Images & text by Alex Schuchmann
In episode 3 of our magazine that came out last year, we first featured the musician Kyle Quest alongside his friend and producer STCKMAN. At our release party we hosted in Lisbon last August Kyle invited a handful of his friends to improvise and jam for our audience. Since that night, which was ended by the police, we like to call him “the man of groove himself”.
Originating in a modern pop style, Kyle Quest touches on everyday life situations through his positive atmosphere and upbeat music. Born in Cascais, the seaside of Lisbon, his lyrical narrative is heavily infused with all the good sides of living in a warm place with waves, love, and sunshine. Varying in genre and using a different aspect of his voice in every song, Kyle tries to keep a balance for himself, as he mentioned in an interview we had earlier today. We also spoke about his new song “Daydream” for which we produced a music video before his new EP is coming out in September this year.
I wouldn't say my new EP will have a common message between all the songs. But I would say that with the help of the pandemic that happened, everybody had time to get to know themselves a bit better. I feel like I got to know my fears and insecurities better, and maybe this EP is like a diary of my different states of mind. A lot of what I sing about is a manifestation of positive energy and about surrounding yourself with people that support you. I think in the end it's all going to be about getting together with people that boost your potential. It's not only for myself but for everybody in the world, as an inspiration not to conform to anything. And just one to become more authentic and better in what you do.
Would you say you fit into nowadays world?
I feel like I fit in, yes. That's also one of the reasons why I write songs in English, not only because I studied in English, but because the Internet language is English. I feel that I have this immense positive idea of the Internet because I enjoy seeing how it connects all the new generations on one screen. YouTube, postings, and all different types of media and information. You can just be listening to a song from Argentina, China, Japan or maybe someone on the opposite side of the world will wake up in the morning and watch my new video clip. I think that gives me a lot of hope. That's maybe where the manifestation comes in, because I feel like it can affect a lot of people, and I believe that people need this, especially those who feel like they don't fit in with the new world. Many times when I'm talking to people, I realize I have this weird, positive way of thinking about things that many people don't, and it shouldn't be like that. I wish we would always see the best, and there are always reasons to be taken down or to be a bit sad about things because the world is never going to be perfect, you know? But if we look at the bright side, we can, in fact, have an impact.
I want to understand your process a little better because I think its quite interesting. When I speak for myself, I could probably say I'm a visual creative, so when I think about a story, I will see the light, I will see the atmosphere, and the time of the day. And I will be pretty precise in describing that image. But I would rather do a hard job describing that in a sweet sentence or bringing this into a lyrical form. In which way would you say, do you let your creativity out?
I didn't study music, I didn't go in-depth with it, like in classical music or studying how to write music. I imagine music, maybe producers will understand. I write a song for the piano as if it was a puzzle and I just try to determine the direction of these blocks, if the notes go up and down, you know? And I just imagine I'm a mainly imagine. You were saying that you imagine color and the time of the day but I don't really see colors. I just see the melodies in the form of a staircase. So I'll go up to the top *Kyle sings* and I'll go down *Kyle sings* and I'll visualize the notes in front of my head. The other thing that I think about is delivery, the mechanical way of using my vocals. I will try and sing it the way that I want it to be sung. I'll do a lot of effort to try to sound like what I'm imagining in my head. Because you can't make a soft voice sound hard with processing in the post-production. You can't make the hard voice, the hard vocal sounds soft with processing. You got to really sing it softer.
You got to really sing it hard, and that's one thing that some people sometimes forget the mechanical delivery, but I'm really interested in that.
But let's face it, you're really blessed man. You have a beautiful voice.
Thanks, when I was like 12, I would always sing in front of my friends and family along with Bieber vocals and I would tell myself that I wouldn't miss a note. Then puberty came along and kind of changed my voice. But I never lost my falsetto. And the falsetto is one thing that I think people really love.
They do. What will the new EP sound like?
There are just so many genres happening at the same time, there are so many good things and more artists would rather have compilations instead of proper albums. One day while creating you feel like an Afrobeat and then another more like a ballad, then another is Drum'n'bass and another day it's different again. We always shift from vibes to vibes.
I think that with the internet and us being the Internet generation we are used to being stimulated by a lot of things at the same time. You can listen to Frank Sinatra in the morning and then in the night, listen to Techno. That's how we live and I kind of want that to be as well the narrative of Kyle Quest. To have ballads along with pumped-up songs, to have a bit of everything. When I showed songs I considered for the EP to friends, most of them would say “Daydream” is a special one and I agree. So I kind of built the EP around that song. The glue for this is the Kyle Quest voice that connects it all. Rhythmically and musically, my song “Only One Night” doesn't have anything to do with “Daydream”, but the vocal ranges that I'm using, make it all mashed up together. I want to mix the worlds and bring the jazzy, groovy organic sides to the pop scene.
If you're curious now to learn more about Kyle Quest and his music, get yourself Episode 3 of our magazine here. Also, let us know if you enjoyed the music video we have shot in the Algarve. Feel free to share it and show it to friends who might enjoy it. This project would not have been possible without the support of our friends Christian Richter, who worked on the colors of the film; Karsten Jäger who flew down to Portugal last minute with all his Steadicam gear; Manel Estriga who was a huge help on set and Roos van Dalfsen who delivered delicious food to every shooting location.