EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Kennedy Noel
Have you met our friend, Kennedy Noel? If not, there is no better way than to get to know a bit about this talented, eloquent, hard-working fifteen-year-old who will, undoubtedly, take the music world by storm soon enough! You might recognize Kennedy from an episode of ABC’s hit show, “Nashville,” where she played an extra – you know, that teen who caught Juliette stealing nail polish on camera, which set Juliette’s career and life into a downward spiral (tsk tsk Kennedy!). You may also recognize Kennedy from Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You” music video, as well as the young musical genius who played piano behind Kelly during her performance of “Because of You” at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Needless to say, Kennedy has done huge things in her small time here, and now that we have gotten to know Kennedy, we can easily say that she has a long, successful road ahead of her and we are incredibly excited to be along for the ride!
Have you ever wondered how a teenage singer/songwriter juggles her dreams and her reality? Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to grow up in a family of musicians? Have you ever thought about what musically inclined families do to ring in the holidays? If you answered “yes” to any of these things, look no further. World, meet the incredibly talented, up-and-coming Kennedy Noel!
KIC: For those readers who may be ‘meeting’ you for the first time in this blog, can you give us a little bit of a back story as to how you became a singer/songwriter?
KN: Well, I’ve grown up in a musical family where music is always around. My dad is a musician, so I grew up on a tour bus traveling the world. I started to sing before I could talk, so it’s always been my way to communicate to the world. I started playing piano at the age of 8 when I played for Kelly Clarkson’s performance on the 2006 Grammys, and started songwriting when I moved to Nashville at the age of 11.
(Check out Kennedy playing piano during the 2006 Grammy Awards below)
KIC: How would you describe your musical style?
KN: I would describe my music as “edgy-pop.” I love having an edge to my sound and having a rasp in my voice, however, I am still only 15 and can’t help but to have a little pop in me.
KIC: We know you are a teenager who is juggling music and the life of an every day, teenage girl. How do you balance school, friends, and working toward a career in music?
KN: I’ll be honest, it’s hard! School is definitely the number one priority. Like any normal kid I have homework and projects to work on, so that can sometimes take over my life. However, I always like to make time for creativity and friends. The moment I’m done with homework, I go straight to playing the piano and listening to songs!
KIC: We recently sighted you as an extra on the hit show “Nashville” and, years ago, we saw you in an acting role in a music video, as well as on the show “Majors and Minors.” Should we expect to keep seeing you on the small screen?
KN: Absolutely! I started acting when I was 5 and I lived in LA. I love acting and hope to keep doing it for a long time. I am constantly flying back to LA for auditions and working on my craft.
KIC: If you had to choose between music and acting, which would you choose? Why?
KN: You know, I don’t think I could pick between the two. Music has always been around and has been a way for me to express myself, and acting has always been a way for me to have fun and try new things. I think being in front of a camera is just as fun as being in front of a microphone.
KIC: What inspires your songwriting?
KN: I really like to pull from my life experiences and my friend’s experiences. It’s hard for me to write about things I’ve never experienced or witnessed. I have to believe what I’m writing about.
KIC: In what direction do you want your music to go as you continue to grow and progress?
KN: I really want to keep working on my edgier style and push towards a vintage rock sound. I love to cover Old 80’s rock songs and make them my style.
KIC: Since you are living in Nashville, do you feel pressure to perform a certain genre of music?
KN: Not really. I do get asked the question of “Oh, are you a country singer?” when I say I’m from Nashville, but once they hear my voice, it’s obvious I’m not country.
KIC: If you could collaborate with anybody, who would you choose and why?
KN: I would love to collaborate with either Best Coast or Owl City. I love Best Coast because she’s like a 60’s throwback with an edge and I would love to do a song with her like that! I also love Owl City. I think Adam Young is brilliant as a songwriter and a musician, so I’d love to see what would happen if we put our heads together.
KIC: What is your favorite song of your own? What is it about and what inspired you to write it/perform it?
KN: My favorite song I’ve written is called Losing Who I Am. I wrote it after going through a hard experience where I ended up losing who I was in the process. The song speaks for itself because you can hear everything that was happening in my head and what it took to get out of it. It actually took me writing that song to find myself again.
KIC: If you had to give up your entire album collection that you own, what one album would you hide somewhere so you could keep it?
KN: This is such an awesome question! I would keep Paramore’s RIOT! album. I think it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard.
KIC: What is your all time favorite country song?
KN: Crazy by Patsy Cline.
KIC: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
KN: Hopefully on tour with an album!
Quick Fire Round! Since the holidays are here and you had huge YouTube success last year with a Christmas song/video, we thought we would keep this round solely focused on the holidays!
KIC: What one gift do you want to find under the tree this year?
KN: Owl City’s All Things Bright and Beautiful record on vinyl.
KIC: White Christmas or Christmas on the beach?
KN: Definitely white Christmas.
KIC: Presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
KN: Christmas day! The excitement is the best part!
KIC: What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
KN: We have a Christmas sing-a-long party every year with all our friends.
KIC: Favorite reindeer?
KIC: Favorite Christmas song?
KN: Ingrid Michaelson’s Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
KIC: Sleep in on Christmas Day or wake up early?
KN: Sleep in. I need my sleep to enjoy what’s happening.
KIC: Favorite Christmas movie?
KN: By far – Elf!
Thank you, again, to Kennedy Noel for taking the time to answer our questions! We would like to invite all of our readers to take a look at a video of Kennedy performing a Christmas song she penned herself last year. This video had great YouTube success in 2011, and after you take a look, you will understand why! And, if you love Kennedy’s song, it’s available on iTunes!
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