#AMDFW Featured Musician: Kinsley August

Catching Kinsley

We recently caught up with Kinsley August at a cool little coffeehouse.  When I arrived I got a text from Kinsley stating that he was “running late” and he laughingly referred to himself as a “typical musician.”  We weren’t surprised when we found that he wasn’t typical in any way.  In the world we live in focus is almost always on the money we make and the lifestyle it affords.  The music industry sells glamour like candy to children in a dime store.  Candy isn’t what Kinsley is selling, though.  See, Kinsley had a job as a corporate trainer for a golf entertainment company that put him in a category that many people would consider being successful.  He had the money and was traveling on a regular basis.

I asked him, what he thought of that lifestyle and when he responded he smirked like a child with a little secret.  He said, “Well, it was a fun and exciting time for sure.  It was the life, right?  But in the evening when everyone I was traveling with was going out drinking and partying I would go back to the hotel and work on music.  That was the beginning of Smokey Lovers.”  That’s when he decided that he was going to save some money and let that afford him the opportunity to make music a full-time effort.  He now shares stories and lessons, building and perfecting his craft.

kinsleyaugusttrio
The Kinsley August Trio

Smokey Lovers

smokeyloversalbum

Purchase Smokey Lovers On:
Amazon: Smokey Lovers

iTunes: Smokey Lovers

In 2016 Kinsley released Smokey Lovers.  Local blogger Ghost of Blind Lemon had this to say about it:  “There’s a definite eclectic nature to the music of Kinsley August, demonstrated in his Smokey Lovers album.  Whether the radio-ready pop of “Stay the Night”, the dreamy “Psychedelic Waves,” or the sweet indie pop of “Thirst”, Kinsley shows himself to be a musical jack of all trades.  But it’s the album title track, melodically reminiscent of such Brit-pop acts as Suede; that shows the artist’s greatest strength as both a singer and a songwriter.”

We find Smokey Lovers a simple genius.  A great combination of catchy riffs and insightful lyrics.  The theme for the album was found when his father took him around his hometown Del Rio, TX and shared memories of his first girlfriend, first kiss, going to high school and more.  Then in a batch of pictures he purchased he found the image now used on the album cover.  It fit along that same theme and was the perfect fit for the album Smokey Lovers.  The album has nods to some music greats of the past and still breaks the rules in delicious ways.  Reminding me of The Last Shadow Puppets and David Bowie at times.


Get To Know Kinsley

When do your ideas come to you?

Most of my songwriting is done at night. I feel the most alive, calm and peacful during the later hours in the day. Ideas both musical and creative come and go throughout the day. To be honest, I’m a bit obsessed with this whole musical journey. I don’t really ever stop thinking about it. Inside my brain there is this intense mental focus on wanting to improve my work and I’m always trying to refine my musical ideas, current projects or concepts. Lately I’ve been working hard on being thankful for the current moment and enjoying the ride more.

Why did you decide to become a songwriter?

I always loved writing poems, short stories, lyrics, I started writing daily at a young age. I would hide notebooks under my bed full of angst ridden teenage lyrics, or terrible love songs, pop punk ideas, letters to girls, film ideas, just creative ideas involving the use of words in general. I made music my main focus and started dedicating my time, self and money around age seventeen. I had played in countless bands growing up, once as a drummer (I wasn’t very good at drums.), front man, played keys and just like most musician’s created far too many projects that never really came to fruition. I started playing guitar at age twenty and writing songs started to become my daily therapy, my judge, my expression, my voice and something that I am addicted to. Music helps me understand myself more and it brings me true joy. My goal and hope is to be able to share my authentic self through music, I want to love others through sound and share the good vibes.

What’s your favorite piece of music and why?

That’s a very hard question to answer. It would most likely be a Nick Drake piece if I was forced to choose. Tom Waits would be a very close second on my list of favorites as well. The first time I listened to Nick Drake’s song, ‘From The Morning’,  I was a changed man. I have so many memories associated with Nick Drake songs. Such a powerful songwriter. I actually play a Guild acoustic because of Nick Drake. Huge musical inspiration of mine.

Which song you have written is your favorite and why?

‘The Smoke’, track eleven off ‘Smokey Lovers’. Playing that song live always puts me in a positive state of mind. Recording it felt very natural and selecting the right tones, effects, experimenting with vocals and taking our time to express the story right, I love how it turned out. I actually wrote that song from the perspective of a small dog and the failing relationship I was in. The dog kind of looked like a cheap knock off version of “Dobby” from Harry Potter. That song helped push me further into the journey and ultimately led me deeper into the black hole. After finishing that song I left the high paying job where I had dedicated years to accomplish rank and started to simplify my living. It hasn’t been an easy transition, but it all feels natural and I know I’m on the right path.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while working on a song or playing a song live?

Not too many weird things, although one individuals opinion of “weird”, I may consider to be normal. I recently crossed paths with a few hostile geese, I was playing guitar at a pond near my house and they either hated my songs or they wanted to steal my guitar. Either way they took me by surprise and I agreed to relocate to a few trees further away. Wrote ‘Mushroom Queen’ that day a new song off my next album. I think those birds were possibly steroid abusers, they were extraordinarily large.


Where Can I See Kinsley August?

DO NOT MISS IT SHOW!

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

When: April 7-9

Where: 2900-3400 Main Street, Dallas TX 75226

Keep an eye on Kinsleys website for details!


Other Upcoming Shows

January 15, 2017 – Sundown at Granada with MonoCulture 10pm

February 11, 2017 – Opening Bell Coffeehouse


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