Out Now Magazine Spotlight series featuring Keiynan Lonsdale for an exclusive interview
Where are you from?
I’m a westie boy.. I grew up in Nth St Marys, Western Sydney. My blood is Australian, Irish, & Nigerian
When did you start making music?
I started mixing music as a young kid around like 8 or so, I would “splice” songs together via two cassette tapes on my stereo so that I could have the combination I wanted for my weekend dance competitions. In my teens I switched to computer editing software which gave me a lot more dynamics and effects, and then by 14 I think I had started to make original music on garageband, that’s when I started recording my own written stuff.. I would come home from my daily dance classes, and I would just record music for hours on end. Eventually I got into professional studios, upgraded to using Logic Pro at 18 yrs old, and at that point it was full blown obsession… every single night.
How do you describe your music?
I don’t a pick a genre, it’s just a real of mix of everything I love that shaped me growing up, it’s pop music, rnb, fantasy sounds/themes from video games & anime… there’s also a real theatrical element to the album, stemming from my performing arts high school days. It’s a rainbow.
Favorite moment from your career?
A more recent one was my show that I did in Malibu a couple months back. We were set up in the backyard of a music house called Cocoon, overlooking the ocean during sunset, and we gave people a sneak peak look at the Rhythm & Music video. My friend George Henry DJ’d before my set which got the vibe right, and then I performed with some excellent musicians including Louis Futon who produced my record. For many in the audience, it was their first time seeing live music in over a year.. So the energy was palpable. I had an extra rush too, I opened with a new song that I’d only written 2 weeks prior, which felt risky and fresh, and oddly enough it was the most confident I think I’ve ever felt as a live music artist. The band and I even jumped into the pool at the end, so did some people from the audience haha.. It was the best night.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Michael Jackson.. Hands down. From the timeless songs, to music videos that changed the world, the unmatched live performances, and a message of unity that crossed borders.. And shifted racial tensions globally… I couldn’t help but be inspired growing up.
What is your songwriting technique?
I hear the music, whether a fleshed out and arranged track.. Or just some chords, and that is enough for me to start riffing melodies and laying them down in my iphone voice memo’s or to just freestyle on the mic. I piece together lyrics after that, listening back to the words I may have said when I was just feeling the music for the first time, listening to the vowels that I naturally went to, and most times there’s a theme and concept that’s already there. I pick out the structure from that point too.
What other things do you do besides making music?
I began martial arts this year, which is great discipline.. And feels a lot like dance to me. I’m still beginner, but I can see this being a lifelong practice that can keep me grounded and always learning. I love video games, mostly RPG’s, but I don’t carve out enough time to play them. On my down time I like to just kick back solo or with friends, maybe smoke some weed, dance, & work on my house.
What is your favorite track of all time?
Wouldn’t say it’s my favourite, I don’t have a favourite…… but I do think Thriller is the best crafted song of all time.
What is your best-song writing tip?
Write solo as well as with others, the right mix of people will bring out melodies and articulate feelings in a way that feels like you’re extending off of the same song tree together. Write as much as possible, songwriting is a muscle… but also, it’s okay to take long breaks if you are focused on soaking in new life, cause that’s what ultimately becomes your new material.
Why did you start making music?
I loved dancing to music, I loved mixing songs together, and so even though I didn’t have the best natural singing ability as a kid, I knew I desperately wanted to be closer to the experience of music, and I loved writing poetry, so it made sense to start crafting it and being able to shape it for the listener. I believe music to be the most powerful and fastest ways to connect people, one song can lift you from depression, one song can give you enough hope or energy to make a change in your life, one song can unite people across the world despite their differences.
What are your goals for the future?
My dream is to tour the world with my music, to continue to become as great an artist and musician as I can be, to bring people together through my work, and to inspire them to believe in what their best dreams are. I want to eventually head into animation and even the world of video game design, be part of building worlds that are fantastical and influence our best imaginations.
What advice can you give for young music producers/DJs?
Keep going. I’ve been recording for about 15 years, and the development never ends… especially if you create from what is true to you. Don’t be afraid to share what you have, even though it can be terrifying. Don’t give up just because some people fail to see your potential or your vision, you are the one that needs to believe in it more than anyone else, so be the leader of your creation.
Please write a message to your fans.
Thank you for believing in me & for the support and love you continue to express over the years. Thank you for sharing my music with others and for sharing with me how the songs make you feel, it truly means the world to this big kid.
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