Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m an independent rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist born and raised in the eastern part of Switzerland. Starting in kindergarten I learned to play classical piano. Later I took lessons on other instruments such as church organ, saxophone and electric guitar. My parents have been very supportive on my way to a multi-instrumentalist. Throughout my life, my favorite genres have been Rock in all it’s glory – with flavors of Blues, Country and Folk. So it’s not surprising that I was the former founder, main songwriter, lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nextmile and the side project Rockcousins. After releasing five EPs, two digital singles, a digital album, playing many live gigs, and appearing on TV and radio across Switzerland, my former band decided to go separate ways in 2012. This led me to start my solo project soon after.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Tonight [Instrumental]” – released on November 1, 2019 – is a reproduced, partly re-recorded, remixed and remastered special instrumental version of my self-written song “Tonight”. The vocal version was released in 2013; as my second single.
What inspired you to write this release?
Because of the emotional and huge arrangement I always thought about an instrumental version of ‘Tonight’. Finally, it is here – more than five years after the release of the vocal version. I’m happy, curious and full of anticipation – can’t wait to hear what people think.
Describe the writing and recording process
I started with the original vocal version, cut out the vocals, recorded and added additional instruments. After that I spent several hours over a number of days mixing the track in my beloved home studio in Switzerland to get the best instrumental mix as possible. Finally I sent the final mix to Greg Reely who mastered the track at his own studio “The Green Jacket” in Canada. Greg Reely already mastered my fourth single “Follow You”.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
I have plans to record and release more songs over the next months. Therefore I will play just a few gigs at small venues near my home town – when I get a chance.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
In today’s crazy music business and all the exaggerated presentation on social media etc. – the most important thing for me is to be honest – be yourself. I will never change my mind or my musical style just for commercial reasons – just to have big success in music business. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that I want my music to sound pure, honest, handmade and played mostly on real instruments; but even so modern and timeless.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Beside rock music and blues, I often listen to country music. My favorite and most listened-to country artist is Tim McGraw. His live band is brilliant and he is a great country singer, entertainer, showman, actor, sportsman, caring husband and family man – you can see that rarely in show business nowadays. I also listen to upcoming (country) artists such as Maggie Baugh. She is a talented fiddle player, female singer-songwriter and guitarist. Sometimes, I even listen to metal, hard rock or prog rock. Bands like Dream Theater, Alter Bridge and guitar hero Joe Satriani are my favorites.
Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are rock bands with very atmospheric and uncommon guitar sounds like U2, the Cure, Lifehouse, Vertical Horizon, Our Lady Peace etc. Some of them are extremely successful but still sound “indie”, alternative, modern and timeless. Other big influences are legends such as Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour and some sadly missed ones like Tom Petty and B.B. King.
Tell us about your passions
Beside playing and recording music, the absolutely most important thing in my life is my family. My hobbies are rollerblading, biking, hiking and photography.
What else is happening next in your world?
Writing, recording and releasing new songs :) and being a good husband and father.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Manuel K
Connect with Manuel K
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