Feature Interview with Country-Rock Artist and KY Bourbon lover, Kyle Daniel
Kentucky-born singer-songwriter, Kyle Daniel, just released his debut self-titled EP on Friday, March 30. The 5-song release, all co-written by Daniel, puts his life experiences in lyrical display and sheds light on personal situations that have shaped who he is. See our interview with him below on all things KY bourbon, his Mama's home cookin' and of course the awesome new music.
First congrats on your debut self-titled EP! Since you co-wrote all the songs on it, when/where do you do your best writing?
Thank you so much! I have had a blast through this entire process! I don’t really feel like there is a set time or place in which I do my best writing to be honest. I think it all comes from the raw emotion that I’m feeling at the moment, as to whether or not it is a “good song.” I have written some of my favorite songs in 15 minutes without batting an eye. Others that I thoroughly enjoy have taken days or even weeks to finish. I guess it all depends. I prefer to write at home if possible, because I’m comfortable there but that’s about it.
Where did you get the inspiration for your songs?
All of my songs come from real-life experiences. I’m not a fan of trying to act more intelligent than I am, by speaking about something I know very little about. I’ve always found that gets me in trouble and I just end up looking foolish. I wanted this record to be about as raw and honest as I could possibly make it, without being too over-the-top serious. All of these songs are like looking into my soul with a magnifying glass.
Did you know how you wanted this EP to sound?
Honestly, I had somewhat of a direction, but the entire sound came together so naturally once I got all of the guys in the same room. It was very easy to record with the professionals I was lucky enough to have in the studio. When you play with great players, it really makes you step your game up, but without the nervousness or weight of the world on your shoulders feeling. They kind of took the edge off and we let the songs speak for themselves.
Who produced it and what influence did they have?
I did all of the pre-production with the band prior, and produced the recorded material in the studio. Chris Mara engineered the record at Welcome To 1979 right here in Nashville, TN. However, none of this would have been possible if it were not for my good friend and co-producer, Ben Ratliff. Ben was an essential part of bringing in the right players, as well as featured artist, Brent Cobb on the record. During the song selection process, Ben has also served as a publishing mentor. I feel like I knew what I wanted to hear once all of the components were in place, so we just adjusted levels and tried to make the mix sound as good as possible.
What musicians did you look up to growing up and what are you listening to right now?
Gregg Allman was hands down my biggest influence, and still is to this day. The depth of his words, the growl of his voice, and the hooks in his melody really made a mark on me at a young age. I remember the first time I heard, “Statesboro Blues,” I was floored by the slide guitar, but then Gregg starting singing. I remember looking at my Dad in almost disbelief after he had previously said, “This is real music son,” before pressing play. I was also influenced by greats such as Tom Petty, The Eagles, Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Seger just to name a few. They still influence me absolutely! They’re all timeless legends and their music will live on forever.
Tell us about how it feels to be an independent music artist.
It’s a whirlwind of emotions. Some days you’re grateful you’re not controlled by the machine, others you’re frustrated you can’t seem to catch a break. At the end of the day I’m happy I’m independent because now that I have the years of experience under my belt, I can do as I please (for the most part). It allows me to see each process through, although sometimes mega time consuming and frustrating all in itself, it makes me feel good to have a hand in everything that I do.
You are from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Does that make you a fan of KY bourbon as well?
It absolutely does! I’m pretty sure we Kentuckians come pre-loaded with the love for bourbon and Wildcat basketball. Well, the smart ones at least ;) Sometimes party liquor can get you in trouble, so I try to stick to my Diet Millers as I call them (Miller Light).
Southerns know good cookin’. What's your favorite family recipe?
Oh boy! My Mama’s beef tips and noodles are my all time favorite dish she used to make when I was growing up. Funny part is, it’s nothing special, but it’s just the way that Mama makes it…it’ll stop you in your tracks! I grew up on southern cooking and had home-cooked meals every night. She doesn’t have any official trophies, but I’d put her up against any country cookin’ lady in the south any day of the week!
If you could own any eating establishment what would it be?
Jeff Ruby’s. I’m a steak fanatic. I LOVE to grill and smoke meat. I got a Big Green Egg a few years ago and have been absolutely tearing that thing up. I haven’t been home recently enough to really show off my skills, but the summer is upon us and best believe I’ll be out there in my leather man-apron cookin’ up some tasty meats and making the neighbors all hungry!
What's your favorite type of foreign food?
THAI! All day. They can’t make it hot enough for me. I’m sure if I actually went to Thailand and said “as hot as you can make it,” they’d probably make me cry. As for the United States, I’ve yet to find a “native Thai” heat level that can satisfy the heat-seeker inside of me. I absolutely LOVE hot sauce. I have an entire door in my refrigerator dedicated to hot sauce with probably 35-40 assorted hot sauces at any given moment.
What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
My French-press coffee maker. I just recently bought one that holds like 6 cups of coffee, so I usually end up drinking a whole canteen full each morning. I prefer to use locally roasted beans, but let’s be honest, anything is better in a French-press.
What's your favorite fast food chain?
Probably Taco Bell because I’m pretty sure I own stock in it by now. Admittedly, I have a weekly trip to Taco Bell for a random assortment of Mexican goodness.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
Speaking of bourbon and being a Kentucky native…I would love to be sponsored by Woodford Reserve. I appreciate the quality of their product, and it is the perfect sipping bourbon just sitting around a campfire with friends. As a connoisseur, I enjoy the notes of the single barrel bourbons, and Woodford Reserve has a wonderful selection of different batches.
ABOUT KYLE DANIEL:
An uncompromising singer with a rich, deep voice, Kyle Daniel, is sure to shake up the country music scene with the release of his self-titled debut project. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native grew up listening to iconic southern rockers like Gregg Allman and credits him as a lifelong musical influence. Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Brent Cobb are also on his list of inspirations. The musician has several awards to his credit, including winning The Southern Kentucky Blues Society Blues Challenge and The International Blues Challenge. Additionally, Daniel earned the title of "Nashville's Best Guitarist" at the 102.9 Buzz Rock Awards. After years of sharing the stage with artists such as Anderson East, Jimmy Hall, Wet Willie, Casey James, Clare Dunn and Jericho Woods, Daniel is ready to take the spotlight and share his music with the world. Daniel has released his debut self-titled EP, which is now available through all digital retailers. The 5-song release, all co-written by Daniel, puts his life experiences in lyrical display and sheds light on personal situations that have shaped who he is.
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