Monday, April 06, 2009

Traveling with Kim Janssen: A Special Q & A

"And I wish I was a character in a TV show, then the only thing I'd worry about would be relationships" (from "The Wages of an Easy Life"). Kim Janssen, a young indie singer-songwriter from the Netherlands, may have many things to worry about, like making the CD cover of his debut album by hand, but lack of talent or inspiration is not one of those things. Creating a beautiful collection of soulful and contemplating songs of travel and loss, Kim draws on his own experiences and translates them to music. I wanted to ask him a few questions to get his own perspective of things.

Q. Your bio mentioned you traveled a lot as a child with your parents across Asia. Can you tell us a little about it and how it may have affected your musical drive?

A. "I really liked all the traveling, I always found it very exciting. I felt home in the 'international world', I was always around people from all over the world who were also traveling. I built up great relationships in a lot of different places which was great but also hard sometimes because I often had to leave good friends behind. I found it hard to feel home in Holland when I moved back there at 16. Whenever I was on the road in an airplane or meeting people from different countries I felt home like I did when I was a kid. That whole theme about traveling and feeling lost on different levels (emotional, moral) is what the record is about".

Q. What inspires you to create and make music? What are your influences?

A. "My thoughts and experiences inspire me to make music. It's great to express ideas and feelings through music I think. I also like to create stories and other 'worlds' through songs and escape into them. I'm also inspired by other music like Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, Red House Painters, Pedro the Lion, Loney Dear, The National, Damien Jurado, Band of Horses, Sigur Rós".

Q. What do you think of the music industry as you've encountered it? How does the indie artist relate to it?
A. "I've heard a lot of horror stories about the music industry. I've never really experienced it like that. I feel I've always been lucky in just meeting the right people who've inspired me and helped me with all the things you need to be able play music for a living: shows, records, promotion, distribution etc. I think as an indie artist you're a lot more self sufficient and independent".

Check out Kim Janssen on his website and MySpace for more tracks and updates. The release party of his debut album, The Truth is, I am Always Responsible, is on April 10th at Paradiso, Amsterdam.

Kim Janssen - The Wages of an Easy Life {MP3} (from The Truth is, I am Always Responsible)

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