After impressing us with his epic debut single from October 2022 called Supernatural, Mexico/UK-based creative Kwun takes us deep with the realms of the healing arts and more with such an insightful interview to embrace. Showing us what it’s like to be a music producer and artist, we find a kind soul who just wants to make timeless music.
We appreciate you taking some time out of your busy day to speak with us, Kwun. Firstly, where are you based today and what is the music scene like currently in your local area?
Kwun: It’s a pleasure, I appreciate you taking your time too! So, I’m here in Tulum in Mexico, which is where I live for some of the year. Between here and the UK.
I really don’t know what the music scene is like here, to be honest! I was a healer in a previous profession and still tend to gravitate more towards these kinds of things. Tulum is that sort of place. That said, I have a project on right on now where I’ll be working with some local musicians so will be checking out the scene more to find the right musicians.
What’s it like to be a musician and producer? Do you feel like it’s an advantage or a disadvantage sometimes?
Kwun: That’s a really interesting question, and one that no-one’s ever asked me before! I guess I see it all as part of the same thing, like the whole creative process. The musicianship, the songwriting, the producing. It’s how I’ve always done it. So it’s neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. Though if it had to be one, then I’d go for advantage! I usually have a very clear vision of what I want the song to sound and feel like, and having the skills to see that through is a definite plus.
Though I can see benefits of working with a producer also, for sure. Would totally be up for that, for a future project. It would have to be approached with a completely different mindset though, and would be a different process altogether.
As for disadvantages, it’s has never occurred to me that it has any disadvantages. I work with a bunch of session musicians anyway, so it’s not like I play all the instruments myself. And the session musicians always bring their own flavour and flair and usually something really magical to the mix. Which I love.
In fact with my future single release, ‘Ancient Ageless & True’, I don’t actually play anything on it at all, so I just produce. And I sing. I always say I’m doing karaoke on my own track with this one!
If you met someone who had never listened to music before, how would you describe your creations?
Kwun: Well, they’re a very eclectic bunch of songs with a few rousing instrumentals thrown in. Be prepared to be taken on a journey through sound, textures, beautiful melodies, visiting many different genres on the way. We’ll work our way through from Beatlesque songs, to funk and hard rock, via some Afro-beat inspired grooves and some Jazz. Each track is different from the last, juxtaposed in such a way that will tantalise, intrigue but yet somehow sound familiar and feel like home! Some lyrics will make you think, others might move you to tears, as they have done with some of my friends who’ve heard certain as-yet-to-be-released tracks. The lyrics invoke strong emotions, putting you in touch with your humanity! And many of the tracks are journeys within themselves.
If you were in charge of the music industry for a day, what would you change first and why?
Kwun: I would open up the possibility to take more risks with artists, meaning I’d widen the range of what is let through and marketed in the mainstream. The thing is, people’s music tastes are a lot more eclectic and intelligent than what the industry would sometimes give them credit for. So that’s what I’d change.
Do you have any tips for independent musicians who are new to the game?
Kwun: Well, I’m pretty new to the game myself, but what I’d say is build a really strong team. You’ll need their help! And stay true to what you want to create, try not to be swayed by what you think others want from you. Obviously, an appropriate amount of diplomacy and playing the game is necessary. We’re all doing our job as best we can! But just be true to who you are artistically, and the rest should fall into place.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Kwun: Well, what comes to mind right now is something my mentor, Francesca de Valance once said. She said to be more expansive and to allow myself to show up as all of me. And to not squeeze myself into a very small box! Words to that effect. It was a permission slip in a way to do more of what I was already doing.
Last of all, where can we see you live next and what goals do you have for 2023?
Kwun: No live plans as yet, I’m afraid, but I’m aiming to shoot a video of a couple of my songs here in Mexico with a live acoustic band. The band will consist of a string quartet and some of the local musicians I mentioned earlier. Not exactly seeing me live in person, I know, but hopefully the next best thing.
For 2023, I’m releasing my debut album, titled ‘Ancient Ageless & True’, after the song I mentioned earlier. There will be a few singles leading up to that, including the title song itself. I will shoot more music videos. I have a few other goals which are in the early stages of planning, so don’t want to say too much yet, but hopefully I’ll be to able to share some exciting news with you all in due course.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen