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An update from country singer, Kyle Park (Includes interview)

At only 29 years of age, it’s hard to believe that Kyle Park has been making music professionally for the best part of a decade. His first album, Big Time, was released in 2005 and his most recent effort, Beggin’ for More, came out two years ago, reaching a very respectable number 24 in the US Country Charts.

A brand new single, the fun-filled “Turn That Crown Upside Down,” is the first taste of the new music we can expect to hear from the star in 2015 and I caught up with him while he was resting at his home in Austin, Texas, on a well-deserved day off.

“Being independent with no label, we’re playing two or three shows a week, every week,” he says of his hectic touring schedule. “I’ve been gone for like 12 days so it’s good to be home for a day. This past week, we were in New Mexico and Arizona.”

Asked whether he has any particular favourite towns or venues, the former student at Texas State University, who has also performed in France, Switzerland and Germany, replies, “Well, I always love to play in Austin, being that I’m from here – and my family live here, so it’s always cool to see family.

“I do love playing Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth because it is one of the coolest venues there is and it’s the definition of Texas – being in there is just so much fun – and these days we’ve been playing some really cool festivals across Texas…

“I gotta say that the coolest place I’ve ever played is Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, Colorado. That’s really hard to beat, no doubt.”

I moved on to the subject of “Turn That Crown Upside Down” and its rather entertaining video: “Yeah, it’s a love song… just kidding. It’s a song I wrote with a couple of friends of mine, Josh Abbott and Rich O’Toole, and we were just actually, as you can imagine, sitting around drinking some whiskey at a ranch in Texas.

“We were going through our iPhones and looking at the notes we had on them and seeing what we could write about. I remember I had the idea of ‘Turn That Crown Upside Down’ and we finished that song in about 45 minutes.

“We just threw our ideas together and made a song and it was obviously a real fun song to begin with. When I recorded it, I had no idea it would be a radio single, but we started playing it live and everyone loved it, especially in Texas. There’s a bunch of whiskey drinkers in Texas so it went over pretty well.”

“That was tough making that,” states Kyle wearily, referring to the video. “It was tough having that much fun at one time…”

Will the upbeat party-starter be the first single off a new album?

“I’m not positive what the first radio single’s gonna be off the next album, but I believe it’s called ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’… The new album will be 12 songs and it’s called The Blue Roof Sessions. It should be coming out in September, I think – late summer, early fall. That’s the idea.”

“The new album is definitely more rocking,” continues the skilled singer/songwriter/producer in his very friendly tones, explaining how this soon-to-be-released project differs from his four previous albums – excellent works of art that contain such modern country classics as “Somebody’s Trying to Steal My Heart,” “Leavin’ Stephenville” and “Long Distance Relationship” – “and what I’m also doing is putting together a DVD to show the fans how I did the recording process.

“With this album, we didn’t record it in a normal recording studio… I leased a house on Lake Travis in Austin. We brought all the recording equipment to the house and I wrote half the songs the month I recorded the album in the house, so it has a very natural, organic feeling.

“We didn’t try to cut four songs a day. We would just cut one song a day and spend all day on it, making it the right way. It’s an album about feeling… So often country music is just a songwriter’s poetry and then music is put to it afterwards, and this time I wanted to make an album where the music was kind of the most important thing.

“That’s why a lot of the songs we recorded, they weren’t even finished, lyrically, until months after we recorded them. Answering the question, how’s it different, it’s a lot more rock music-based. There’s no fiddle and there’s not many country instruments. It’s a really fresh, rockin’ album.”

Might this new direction result in a move to Nashville, where country music with a ‘rockier’ edge is currently all the rage?

“The answer is yes, of course, because the goal for me is not to go to Nashville, per se, the goal is to play my music nationally – worldwide. There are times where I’ve wondered if in order to play nationally, in order to play worldwide, do I need to get the help from Nashville? And the answer has been ‘I don’t know…’

“I love being a musician more than anything. I’m a lifer – I’m gonna be playing music for the rest of my life and sometimes I wonder about giving up certain things. I mean creative control; I just love being the guy in charge of my music.

“The new album coming out will be album number five and it’ll be my third album to produce, and I would have produced numbers one and two if I’d known how. It’s little things like that… and recording the songs I want to record, I know there are certain things I did this time around that a label wouldn’t have been really happy with.

“The truth is I think this is my best record, no doubt about it, and the short answer is yeah, I think I’d love to go there and get some help if necessary, but I’m gonna keep my head down and keep working hard like I’ve been doing for 10 years, and it’s worked so far. I’m just gonna keep on keepin’ on.”

For more information on Kyle Park, and to check his tour dates, visit his official website.

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