With his music having already been featured on MTV's Finding Carter and a promo for the CBS series Supergirl, Kyle Reynolds is slowly but surely making a solid name for himself. A multi-talented musician and song-writer, there's a refreshing realness and honesty to his music which has earned him the support and following of music fans everywhere.
Having just released the video for his latest single "Hold You Tighter" and with big dreams still to fulfil, Kyle kindly agreed to this interview to chat influences, inspirations and career ambitions.
PW: How would you sum yourself up in five words?
Kyle Reynolds: Driven. Honest. Passionate. Coffee. Pizza.
PW: When did you first realise you wanted to be a music artist and did you ever have any other career plans?
KR: I first realized I wanted to be an artist when I wrote my first song. I immediately fell in love the process of writing and then sharing it live. When I was younger I wanted to be pro skateboarder for a bit, but then I broke a bunch of bones and was like ‘nope - I think I’ll just play music’.
PW: Which bands are artists influenced you growing up and have those influences changed as you've gotten older?
KR: My influences are changing all the time, but I grew up listening to a lot of 90’s and classic rock. When I was little I would go to bed listening to Bach and Beethoven to help me sleep. Then, as I got a little older my dad played a lot Journey and Def Leppard in the car and would sometimes ask me to try and pick out the different instruments in the songs. We’d also go to Palm Springs every spring break and listen to Third Eye Blind. And now I’m really into pop but I listen to pretty much everything. Throughout the week I’m always spending time in my car listening to the newest music, which I believe has helped make me a better writer and artist. When it comes down to it though, I just love good music; regardless of the genre.
PW: Was there ever one band or artist or a record you listened to that made you think 'that's what I want to do'?
KR: Yes! I started playing when I was 17 and I remember seeing a band called Green River Ordinance open up for Switchfoot and I have no idea why, but I was like “This looks so fun. I want to sing and write music.” I remember they just made it look so easy too. Little did I know..
PW: You play the piano, guitar and harmonica - is there one instrument you prefer out of the three or are you proud to have such a mixed repertoire?
KR: Yeah, definitely piano. It’s what I feel most comfortable on and what I first started playing. And come on, it’s the piano. Who doesn’t love the piano!?
PW: What is it about music do you think that appeals so much to people?
KR: Hmmm...I feel overwhelmed by the question.THERE’S SO MUCH TO SAY. But I think it’s because is one of the most honest, vulnerable, and transparent things that exists. Not only is writing songs a vulnerable thing, but dang, I’d say singing is too. It’s really hard to deny passion I think. We as humans though love to relate and that’s how we usually feel when we listen to music. It creates something inside us that makes us want to stand up for things and say yes, or sit down and say no. It will makes us stay put because we know it’s probably best, or makes us hop in our cars and drive to the other side of the country because we know there has to be more out there then what we’re currently facing. Music is powerful and I give you a million reasons why, but sometimes there’s no reason at all. It just is.
PW: Is there a band or artist you most get compared to, and do you mind those comparisons?
KR: There’s a few. As an artist you hear a couple different comparisons throughout your career. Some more accurate than others. I get Ben Rector, Andy Grammer, John Mayer, OneRepublic, and mostly people in that vein. I don’t mind that at all though; I love them.
PW: How did your parents’ divorce impact your career plans and is it something that's impacted your song-writing?
KR: It impacted my whole life which has maybe impacted my career plans. The more things I feel, experience, and see in life, the more things I have to say and want to share in songs. So it’s definitely impacted my song-writing. Any huge moment in my life will influence me to write. Especially as a songwriter, I’m always searching for something to write about. And no I’m not searching for a breakup - that’s the last thing I need - or something horrible to happen, but if it does I’m going to write about it. I’m searching for life, myself, and adventure.
PW: How does faith and religion tie in to your music, if at all?
KR: It definitely does. It’s a huge part of my life that I often talk about in my songs. I don’t really write worship music, but I am a Christian that plays music so it’s going to naturally appear in my work. I’ve always been fascinated with outreach and reaching the person that would be the furthest away from a church or anything like that. So I’d rather speak of my love for God, my faith, and live a life that points to that instead of shoving it down people’s throats. Not saying worship music does that AT ALL. I love worship music and think it’s great, but it is definitely more suited for a certain audience.
PW: Who or what are you most influenced by when it comes to song-writing?
KR: Always Ryan Tedder, but right now I’d say Zara Larsson, Jon Bellion, and Jack Garratt. THEY’RE SO GOOD.
PW: Which, in your opinion, is the greatest song ever written and why?
KR: Shoot. That’s hard. “Slowdancing In A Burning Room” by John Mayer because I’ve never gotten sick of it and the guitar, the vocal, and the visual it creates is just so good! His track “In Your Atmosphere” is also unreal.
