5 Questions With: Kim Churchill

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I first met Kim Churchill, I believe it was 5 years ago now (already!) during Canadian Music Week in March in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel. At the time, I was working for Indica Records doing marketing, publicity, artist development, etc. My boss had heard of Kim, the Aussie guitar prodigy and one-man-band who at the time was still in his teens. He was interested in potentially signing him, so I was asked to check out one of his shows during the festival. From the first time I saw him play, I was floored. What a voice, what a presence and energy and what a wonderful storyteller. I was lucky enough to be a part of the start of Kim’s career in Canada, spending time driving him to shows, helping him at festivals with interviews and so on. One of my favorite memories from working with Kim was kayaking with him and Elmo, his right-hand man at the time, before one of his shows at O’Soleil Bar in Lac St-Jean. Kim’s career has grown exponentially since, so I was really stoked to get to ask him a few questions about his upcoming third record and also about his second passion and one of mine – surfing!

1 – Your third effort Silence Win is out on April 1st, in a few words, how would you summarize this record and your recording experience in Ucluelet?

KIM: It was the first time I think I have really matured to the point of approaching it calmly. In the past I have had such a strong desire to succeed. Sometimes this could really inhibit me. Ucluelet definitely helped relax and find a calm place to let the music just out. The whole thing just unfolded with complete ease and joy. I think its so lovely when these things happen.

2 – What do you want people to feel as they’re listening to Silence Win?

KIM: Interesting question. I don’t know that I ever personally focus on what people will feel. I focus on correctly transferring my own emotions and humanity into the music and then leave it for each person’s individual interpretation. On a basic level, I hope they enjoy it and find a solace.

3 – How does surfing and music complement each other?

KIM: Well I think that surfing is a very exciting way of being physical. It also involved a lot of trust in yourself and the ocean. The ocean is a very dangerous beast and I it a great metaphor for life in general. It can throw you around, nearly drown you or sweep you into the unknown in seconds. It involves a fair bit of trust to put yourself at its mercy, but through surfing I find the ultimate joy that is worth the risk. I think often my music reflects this process.

4 – What has busking, surfing and traveling around the world taught you about yourself and life over the past couple of years?

KIM: Busking has been a wonderful teacher of humility. I continue to do it partly for that reason. It’s also funded all of my overseas touring in the beginning and was the best way to rehearse my material to a nice cross section of people. Travelling has really inspired me. It feeds my songwriting. I find works in a wonderful cyclical way, as playing those songs then allows me to travel. This is a brilliant process I am always grateful for.

5 – What is your most magical surf spot?

KIM: Ha, too many to think of really. There are so many incredible little secrets and places I have been moved by. Angourie in Australia holds a really strong place in my heart. Its where I have recorded a bunch of my material. Some parts of Mexico have been very kind to me also. 

Thanks Kim! Wishing you the utmost success with this new record. Can’t wait to shred some waves with you one day in Australia. Cheers mate!

Sunny New York

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few days in New York City in between work trips. I couldn’t have gotten better weather for the weekend! I love going to New York all year round because I really feel that the city has something to offer every season!

I started off my trip by finally meeting the two lovely ladies of Lionette. Noa and Vanessa were real sweethearts. They showed me around their office, gave me a preview of some upcoming projects and also took me to eat some delicious thai food (thanks ladies! yum!). I’ve rarely met such driven young women who are focused and know exactly what they want and how to run a business. It’s no wonder their line has been doing so well all over the world! Their creations have already been on the covers of countless magazines and have been worn by celebrities and popular bloggers around the US. If you haven’t already, make sure you take a few minutes to check out their lovely designs, I guarantee you will fall in love with them!

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As most people who travel to New York, I love trying out new restaurants every time I go. Since I was staying in the West Village this time, I had the opportunity to try out some great little cafés, restaurants and new bars. My favorite place for brunch this weekend was a little Belgian restaurant called Petite Abeille. A random fact about me, my name in Greek means little honey bee, which is English for Petite Abeille 🙂 When I worked as a camp counselor, I had picked “bee/abeille” as my camp name. For several years, a received a lot of bee “swag” from the kids at the camp and also from fellow co-workers. Getting back to the café though, my friend Loulou and I tried their tartines, which is a traditional Belgian brunch item. They were delicious! They basically puréed some veggies, spread it on a toast with butter and served it with a side salad. Yummy!

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I spent a lot of  time this past weekend walking and exploring the West Village and also spent an afternoon in Williamsburg walking around Bedford Street and on the waterfront. There was a great outdoor food market taking place right by the waterfront on Saturday afternoon featuring lot’s of local vendors plus tons of organic and vegetarian food. I’m not quite sure how often the mini market happens, but it’s definitely worth checking out. The waterfront is also looking lovely now that the renovations are almost done.

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Since I was in the neighbourhood, I had to stop by the Verameat store. Though I wasn’t able to catch Vera herself, her lovely store assistant Elizabeth helped me pick out some new Verameat friends including two new rings: mystery hugs & vampire crown. I also bought my boyfriend a two headed t-rex necklace that I will probably also borrow once in a while 😉

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After a great afternoon spent in Williamsburg, it was back to Manhattan to see one of the artists I used to work with while I was working at Indica Records: Kim Churchill. He was playing the legendary Town Hall theater right around Times Square. I’m so proud of how far Kim has come along since I first started working with him over three years ago. His career is in full bloom and I have no doubt that he will become very successful! If ever you’re in the mood for some great folk-pop, like a guy who can shred on acoustic guitar and a one-man band, check him out:

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I spent my last day in New York going for an amazing 8k run on the Hudson River all the way to Battery Park. It was so nice to see all the trees in bloom. Loulou was a great running partner. We also spent time on the rooftop of the building where we were staying, what a view! New York City is definitely one of the prettiest cities out there!

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On my last night, I attended the first taping of a brand new web-based up and coming late night show put on but a bunch of young media professionals. Appropriately called Late Night New York, this 1hr late show taped in front of a small live audience hopes to promote art, activism, music & culture. Their first guests were really interesting! Check them out on Facebook to see when the next taping will be taking place.

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A big thank you to my lifelong friend Loulou, who is always the best host. Growing up we did everything together and even tried to convince people we were sisters. We’ve been friends for 27 years now and I feel truly lucky to have her in my life!

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To see more pictures from my trip, you can check out my instagram feed: http://instagram.com/melsays

Thanks for the memories! Till next time New York!!

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