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Ken Rose (singer, songwriter & instrumentalist)
By Sounni de Fontenay
(more articles from this author)
1999-03-11
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[MusicDish] How did you start?

[Ken Rose] I started out as a guitarist. As a 'cultural' discipline, my parents made me study an instrument when I was ten. I hated it because the girls were all better than me! The next year the same thing happened and I was fortunate enough to have had a cool teacher. After that I was in it for the duration...

[MusicDish] What were your motivations?

[Ken] I have always had a place in my heart for music. I would see a concert or hear a record and was moved by creative artists and their work. Music was also an escape from being misunderstood as a child. As I got older, of course, I went through the typical 'sex, drugs and rock' phase. Now my motivations are to please myself with lyrics and musical moods, and to make the people that hear my music feel good about themselves.

[MusicDish] How would you describe your music?

[Ken] A mixture of alternative pop and rock influenced by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and some newer artists like Beck and the Smashing Pumpkins...it's my honest interpretation of emotions. I just let it flow and at the end of the river is a song. Not much analyzing, just feeling and intuition.

[MusicDish] You play a number of instruments. Does this give you greater control over your music as opposed to having a band?

[Ken] Yes and no. I love the creative freedom of sitting in the studio and putting my songs on tape but it is also great to have a band that you trust - both musically and intuitively. Nothing can touch a cool band if it's working! I am looking for the right guys to play live with. I will probably find them in England or America while I travel this year.

[MusicDish] Why did you move to Germany? Why are you coming back to the US?

[Ken] I was working with some guys in Los Angeles who were working on a film soundtrack in Germany. They invited me along to write some songs for the soundtrack. On that trip I met my future wife. I found love of my life and a way out of a boring L.A. scene at the same time. It was time for a change and I walked right into it.

Ken RoseI have had the chance to work all over the world and really believe that the states have one of the most creative approaches to music, as an entertainment buying public and as individual artists. Open and ready for anything new. England is also cool, but the weather is not always so great! I spent my whole life in America, took a break in Germany - where I really could look at myself and change as a musician and as a person - and now I am ready to come home...but probably not to L.A. Nashville [Tennesse] seems interesting because it is so roots oriented from the perspective of songwriting...and no matter what kind of music I am producing I think it should always work out on vocals and acoustic guitar. A good song will never go down! America is the place where a lot of people really understand songs. New York, upstate, is also possibility.

[MusicDish] What type of work have you done in the music industry?

[Ken] I have worked as a guitarist and bassist, both live and in the studio. A record producer. A songwriter - for myself as an artist and for outside clients. An A&R man for my own label (The Music Farm) and publishing company.

[MusicDish] What are your goals?

[Ken] My goals are to be as honest with myself as possible and to reach as many people as possible with my music. I am talking about 80% of the year to pursue my solo career instead of writing and producing for others. I want to be back with a major label that supports my vision. My ultimate goal is to find the right label for my album and have a single and video out by summer.

[MusicDish] Having a studio, what perspective does that give you with your music? With others?

[Ken] Having a studio is a real luxury and I am thankful to have a place where I can experiment and put my ideas down on tape as soon as I get them. At the end of the day though, whether it's 24 tracks or a ghetto blaster a good song is a good song - but it is nice to have a studio. My style is based around a good song and going with the moment in the studio. I use the studio as an instrument for getting sounds and catching the spontaneity of the inspirational process. I have the same approach with other bands as I do myself - although it takes a little more patience with others. I don't go around picking up other peoples guitars and telling them what to play...they have to find their own way. I just guide them a little if I have to. Either way music is a creative gift and it is great to feel it alone or with others.

[MusicDish] Who have you worked with and for?

[Ken] Tony Carey, Falco, Planet P Project, Henry Small (John Entwistle's Rock, Prism), Jake and the Fatman (TV Series), Lee Jeans Route 66 jingles for MTV, Viva & VH-1, Giorgio Moroder, Big Trouble and many independent alternative bands and movie soundtracks in UK, America and Germany.

[MusicDish] Are you looking to be signed by a record label?

[Ken] Of course.

[MusicDish] What are the benefits of being an independent solo artist?

[Ken] Having artistic freedom and the opportunity to say what's on your mind through your music.


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