We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Carkeet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenny, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I once did a 3 day writing session with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. When we were talking about negative press he had received in the past he told me this:
I refuse to meet an expectation that I did not set myself.
This has stuck with me forever as my entire career i spent trying to appease other people so that my voice would be heard. I tried to live within the barriers of success aka what the ‘suits’ would tell me i needed to do.
Once i started living AND creating for myself and no one else, I started making my best art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve spent the last decade trying to figure this one out. My time in the industry has mainly been a competitive one trying everything i can to out-stream, out-sell, and out-perform everyone else. It wasnt easy getting here. I’ve spent nights in the car, showering on the beach, waiting to play 3am open mics. I’ve walked to work because i couldnt afford gas for a month. But its that mentality that taught me to keep my head down and continue to do consistent quality work.
Nowadays, i’ve removed all the competition from my creative. I’ve stopped making music for other people. I’ve stopped trying to fit a mold that will get me playlisted. I now only make music for myself and it has been incredibly rewarding – and more people have noticed. I think everyone is searching for honesty in artistry among a world of fake fabricated art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
People always ask me (as a touring musician whos been everywhere) whats my favorite place. Thats easy. Its home, Los Angeles CA.
More specifically my home was always Venice Beach. Theres no other place like it. You never need an agenda or somewhere to go. Just show up with a skateboard, cruise around, and your entire day will fill quickly.
Beach, poke bowls, drum circles, etc. The Best
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are SO many people responsible for what i’ve achieved. I moved to LA in 2008 with a backpack and a dog. These are the people who believed in me and gave me a shot to prove myself.
Jimmy Messer (Producer) – I engineered for Jimmy for 4 years where he taught me everything I know about songwriting and recording.
Aaron Bruno (AWOLNATION) – Aaron took me on the road with him from the very beginning and showed me the world through the eyes of a successful performing musician.
Berko Pearce (Manager / AWOLNATION) – Berko always had my back from day 1. He mentored me and helped me navigate the confusing waters of the music industry.
Greg Hammer – (GM – Red Bull Records) – Greg so graciously took me on and put me on the Red Bull Records roster.
Sarrah Carkeet – My Wife. My Beloved. Its not easy touring 300 days a year. Its incredibly difficult to support someone you love by sending them away 300 days a year. Shes always been my home.