In Conversation with Welsh-born Singer-songwriter, Producer, and Author James Kennedy…
Discussion all things music industry and his new book called — “Noise Damage”.
We learn about his time playing that first musical instruments, to the very first gig, and performing across many music Festivals and LIVE experiences over the past decade to recording his latest album.
It was really interesting to catch up with James, after such a long time with our chat just before Xmas, with a refreshing take on the “music industry” today with so many memoirs about how bands make it in this business.
James is taking the path of the band that doesn't make it after years of hard work, disappointments and with some success along the way he shares warts and all in his book…
I wouldn’t say success is built on selling millions of records and having the posh car and a 10 bedroom detached house!
Success is made up of all different experiences to each person, and with the current state of the world, with Trump causing mayhem across the US, to the world-wide pandemic and this thing called Brexit in the UK, it's all a bit of a mess really, maybe there is order in chaos!
So, when I hear of stories such as James one, it inspires me to say to the world, this is success and look at what is being achieved here!
This message should also be portrayed to the wider “music community” for every successful band as there are 1000's who never make it, this is so important to pass this message to help the next generation to move forward with some great tips and knowledge from James' experience.
James has just released his latest album, ‘Make Anger Great Again’ back in September 2020. A heavy Alt-Rock solo album with strongly political lyrics throughout.
James plays all the instruments on the album and self-produced it. Then on October 18th, James had his first book published, entitled ‘Noise Damage’:
My Life as a Rock’n’Roll Underdog’, published by Eye Books.
The book is a memoir styled journey following his life as a band coming up during the crash of the industry and what it’s like to be in a band that doesn’t make it.
There are thousands of rock memoirs about the bands who do make it, but this is the tale of the unsigned, the unsung & the unheard.
He shares the magic of that first Guitar. the first gig & the first tour as well as exposing a lot of the industry scams & unfairness.
The book peaked at Number 12 on the Amazon Best Sellers list when it came out!
My Life as a Rock’n’Roll Underdog
‘Harrowing, funny and 100% true’ — Ginger Wildheart
The tale that follows is not another clichéd collection of rock’n’roll debaucheries (sorry) nor is it another tired fable of triumph over adversity (you’re welcome).
It’s the story of a half-deaf kid from a tiny, remote village in South Wales who was hailed as a genius by the UK’s biggest radio station and headhunted by major record labels, only for the music industry to collapse. It crashed hard, taking with it an entire generation of talented artists who would never now get their shot. CNN called it ‘music’s lost decade’.
Along the way, there are goodies, baddies, gun-toting label execs, life-saving surgeons, therapy, true love, loyalty, hope, breakdowns, suicidal managers, betrayal, drummers, and way too many hangovers. James Kennedy shows that the best lessons are to be learned from good losers. It really is all about the journey.
Part memoir, part exposé of the music world’s murky underbelly, Noise Damage is emotional, painfully honest, funny, informative, and ridiculous. It’s also a celebration of the life-changing magic of music.
To learn more about our chat with James and his book check out the podcast link below;
James Kennedy is from South Wales, a singer, songwriter, producer, and owner of the record label & music publishing company, Konic Records.
He was in the band ‘Kyshera’ for over ten years before they broke up in 2018 after releasing 3 albums and also released 4 solo albums.
James's back catalog now includes prog rock, acoustic music, experimental electronica, alt-rock & Pop. James also writes articles on a range of issues from the music industry to mental health & politics. With many talks at music conventions and very active online, with a large online following of over 300,000.
It was great to speak with James on our podcast, and it's really encouraging with much adversity and struggles we all find a way through. James Kennedy is certainly one of these people, and through adversity comes opportunity!
By Pete Moore