It’s been a week now since we first heard Kendl’s new track Ella, and for that entire time, we’ve had it spinning on repeat. So fresh off the track’s release, we caught up with the artist himself for a chat.
Hot off the release of his new single Ella, we caught up with Melbourne-based artist and composer Jesse Kendal (aka Kendl) for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
KENDL: Things are going well thanks! It’s 9:30 am at the moment and I’m listening to Bonobo’s mix for Fabric while working through my list of things I need to get done by the end of the day. I downloaded this app called FocusList. You create a list of things you need to get done along with time constraints. I find it helps me stay on top of stuff… Sometimes.
HAPPY: We’re loving Ella! How does it feel having the track out there in the world?
KENDL: Thank you! Release day is always a great feeling, weird but great. I receive lots of messages from friends, listeners and people who have just discovered my music, which is really nice. It’s an awesome feeling sharing something no one has heard before, something that I created and believe in so much.
HAPPY: You were inspired to write the song while travelling, right? Do you think these different places influenced the sound of the song at all?
KENDL: I often think about why I use certain sounds and write the way I write but it all comes down to one thing, ‘I do it cause I love it’ and because it resonates with me. Everything I was exposed to while travelling opened up my mind a lot. It helped me tap into places within myself that I was too apprehensive to explore before. Being out of my comfort zone and experiencing what this world has to offer is always humbling. It reminds me that life is too short and if you’re going to fail at anything, it’s better to fail while being true to yourself than to fail by not following what you believe in.
HAPPY: I love reading about how your music has charted in countries all over the world! How does it feel knowing people are listening to your tunes all over the globe?
KENDL: Oh, man… it’s a trip! A number of months after the release of my Colours EP, I’d get notifications almost every month saying that a track has hit an iTunes chart in another country. It’s pretty awesome to see but at the same time it’s data on my computer screen, so in a way, it’s a bit hard to comprehend. It’s not until I get a personal message from an enthusiastic listener with really lovely feedback, that it sinks in that someone is listening and connecting with my music on the other side of the world. It’s a beautiful thing!
HAPPY: You’ve kept up a pretty consistent release schedule since 2017… do you have a bank of tracks stored up? Or are you releasing as you write?
KENDL: I have a small bank, but a really good one! I might write 3 – 5 sketches in a day and one of them will more than likely develop into a release worthy track. I’m confident enough with my writing now to know when an idea is worth working on and pursuing or not. I wouldn’t usually release as I write, but as I’m a self-managed artist, I won’t be holding on to releases as long as I used to. The most important thing for me right now is to get my music out there and focus on connecting with my audience.
HAPPY: How do you see Ella as being different from past material? If at all…
KENDL: There has definitely been a shift in my overall style, which can be attributed to personal growth as an artist and exploring different facets of sound. I can hear this progression in my Colours EP from the earliest track to the most recent. Lately, I have been experimenting with sampling and recording techniques, hardware synthesisers, tape delays and reverbs. Exploring new tools and techniques has allowed me to express my musical ambitions more broadly in different and more creative ways.
HAPPY: Are there any other particular artists you’re really loving at the moment?
KENDL: I came across an artist who goes by the name ‘Durante’ on Spotify last week. He makes minimal melodic techno – really great stuff! ‘Luttrell’ is another favourite I’ve come across recently and he just released a new record. Also, Melbourne acts Hemm and Anatole are fantastic. I have 2 Spotify playlists ‘Dusk’ and ‘Dawn’ that I update weekly with new music and new discoveries.
HAPPY: What’s next for Kendl? Any other exciting plans in the works?
KENDL: Right now my focus is on releasing the B side track Manyara in the next few months and doing some shows post-release. Once this split single is out, I will be finalising my next body of work, which is in progress. I’m really excited about the new music and can’t wait to share what’s in the pipeline!
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
KENDL: Thank you – until next time!
Ella is available now. Listen above.