The Michigan music industry provides many challenges for up and coming artists but once a band finds their groove and can start making headway in this difficult industry, hard work and dedication pays off.
Kisses For Charity is playing packed concerts and enjoying reaching new fans because of their hard work in the Michigan music industry. The key was defining their own unique musical sound and dialing into that area here in Michigan. “Once we began to network with other local bands, we definitely began to find our own little “niche”, which is what every band needs. Having that “niche” just makes the work flow a lot easier as far as booking/playing shows, and networking,” said members of Kisses For Charity.
After finding their “niche,” and creating a complex unique take on pop sound, Kisses For Charity has create their own impact on this ever changing industry and has found many fans who can’t get enough of their new age, pop sound.
I had the chance to interview David Siev from Kisses For Charity. We discussed everything from the future of the band to what type of musical influences have helped form the bands unique sound. The entire interview is below.
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C: When did The Kisses For Charity come together?
K: I started Kisses For Charity back as kind of a not so serious project back in late 2010. I would organize charity fundraising concerts at my high school to help raise money for special causes (hence the band name). Eventually I really wanted to start playing more shows and touring, and conveniently enough my two cousins Mike and Matt, whom are twins, began to pick up knack for playing music as well. I guess we officially formed as a full band in March of 2011 when we played our first show ever. It’s kind of funny because we grew up almost like siblings, but I don’t think we ever once thought that we’d all grow up to be in a band. My good friend John Kick recently joined along with me as well; he was a perfect fit for the puzzle.
C: What would you consider to be some of your most notable music influences at a younger age?
K: Growing up, my family was always huge fans of The Beatles. It was one of those things you had to like, whether your actually did or not (fortunately enough I did). The bands that inspired me to actually pick up a guitar were The All-American Rejects and All Time Low. When I first started learning though, I definitely went back to bands from the 60’s and 70’s. I’d spend countless hours playing along to bands/artists like Badfinger, Journey, Eric Clapton, etc.
C: The Kisses For Charity in a few words, how would you describe the band’s musical sound?
K: Catchy, hooky, pop-rock, stuff that makes you want to get up and dance haha.
C: What musical influences do you pull from when you are performing or writing music?
K: As a songwriter, there are so many different musicians that have really influenced my own music. Everything I write comes from some sort of personal experience, and I really admire songwriters who do the same. Like I said above, bands like The All-American Rejects and All Time Low have had a huge impact on our sound, but I also aspire to a number of Top 40 artists like Taylor Swift, Rob Thomas, and Adam Levine as well.
C: The Kisses For Charity has gained quite a large following in the Midwest, what was the process of coming up in the industry like?
K: It was tough, and it is still indeed very tough. Like most local bands, we have no management, no agents, no label support, or really anyone to help guide us. We started off playing anywhere and everywhere that would have us. Of course there were the “not so pleasant” people we met along the way, but everything we’ve been through has made us more experienced and stronger as a band. Once we began to network with other local bands, we definitely began to find our own little “niche”, which is what every band needs. Having that “niche” just makes the work flow a lot easier as far as booking/playing shows, and networking.
C: How would you guys as a band describe the Midwest music scene?
K: It’s hanging in there, but still very much alive. As an artist who performs pop music, I would personally say that it is more difficult that other genres. Genre aside though, it’s the bands with the drive and dedication who I see that continue to push themselves up the ladder. I’ve seen a lot of my great friends accomplish amazing things, and I couldn’t be more happier because they deserve it. What mainly is keeping the scene going though are the people who continue to support local music. The ones who buy music, attend shows, and spread word of mouth about new music are the main reason why there even is a music scene. Without them, there would be absolutely nothing.
C: How do you all as a band feel social media has helped and will continue to help your career?
K: Social media has played a huge factor in helping to grow the foundation of this band. Without websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. it would be almost impossible to keep up with our supporters as effective as we do. Plus, social networking sites make it a whole lot easier to reach out to new friends and supporters as well. I’m pretty stoked to see how the new Myspace will impact the music business too.
C: What does the future of the band hold?
Big things, (at least that’s what my dreams tell me) haha. As of now, me and my cousins are all current undergraduates at the University of Michigan. We all have academic full-ride scholarships, so it is in our best interest to pursue our degrees. That does not mean one bit that I won’t continue to chase my dreams though. I’m currently in the process of writing a new record of which I plan to release in the summer of 2013. We recently released our debut EP This One’s For You back in May, and have been touring and promoting with it since. We plan to do one more Spring tour push on that record before releasing our new one. If we’re talking about the big picture here though, my goal is to one day tour Southeast Asia in the near future. Being of Asian descent, I would love to go back to my roots and spread my music over there. It’s a pretty big goal to grasp, but I believe my hard work and determination will one day carry me over there.