Photo Credit: Nick Gilligan
Written by Kelly Holm
If you watched the US version of The X Factor, you may recall the winning duo, Alex & Sierra, from its third and final season. Their covers of “Little Talks” and “Say Something” won the public’s hearts (and votes), but like The X Factor itself, the duo didn’t last. More than a year after ending their romantic relationship, the pair announced that they would be going their separate ways musically as well.
“Make sure that your goals are aligned without being intertwined,” Alex Kinsey said, reflecting on what he knows now of the experience of forming a band with a significant other. “You should be able to champion one another without the other feeling left behind.”
This bit of advice could also double as a song lyric, and, if you didn’t already notice, it rhymes! Lately, Kinsey has plenty of reasons to be writing songs. Currently, he’s in the process of stepping out as a solo artist, known simply as Kinsey, and has just released an EP titled, Party of One, to kick things off.
“My goal was to put out a body of work that I wanted to listen to,” Kinsey said. For him, that would sound like Ed Sheeran, Vulfpeck or John Mayer. “When there is a sound or a song that you wish existed, it can.”
Party of One’ s lead single is “Hot Mess.” “It’s dirty and I like it,” Kinsey comments.
We think you’ll like it too. If you can’t get enough of Kinsey’s new solo sound, you may be able to find his unreleased melodies “Straight” and “Real Thing” on YouTube. Although they haven’t been officially released, they are two of his favorite songs to perform.
Stepping out as a “party of one” sans Sierra may seem like a daunting feat, and to some extent, for Kinsey, it was. But solo or no, he’s always known that music is “what I’ve [got to] be doing for the rest of my life,” ever since his third-grade talent show performance of “Twist and Shout.”
“You write a lot of songs for a long time without many people, or anyone at all, hearing them,” Kinsey said. “As an independent artist, you have to make all of the decisions about your future without the guidance, or hindrance, of a label.”
Yet, there’s also the benefit of not being told what to do quite as much. “If you let people crap all over you, imagine how you’ll smell,” Kinsey said, quoting his Grandpa. After all, we all start out in this world as solo artists, and have to remember our own visions above all when seeking our creative path. Perhaps it is prophetic that the first album he ever owned was the Beatles’ Abbey Road – the Fab Four’s last before going their separate ways.
So, in his new independent direction, you can find Kinsey doing what he’s always done, just getting creative and messing around with an instrument, keeping his hopes and his energy high. He refuses to see a show at Red Rocks until he’s played there himself, and plans to call himself successful the day that “Gordon Ramsay comes to see a show of mine and doesn’t scream out that I’m a f*cking donut after every song.”
“It’s just tweaking, and experimenting, and frustration, and elation, until the song is done,” he proclaims. Life and love may throw their curveballs, but this fact is evergreen.