PW: Tell me about your latest single “Hold You Tighter”. Is there a story behind it?
KR: Before you read this I want this song to be whatever you need it to be for you, your life, and current circumstances, but I’m also going to share what it means to me.
When I was a freshman in high school my parents got divorced and almost EVERY SINGLE one of my friends parents are divorced now. I know there are more traumatic things going on in the world and within families, but that doesn’t mean that divorce doesn’t leave people hurt, confused, and a little shaken-up. I know because I’ve experienced it. The fact that we are even a little bit desensitized to divorce hurts my heart and doesn’t seem right to me. There’s so much that plays into this temporary non-committal society that we are a part of today and I think even things that are awesome like Instagram contribute in a way. For example, you look at a picture go, “Wow, That’s great, I like her/him, She’s/He’s cute, then move on to the next thing that sparks our interest.” And hey, I might be looking into it a little too much, but in a way that’s kind of what a lot of us do in our relationships, whether intimate or just friendly relationships and probably without knowing it. And I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve done it myself. The time we spend and decisions we make every-day play a huge part in how we love other people.
I believe if you would usually walk a mile for the person you love, you should run 10 when things get tough. If something’s broken FIX IT, don’t buy a new one, because chances are that one will break to and you’ll end up in the same situation you were before. I pray this song can be an anthem that saves relationships, friendships, and marriages. That is a huge expectation, but I also believe in a God that does huge things, is faithful, and limitless. I’ve never believed in the message of a song so much and I hope you decide to join me in this and be a part of repairing people’s broken hearts and relationships. When we feel like we’re slipping away let’s hold that person tighter than we ever did before; whether it’s our wife, husband, brother, sister, best friend, etc.
In a generation where people are always looking for the next best thing and are looking for the quickest exit strategy when things get tough, I wanted to interrupt that brokenness with this song; “Hold You Tighter”. Thanks for listening and reading.
PW: Who came up with the concept for the video and is creating music videos something you enjoy?
KR: It was a collaboration between me and the director Cameron Johnson. He’s great. To be honest I feel a little uncomfortable in music videos. I’m not really a dancer or actor, but I still have a lot of fun making them, especially if I have a really pretty girl in the video and I have to do my best to play it cool and remember I’m the artist and I’m supposed to be this confident cool music guy!
PW: Are there plans for a full length album in the works?
KR: Yeah. Not sure if it will be a full length or another EP, but definitely working on another record. We’ve started the recording process a little bit, but I’m still currently writing a lot for it. I feel like I’m in a season where I’m learning a lot, and I’m writing some of my best songs so we keep going shoot, this one’s amazing. Let’s keep writing!
PW: What are your touring and performance plans for the coming months?
KR: I’m currently doing some one off shows in the next few months and getting ready to do a college tour in the fall. I think…I need to double check with my manager actually!
PW: If you could play one venue with four bands or artists who can be living or dead, where would you play and who would you choose?
KR: Red Rocks with OneRepublic, John Mayer, Sleeping At Last, and Ben Rector. I’d also make sure to have my friend Cody from home that used always play in my band with me on stage.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media - I've noticed you like posting on Twitter. Would you agree it's a necessary tool for bands and artists today?
KR: Social media is the best and worst thing to ever exist. It’s the best because it allows me to reach people that I wouldn’t usually have access to, which allows me to have a job. But it also robs me from moments in life and quality time with people. It also creates unrealistic expectations in relationships and lifestyles. So dang man, it’s definitely important for artists, but I wish it wasn’t such a vital thing to have. Everything’s good in moderation I guess.
PW: Finally then, what else does this year for you and at what point would you be willing to step back from the industry having achieved all you hoped to?
KR: This year holds a lot I think. I’m writing what I think are my best songs yet and I just signed with this amazing dude Dan Wise as my manager. He really cares about me, loves what I’m about, what I do, and is just a BA hard worker. We’re currently in the process of building an awesome team that I feel really good about. Been working with my producer David Spencer too on these new tunes and everything just feels good and fresh. So to answer your question this year holds new music, tours, and a lot of smiles and good times.
I don’t really create to one day stop, but I’m sure how long and how much time I spend doing certain parts of my job will continue to change. Someday when I have a family, I’m not going to be touring 9 months of the year. I’m going to make sure I’m spending time with my wife and kids, but also playing music and providing for my family. Which I’m sure isn’t an easy thing to balance, but I’ll cross that road when I get there. I’m just excited to continue to create and share songs with everyone!
Check out the video for Kyle Reynolds' latest single "Hold You Tighter" below and for more information on him and his music, visit his website, follow him on Twitter or give his page a like on Facebook. His music can be purchased on itunes.