It’s rare that you meet a soul as positive and inviting as Kyle Dion. This Florida native, L.A. based artist emits an aura that is both warm and energetic on-and-off stage. Needless to say, when I first spoke with Kyle for this interview, I was intrigued. Three months ago, Kyle released his sophomore project, Painting Sounds, an eclectic collection of iconic sounds that is sure to fit your every mood. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Kyle Dion about his musical upbringing, a behind-the-scenes look at his latest project, and the future of his music.

 

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” I feel like music has always been a part of my anatomy…nothing else really interested me, but music.” 

Q: How was your performance at UCSD? What was it like opening for BJ The Chicago Kid?

A: It was really really dope. It was fun and the energy was really tight! It was like one of my best shows. It was fun opening up for BJ the Chicago Kid, he’s a really cool guy and great performer.

 

Q: For those who don’t know, how would you introduce yourself?

A: I would say I am a funky, R&B artist with a little bit of jazz, soul, and pop. A majority of my music stems from those areas.

 

Q: How did you get started with music? What events led you to make music a part of your life?

A: I feel like music has always been a part of my anatomy. I never really got into anything else, nothing else really interested me, but music. My mom’s dad was a performer…she thinks that I get my love of music from him because, no one else in my family really took on music like I did. We’re definitely all creative though. My brother is a director and he actually directed some of my music videos.

 

Q: The transition from Florida to California is a BIG one, why did you decide to move? 

A: I felt that being in my hometown, in Florida, there was no room for me to grow, as a musician. I thought it would be great to switch up the atmosphere, so I can be free to create and grow further. I was nervous at first, because it was across the country, but I knew I had to get out of there. It was more of an exciting feeling than a nervous one, in the end. Now, I feel like there are a lot more opportunities for my future, things to get into, a lot more people here that are on the same wavelength…that are trying to make something of themselves, be it creatively or not. I feel like there are a lot of people here, in California, who are consistently on their grind and making a name for themselves. It’s a dope place to be.

 

Q: Are you currently signed to a label? Or do you consider yourself to be an independent artist? 

A: I consider myself to be an independent artist. I do have a team, but I am not signed to any labels. Which is really cool, because we’ve made some pretty successful milestones. We made Billboard twice and did a lot of collaborations. I have a lot of my repertoire to be proud of.

 

Q: What is one of the best performances you have ever done?

A: Hands down, San Diego was the best performance ever. The vibes were CRAZY there. It wasn’t the biggest audience I had, but it was the most intimate and interactive. It was my best show, thus far. I absolutely see myself going back to perform at UCSD. They welcomed me with open arms, very warm.

 

Q: Have your parents seen you perform before?

A: Yeah, they flew out to Atlanta to see me perform earlier this year in February. It was really cool. 

 

Q: What’s the first album you have ever bought?

A: Since my younger years, I’ve always been a huge Usher fan. The Confessions album and the video for “My Way” were some of my personal favorites. I felt that, as a child, I built a connection with him. So I would definitely say anything by Usher is what I would always listen to.

 

Q: Who are some artists that inspire you? Why?

A: I don’t think a particular artist inspires me. I think the whole movement of music in this generation is definitely inspiring. Artists doing their thing and having their own individuality. I think the world of music today is inspiring, not a particular person.

 

Q: What’s something you would love to bring to this generation of music?

A: For this new generation of music, I just hope to bring ME. I’m not really trying to bring anything new, or force anything. I’m bringing myself, therefore, there’s no one else like me, there’s no one else like you, there’s no one else like “Tina” in Massachusetts, you know? Whatever my individuality brings, that’s what I have to give.

 

Q: So, about Painting Sounds…what was the concept behind this project?

A: I wanted to do a project that I didn’t have to listen to with one specific vibe. I decided that instead of having my project stick to one, particular vibe, I wanted my audience to come to my project and feel any kind of way and be able to put that one song on. I knew I wanted to have a more eclectic collection of music with a vibe of “Whatever you’re feeling in this moment, you can find the perfect song to match that moment.” I think of colors when I think of Painting Sounds and how each color makes you feel a certain way. That’s what I really wanted to gain from this project, and the message I wanted to share with everyone. That you can have different vibes in an album and you can come to my album whenever, or for whatever, no matter the purpose.

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Q: Who helped you produce this project?

A: We had a variety of producers. Some from Canada and some from Florida, one group called Interstellar…they have about three tracks on Painting Sounds. Then, of course, I had my homie, QnAce, he helped with my last project, Sixes and Sevens, so I had to bring him back for this one. My homie Dust, who I collaborated with back in 2012. So, you know, just keeping it in the circle, keeping it in the house, but of course, I didn’t hesitate to bring new people into this project, like Interstellar. It was really cool to include that different kind of vibe.

