What skills do you think someone needs to start a career in music?
Kevin: I’m a strong believer that you need really thick skin in this industry because haters gonna hate, but potatoes gonna potate. You also need good social skills because you can’t just stay at home and just live under a rock. You gotta go out to meet people (or even get a sugar daddy to fund your music career, or don’t, that’s up to you – we don’t judge here). All that being said, I also think all musicians need to have a sense of realism. Otherwise, we’d all be pipedreaming. On top of that, I’m an advocate for all artists to have at least basic songwriting and production skills, as it gives you so much creative freedom and the ability to communicate to your collaborators better. I understand that not everyone has a natural affinity with songwriting, but there’s always an opportunity to grow your abilities — no one starts out with the talent of producing! Never be afraid to learn from people with more experience and knowledge.
On your recent singles, you seem to have displayed many genres. Is there a genre we are yet to see you experiment with?
Kevin: On my upcoming album, I’ve decided to throw bits and pieces of rock elements into the songs. One of the songs; Cigarette, happens to be a soft rock ballad. You can also expect to hear some heavy electric guitar on many other songs on the album. That being said, I’d love to make a Christian death metal track infused with folk and jazz elements in the future. I love to experiment with everything and see where it goes – love to mush things together and make musical babies. Interbreeding music for the win!
What is the most interesting thing that influences your music?
Kevin: Eavesdropping and people watching definitely. I’m a bit of a stalker so I love to go into coffee shops and libraries, literally just sitting there listening to people talk. It’s a cute inspiration for me. I would pretend to be on my laptop doing some work but in reality I’m actually transcribing all of the juicy high school gossip that they would talk about. Some people just talk literal crap and I find it interesting, and I write them into songs. I also love it when I can hear my neighbours arguing. You can bet on my ass that I’ll be out there pretending to be gardening just to hear the juicy goss. But other than being nosy, personal anecdotes and experiences from my friends and family perpetually influence and inspire my music and lyricism.
I’ve heard that as well as being a singer-songwriter, you are a multi-instrumentalist. What was the first instrument you learned to play?
Kevin: Obviously as an Asian, I learnt to play the piano first because my mum forced me to. But now I am a piano teacher on the side and I’m very grateful for that (when I’m not a sugar baby, obviously). Part time piano teacher, full time sugar baby.
Which artists in your genre would you compare yourself to?
Kevin: People say I have the same vibe as Lana Del Rey. She was a sugar baby, I’m a sugar baby. She’s depressed and writes songs about it, I’m depressed and write songs about it. She’s a Cancer and I’m a Cancer too. Oh but in the same genre, um, maybe The Chainsmokers, Krewella and Alison Wonderland. I wouldn’t compare myself to them but I take a lot of influences from them, and I aspire to build a diverse and multi-genre discography like they have done!
On ‘Crywolf’, you and 99finite styles compliment each other really well. Are you planning any more collaborations for the near future?
Kevin: Yeah, I’m super excited after working with 99finite! I feel like we both have similar styles and ideas, so working together to create our Kevin Silvester x 99finite lovechild was such a fun experience. After “Crywolf”, I have a single coming out called “Be the One”. It is a collab with my bestie and also Melbourne singer/songwriter “jvcqui”. We’ve got a music video treatment for that so stay tuned!
You can listen to Kevin’s new single ‘Crywolf’ here: