Meet the man determined to bring more positivity into country music - An interview with: Kyle Elliott
This article is kindly sponsored by Scarlet River Management
Hi Kyle! Thanks so much for talking to me today! I recently have been listening to your new song I Won’t Forget To Miss You that you feature on with 7 other very talented unsigned country artists. How did you come to be involved in this project?
I’m involved with Scarlet River Management and they have a connection with Tyler and all the other people involved in the production and I’ve done a lot of writes with some of those other artists. It’s kind of this community feel we’ve got going on and it’s great company over there so I was glad to be a part of it. They came to me and said “Hey, we’ve got this really cool opportunity and we want people from around the world” and because most of the folks are in the UK or Europe and I’m from the US I was glad to be a part of it.
The main aim of this song is to raise money for MIND. This is a name that will be familiar to most people but what can you tell us about MIND and why you think what they do is so important.
I think especially this year mental health has been a big topic and I think it should be. With everything going on there’s not a lot to fall back on, a lot of us depend on a lot of securities such as family and friends or at least social interaction and this year we’ve all been hindered from that. It can definitely play on your mental stability so this song is a great idea and it goes hand in hand with the charity and what they’re trying to do and what has been hanging over us all this year with the virus and the lockdowns.
There are so many talented people involved in this song coming together from all different places; what was the process of putting this song together like? Was it very hands on or a case of recording your own thing and sending it off?
So that’s actually one of the coolest parts of the project; that we all were given the audio to the song with a sort of vocal scratch over, along with a “Here’s your part, try to make it your own”. That’s so cool because of how many different artists are on the song, you can almost hear what mood everyone was in based on their individual performances! I have a really deep voice so I stick out like a sore thumb! It was cool how it goes from like this dark and sulky sound to this powerful or uplifting or stripped-back style of voice. I think that’s really cool because we all have struggles, especially this year, and to be able to feel like it’s not just me doing this it’s everybody being a part of it that’s very apt as it’s almost a hypothetical or role play of what it actually is we are trying to bring awareness to. It was neat to have kind of my own experience with recording because, I mean I’m in the studio right now, but I don’t typically go into my own room with just myself and the song, especially not with something that I know is going to be really professionally done. So going in and trying to make it the best I can do under my own watch allowed me to have creative freedom and I think it was well used in the entire process.
Apart from the charitable donations the song will hopefully raise, what do you hope this song can give to people as they listen to it?
Music is a form of expression but it’s also a form of remembrance. I think anybody can say that they hear a specific song and it takes them to a certain time or place and I hope this song doesn’t take people to a bad time but to a time when they can be gracious for the lessons we have learned. The song plays right into that lyrically, this idea of I Won’t Forget to Miss You … well because next year hopefully I don’t have to, hopefully we can be together but I won’t take that time for granted anymore. I hope people do take the song and think of it as that now and hopefully in the future when it’s played. I hope we can drive a lot of attention to people who don’t think about those things on a daily basis; who might be struggling with that. I hope we can really get the word out and I hope people really get what we were going for here which is a lot more than just some multi artist collaboration.
So the song addresses the unfortunate reality for many people of spending Christmas apart from family and loved ones. What would be your advice or message to those that may end up alone over the holidays?
That’s really difficult because I know some people that aren’t going to get to go home for the holidays because of everything that’s going on and you can just see how it personally affects them. The best thing I can say is just take whatever tradition or emotional feelings that you’re having and express them; if your family usually does something but you’re not with them, still do it because it’s important to hold on to those things. Lots of times it might just be things like putting up a tree or making a specific dish for dinner that may seem pretty simple or maybe irrelevant but this year I think people have realised that without those little things it’s not quite the same. It’s the people at the end of the day but it’s also the little details that go along with those people, so keep up those traditions and keep talking to those people, because they probably miss you as much as you miss them, and hopefully next year you can see them.
The song also talks about the “year that’s been full of woe” which has obviously been difficult for everyone but also mentions “holding out for hope”. How important do you think it is that people try to stay positive and remain optimistic about what the future can bring despite the tough year we have had?
I think that’s a huge part of being uplifting especially mentally and emotionally. We all have to be able to look forward, we can’t dwell because that’s where it is going to get the best of us. As a writer I’ve tried to focus on that over the time that we’ve been locked down in the US, trying to be more uplifting because typically in country music most of the songs are sad! So, I’ve tried to get away from that and bring in some positive, uplifting light. I think that you can find really good things from most bad situations and learn lessons like not taking things for granted and maybe hugging those that we care about a bit tighter next time. Just really think about what matters at the end of the day; I know I have and I hope when people hear this they do the same. I know things are crazy too, you know, we are all trying to make it day-to-day, so maybe it will let you stop and think for a couple of minutes and call those that you care about and take it all in, because tomorrow is never guaranteed and who knows what is going to happen.
So in keeping with staying optimistic about the future, do you have any plans for 2021 that we can look forward to?
Well the idea is to do some traveling and that’s what I’ve been aiming towards. I know everything is still pretty unpredictable at the moment but the second they let me on a plane I’m going to go somewhere! The idea is to make it over to Europe next year, my band and I are actually touring here in the US right now which is exciting because we had been told that it wasn’t going to happen. New songs are coming too, I’m in the studio right now and we are getting ready to release new stuff and it has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to share that with everybody. Just like the song we are releasing, I Won’t Forget to Miss You, I want people to think, because music with me is not something that distracts you it is something that should make you think. One of the best parts about being an artist is when people reach out and say like, ‘Your song got me through this difficult time’ or ‘Your song takes me back to this great time in my life’, and to me that’s what it is about, so I can’t wait for people to experience more of that as I release more and more music.
Kyle Elliott's Mental Health Top 3:
1. Country Roads - John Denver
2. Come on Over – Kyle Elliott
3. Letters from Home – John Michael Montgomery
Buy print editions of Mindful Melody Issue 7 below!