Artist of the month: Kevin Fernando Singer-Songwriter -Performer – Playback singer
Who or what inspired you to become a musician?
This is actually quite interesting. I was always shy and I’d never sing in front of a crowd. In 12th grade, there was a competition and I was forced to participate in the auditions. There was a senior who had passed out of school, who had come down to school to judge the different voices and choose the best voices to add to the competition. The song that was given to us was “Free Falling” and I reluctantly went in last and sang to him.
He heard me sing and went, “Where have you been all this while? You’ve got such a wonderful voice”. At that time, when I had no idea about Independent Music, I only used to look up to this senior who also happened to be the front-man of the band “Blacklisted”. I used to love the band and the fact that I got him to like my voice piqued my interest in music.
Did you go through any formal music training? How did you learn music?
I’ve never had any formal training. It’s funny how much you can learn when you keep listening to something on loop. My singing skills developed completely from trying to figure out how other artists sing. Playing the guitar on the other hand, has a funny story attached to it. I started going for competitions to sing and I noticed that I had to rely on someone to accompany me.
I ended up getting an expensive guitar which I never got to learning. A few months later though, I had a feeling that people might start making fun of me for buying an expensive guitar and not using it. So I sat down, opened YouTube and started learning.
You have a wide repertoire of music with you. How do you manage to create music that is diverse thus catering to wider audiences?
This comes from the fact that I listen to a lot of music. Even if it’s something that I don’t listen to, I’d try to give it a listen to see what I can learn from it. Over a period of time of constant learning from different sources across genres and my curiosity to dwell into all of it, made me make different types of songs. I’ve always been someone who’s looked for validation from all types of people. So my music tends to do the same.
How do you leverage digital platforms to connect and interact with your audiences?
Being an independent musician means, you don’t just make music but you also market your music to a potential audience in addition to the existing one. Social media platforms make it easier to connect with audiences. There have been so many days when I’ve randomly received messages from people telling me that they’ve heard my music somewhere and they just wanted to let me know.
I’d like to stay rooted to the ground and try to be in touch with my audience for the effort they’ve put into engaging with my music. Although it might be taxing to be constant, it gives me the space to explore a potential crowd and introduce my music to them. The more you engage the audience, the more they engage with your music.
What’s your take on collaboration to create music?
I love collaborating. I’ve always collaborated with different musicians. Starting with my music producer Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy from Shimmr Studios, who I’ve been collaborating over the past couple of years. I take the songs to him and we sit together in the studio to see how to take the song forward. I believe in working with multiple people to bring out the best in my song. So there’s a whole team working with me to finish each product that I put out.
I feel that working alone, in my case, restricts the ability of the song to be the best version that it can be. Obviously, if I want to make it personal, I take control of what goes into the song. Collaborating also helps you learn about your product from a third person’s point of view.
You go in to record a song with some ideas because you’re hearing the song in a certain way in your head. But when you play it to someone who has no idea about your song, you hear it how they hear it in their head. This gives me great insight into how different musicians view the same raw product that you have before it is fine tuned.