Exclusive: Introducing John David Kent
Texas country star John David Kent has accomplished a lot so far in his musical career, with his accomplishments ranging from age 14 to now, and we want to introduce him to you! He has been playing music professionally since he was 14, has appeared on Letterman and Conan, and he signed his first major record deal at age 16. Not too shabby! He has received critical praise in the NY Times, Dallas Morning News, Lone Star Music Magazine, Billboard, American Songwriter, and many more. We were introduced to his music and we just had to share!
His sophomore album, Before the Sun Comes Up, spawned the Top 10 single “Until We Turn Around,” and Kent wrote or co-wrote 8 out of the 10 tracks, including UWTA. We are looking forward to John David’s future success and wanted to share our interview with him below:
For those who are hearing about you for the first time, tell us a little bit about yourself! I grew up in a very musical family. Both of my parents play instruments, and played music from all genres on the turn table around the house as I was growing up. The music from that time and those experiences heavily influence me to this day. I started playing drums when I was 4, and began teaching myself piano around 8, and picked up lots of other instruments along the way. I signed my first record deal at the age of 16 as a member of the alt-rock band Radish, and I’ve been touring the world since then, and never looked back!
What was your first encounter with music and what made you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in music? My dad had a country band (Second Wind) when I was 4 or so, and I remember him taking me over to the drummer’s house and seeing his drums in the living room. It was the first “real” drum set I had ever seen, and it looked like a space ship, or something with magical powers. I used to sit right beside the drummer during their rehearsals while the other kids played, and I just soaked it in. I can’t remember audibly saying I wanted to play music “for a living”, but the bug definitely bit me early.
What has been the biggest challenge so far for you in your career? Patience!
What are some of your biggest influences when it comes to writing and singing? Tell us a little bit about a typical writing session for you. Some of my favs are Roger Miller, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson. Most of the time I sit down with the guitar or at the piano and start strumming/playing some chords. If something starts to vibe, I’ll start just kind of singing gibberish over them, and if I land on a melody, a lot of times lyrics will come simultaneously and that’s what the song ends up being about. I think there is a spiritual aspect going on when you’re being creative and it consciously or subconsciously influences your work.
Is there one song you’ve written that you’re more proud of than others? I’m really proud of ‘Loves Just Another Word”, a song on my first album. I wrote it based on an actual event/experience and didn’t have to bend or shape the lyrics to make them rhyme. And I’m really proud of the message that’s in there.
You recently released a new album called “Before The Sun Comes Up,” tell us a little bit about the story behind it. I wanted to make an up-beat/summertime/feel-good album, and I think we captured that vibe pretty well with this new album. A lot of the songs are written from a “young man coming of age” perspective. I got to relive my past while writing a lot of the songs.
If you could go on tour with anyone, who would it be? There are lots of people I would like to go on tour with….. I love being on the road and the bonds you build with the people you tour with; the camaraderie, the brotherhood/sisterhood.
I saw that you’ve built your own studio and started your own record label. Tell us a little bit about that! I built “The Vault” recording studio about 13 years ago. It’s built in an old downtown bank building from the early 1900’s and still has the original vault. I use it as a live echo chamber like a lot of the studios back in the day had before effects units existed. Our label office runs out of the same building. I love being involved in all aspects of the business.
What is your highest ultimate dream/goal as an artist? I want to continue to release albums and tour world-wide.
You’ve had a lot of success in Texas, any plans to migrate to Nashville? I spend quite a bit of time in Nashville and will be spending much more time there in the new year. I have lots of friends there, and I love the energy in that town.
Lastly, where do you see yourself in 2014? Touring more nationally, doing lots of writing, and hopefully another tour in Europe
Lighting Fire Round:
Guilty pleasure: I don’t really believe in “guilty pleasures”. I think you like something or your don’t, and you should own it either way.
Biggest pet peeve: gossip
One song you wish you’d written? “God Only Knows”
Most played song in your iTunes? “The Warrior”
Dream duet partner? Carole King
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