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!