 

Q: Do you have a certain team that you use to help you create music or do you bring on new people for your sounds? 

A: I’m always open to bringing in new people. People send me beats every day, but of course, the relationship I have with my own producer, it helps me build songs from scratch that are geared toward the vibe I may be feeling in that moment. I welcome anyone to build that kind of relationship as well and have some fun, so we can continue to create!

 

Q: I heard that you write all of your music, did you write all the songs for this project?

A: I wrote all the songs for this project. Every single song that you’ve heard with my voice, is written by me. I’m down to collaborate with other songwriters, but I always want to write and have a part in my creation.

 

Q: What was the creative process behind this project?

A: I don’t have a set creative process for creating music or writing, it just flows through me. You can’t really set a vibe or plan for writing music, it won’t really work.The first time I listen to a beat, if I don’t feel anything, or connect to the beat within 10-15 seconds, I move on. You want the creative process of your music to happen naturally. 

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Q:  For the video, “In Your Feelings” what was the film experience like for you? Did you enjoy creating this visual?

A: The film experience was awesome. I made this video with some friends and my brother, who directed this music video. We rented out a U-Haul and traveled to the desert, about three hours out of L.A. We went to the desert to film one scene, then we did another scene closer to where we live, and we had multiple scenes because we wanted to get the right shot. It was definitely a lot of hard work, but it was SO much fun. I couldn’t ask for a better team. Like I said, “in the house.” My brother and my friends. It’s always fun to work with people you’re close to.

 

Q: How would you describe the difference Sixes and Sevens & Painting Sounds?

A: I think Painting Sounds is more experimental than Sixes and Sevens. I touched new areas of music, whereas Sixes and Sevens touched more so on R&B, jazz, and soul. I think both projects are on the opposite side of the spectrum, genre wise, but I still kept that undercurrent of who I am within it, no matter the genre. I definitely saw some personal growth though. I was able to let go and be free with Painting Sounds. Just experiment and not care when it came to creating music. “I don’t care if it sounds like this…I don’t care if it sounds like that.” Just be able to create and not limit myself. That’s what it’s all about. Sixes and Sevens was created during a time when I felt confused and I was still trying to figure out my sound, but I can confidently say that my sound has matured. 

 

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects? Or are you going to let Painting Sounds marinate with everyone? 

A: I’m going to let Painting Sounds marinate with everyone. In this day and age, people have the attention span of once you release one project, they hear it through and immediately want more! You know what I’m saying? I spent like a year on this project haha. I always said that I’m not here to help that attention span problem. I’m here to create when I want to create, put out stuff when I want to put it out, and leave it like that. I think people can respect that. This project has been out for three months now and it’s doing really well. I’ve been on album mode for the past two years, so right now, I’m working on creating my debut album, but I’ll definitely be dropping some tracks in the Spring and in the Summer. Most importantly, I am focused on taking my time with this album and creating it at my own pace. I’m super excited about it. I’m not sure what direction it’s going to go in yet, but I’m consistently writing and creating to make this project perfect.

 

Q: Who do you hope to work with in the future?

A: I want to work with Pharrell, Eryka Badu, Andre 300, Chance the Rapper…A lot of dope artists, the list goes on. I’m inspired by this new movement of music and the individuality everyone has going for them, so I’m inspired to collab with a lot of different people.

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Q: What are your musical and personal goals for 2016?

A: We have a lot of shows coming up this year so, we’re going to try to be on the road as much as we can. Also, I’m trying to spread Painting Colors because a lot of people haven’t heard it yet. I want to get more people to listen to my sound. 

 

Q: As far as live performances, where would you like to perform?

A: I would LOVE to perform in Chicago in the future. I feel like Chicago has this cool ass vibe and I would love to perform in the Bay too. A lot of dates are picking up and we’re trying to get involved in a lot of shows that are already set, so I have no doubt that Chicago or the Bay will be my next performance in the near future.

 

Q: Is there anything you would love to tell your fans/supporters?

A: I love you guys so much!! Thank you for supporting me when you don’t have to, oving me/staying by my side, and continuing to grow with me. Continue to grow with me and be a part of this journey so the world can hear my music. Also, GO BUY PAINTING SOUNDS on iTunes! If you love the project, go support it, so I can continue to create the things that you guys love! You know what I’m sayin’

 

Stay connected with Kyle Dion!

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Listen to Painting Sounds Now!

About The Author

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awkward. college student. entrepreneur. womanist. radiant. lover of all things. growing, blossoming each moment.

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