Behind the piano: kenxiie
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the track Lost on the tracks by the artist kenxiie, and today we will go behind the piano to get to know the person behind the name a bit better!
What’s your real name?
How did you come up with your artist name?
My parents call me kenzie but since it’s such a common nickname, the name was always taken when I tried creating any type of account so I switched the ‘z’ to ‘x’.
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from Barbados but I currently live in France.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I’ve been playing the piano since I was 15/16 so around 10 years. I used to be in my school’s steelpan band but apart from that I don’t play any other instruments.
Tell us about how you started playing music.
I had a childhood friend who was always playing the piano when we talked on the phone after school. I became interested in learning to play so he gave me his old 76-key keyboard. A few of the keys weren’t working so I had to learn to play songs without those keys. I would go on YouTube and watch pianists play and learn the techniques. I didn’t get very far though and ended up just sticking to playing a few songs over and over for fun. That period lasted years. I was always fascinated with music, but it was around that time I think I became more attuned to how beautiful it truly was. I would listen to songs of any genre and be amazed at how something with few or no words could express an emotion or state so clearly. I wanted to reproduce that. I think that’s what led me to ask my friend if I could have his old keyboard.
How long have you been making piano music?
When I bought my first 88-key keyboard at 20/21, so around 5 years now.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I didn’t (and still don’t) feel confident playing other people’s songs. Also I felt there were a lot of rules surrounding the way songs ‘should’ be played that discouraged me from playing other’s music. So I spent my time making my own songs that I could play as I like.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Chopin, Yiruma, Ludovico Einaudi, Scott Joplin, Vincent Corver
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
For a long time it was “when the love falls” by Yiruma.
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
In terms of making music, I don’t know. I don’t know many of the rules about composing music.
How do you record your music?
For the moment I record myself, but I’m becoming interested in recording in a studio
What’s your take on sampled instruments?
They’re nice and useful.
And as always the question my son once asked me:
Where do all your songs come from?
I would say for the most part, it comes from my emotions. If I get frustrated or angry about something, most of the time it is related to what I’m currently learning or doing, I will start making alterations and new melodies to fit how I am currently feeling. I continue in that flow until eventually I have something new.
Thank you very much for this Kenzya!