Wednesday, June 12, 2013

JamandaHalf Interview: Kjel Keast and Isaac C

Kjel (pronounced “Kel”) Keast and Isaac C are two musicians from the south of England.  When this duo teams up, Kjel picks up the acoustic guitar and carries the choruses.  Isaac adopts a more central role taking responsibility for the verses.  Both Isaac and Kjel have separate projects and have only played together on a handful of occasions.  Recently, Kjel has spent his time playing solo gigs and bouncing around a number of bands, while Isaac has recorded a mixtape and just released a single entitled “Getaway” on iTunes.  Both are sick musicians but they are very different. And I think their contrast is what makes their joint project so special.

When the two get together, they cook up something quite pleasing. Isaac provides the main course of a great voice, conscious lyrics, and a polished flow. Kjel garnishes Isaac's verses with felicitous guitar rhythms and light, sweet vocals. The two styles stand in sharp contrast although when they come together they do so in surprising harmony. It is a zesty and refreshing combination to hear some rap without a thumping baseline.

I interviewed the garnisher, Kjel, a few weeks back and he enlightened me on a few topics.

Who are you and what do you do?
Me, myself, I was born in Cornwall, England.  So that makes me Cornish, English.  I'm a singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, engineer...
So, you're a music freak?
Well...yea...I like to get involved with it as much as I can.  I sing and I play the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, I do sound engineering...but now I am playing a bunch with my acoustic guitar.  It depends on my mood.  But I'm definitely a musician.  That is what I do.  On my Facebook it says 'musician slash entertainer.'
What are your musical goals?
If I sold out shows around the world I wouldn't complain.  But I would be happy if I could live off playing my own music.  To write music that makes me happy and makes other people happy.  Music connects on many different emotional levels and music makes people feel like nothing else really can.
How did you start working with Isaac?
I saw Isaac in this YouTube video, which features Isaac C with Michael Collings, a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent.  I know what I like and it is really hard to stand out in England because there is a lot of talent and I heard the song and I was like, 'this guy is really good.  I loved his tone, style and everything.'  So I saw that he had collaborated with a bunch of people and I sent him a message basically saying, 'hi, you don't know me but I'm a musician and live close by.  Would you want to meet up some time and play some music or do a song?'
And then I went to Turkey for a few months and when I got back I sent him another message.  It was a little bit iffy, we were gonna meet up and didn't.  Then one day we did.  Isaac told me that he wanted to play some of his songs from his mixtape in an acoustic setting and asked me if I might be able to do it with him.  And I said 'yea definitely.'  I took the songs home, listened to them, wrote all the chords for all the songs in one night and I sent it to him the next day and he loved it.  That was the second time that we had ever met.  We met a third time to practice and the fourth time we met was in the studio to record.  
[I wanted to switch topics so I decided to ask...] And what do you do when you are not playing music?
I enjoy being with my friends and having a good time, playing some football, a bit of sport, a bit of health...whatever.
[pause] A few....
A couple?
Well I like fruit more than vegetables.  I just bought some bananas the other day.  I like strawberries, grapes, pears, apples...
What about Brussels sprout, or cabbage?
Naaaaaawwww.  No.  I could eat a fruit salad....but I couldn't eat a vegetable salad.  I guess I don't really like all vegetables....I do eat some vegetables, I just don't eat every vegetable.
Especially not in salad form?
Well I love onions!  I love onions....I don't mind a few carrots....But I cant really do cucumbers.  No green and leafy, ewwwuuuggghhh.
Did you know, that cucumbers are actually fruit, technically.
Is it?  Is a cucumber like a tomato?  But you wouldn't have a cucumber in a fruit salad, would you?

We shot the shit for a good while, laughing about this and about that, but the bottom line is that Kjel and Isaac's project is good.  It is refreshing and new.  Kinda like taking a bite out of a fresh fruit...maybe even a cool cucumber.

Both Isaac and Kjel are currently running around trying to make a name for themselves. However, I feel like, together they have struck gold.  I hope they realize it too.  The duo plan to head into the studio in June to finish the album…and we will be waiting.

In the mean time here is a sample of what Kjel and Isaac do.

Talk Too Much


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