twenty-Three” came out a couple months ago. How has the reception been to the record so far?

The reception has been great so far. You spend so long working on an album and keeping it in your back pocket that you start to worry about what people will think. So it’s a really great feeling to put it out there and hear that people like it.

From songwriter to recording, can you talk a little bit about the creative process for this record?

I’ve always had a bit of trouble taking a song that I wrote in my little room and visualize how it would sound arranged on a record. That’s where my producer Joren van der Voort and guitar player Brian Dunne come in and help give me an idea of how good the song is and what way we should record it. In terms of the recording process, we wanted to make this album with a sort of classic folk sound so we recorded as much of live as possible and only added a lot of instrumentation where we felt the song needed something extra. It’s good to have a “team” of people around you that have opinions you trust and aren’t afraid to share any criticism with you.

Was there a significant reason for the choosing of the name “Twenty-Three”?

I struggled with finding a title I really liked, but there’s a song called “23″ on the album and I felt that song in particular defined where I’m at in my life and music career. I initially avoided it because of the “Adele factor” but I always felt like that should be the title.

In addition to some upcoming dates, you’ll be stopping by our area for a show with Jeff LeBlanc. What do you look forward to most for this show and the ones you’ve got lined up?

I’m really excited to be a part of Bunceroo, I’ve been hearing about it from other artists for a long time so I’m really looking forward to my first experience there. I’m especially looking forward to this whole east coast tour since it will the first big tour I’m doing with my new album out. I can’t wait to get on the road with it and get it in people’s hands.

Favorite guilty pleasure musician?

Hmm that’s tough one. I really like a lot of Coldplay songs…does that count as a guilty pleasure? I always feel like people have a hate on for them for some reason, but I think they write great songs. I also think Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” is a pretty awesome song. And I can be a bit nostalgic about the 90′s and turn on some Goo Goo Dolls every once and a while. I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed to listen to anything though.

Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up Productions. We’re excited for your show at FNDTN. Any last shout outs for the readers out there?

I’m excited for my first Bunceroo experience, hope to see lots of people there!

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