A highly experienced musician, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Kealan Kenny has a lengthy list of credits under his belt.As a musician and session player, he has collaborated with almost fifty artists/bands (including fellow Irish music acts Toucan and Emma Langford). As a touring musician, he has graced the stages of such esteemed venues as the Royal Albert Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) and Pianos (New York City). Kealan also has an impressive formal education in music (including a BA degree in Popular Music and a first-class Honors MA degree in Performance, both from the Cork School of Music) as well as, via his studio, expert knowledge in producing, mixing and generating a constructive and confident workflow.
“My approach to music,” he advises, “be it in a recording/production context or a performance capacity, has always remained the same -simplicity, space and taste are crucial. I think of music as an expression of personality, almost like a conversation, and so the ability to listen is fundamental. Whenever I play on a session or at a gig, I try to zoom out of my own part and hear what the song needs. In that sense, I would consider being a good player to be a good producer because it involves an understanding of the overall picture, rather than an ego-fueled battle of sounds.”
Kealan loves writing for and with specific artists (“I find the process of creating for and with someone to be extremely liberating and freeing while also being outrageously challenging”) and admits he never really wanted to be a songwriter. “I just wanted to play and be involved in good music, but as the years go by, I find myself increasingly respecting and studying the art of crafting songs. It is, without doubt, one of the most elusive and rewarding feelings a human can experience.” With a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be a musician and songwriter as well as a producer, Kealan finds the songwriting process an intangible marvel. He says that months could pass without writing anything, and then, “all of a sudden I feel compelled to try writing songs or pieces. I think it’s difficult to define a good song, but when I stumble on one that resonates with me it feels both lucky and extremely satisfying. I consider it to be such a mysterious thing that talking about it almost seems a bit futile. Ultimately, I love the unpredictable nature of writing and it’s a wave I’m happy to surf for the rest of my life.”