Mister K a.k.a Kevin Roy is looking to the past to bring something new to pop music.
“I basically told (my producer) I want to make an album that sounds like Neil Young produced by George Martin, kind of like Neil Young meets Abbey Road but done in the modern age,” Roy says.
The result is the folk-pop sounds of Mister K, a project Roy was happy to bring to the Uniter Fiver.
“I’ve kind of watched from the sidelines for a few years, and I figured, I mean this year I’ve been starting a new project, and I figured it’s a good opportunity to sort of showcase it and bring it to light through the Fiver,” he says.
While Mister K is new, Roy is no stranger to the music business. He performed under his own name as a country musician.
“I spent about five years on the road. Probably over 500 shows or so playing for the project, and I got so caught up in the management side of things and the administration side of things and kind of running that through that I felt I really kind of lost touch with the art,” he says.
Roy overlays his pop-folk sound with lyrics geared to dealing with “the political tensions and things that are going (on) all around us right now.
“I think there’s not really a lot of songs of substance out there, at least not in the mainstream ... My music is a way to bring some really key points to people through music or bring a message of positivity and hope, social change and (things) like that through my music,” Roy says.
He says the most important thing for him and any artist is to stay true to their own voice, something he didn’t get a chance to fully do during his country music years.
Roy feels many musicians fall into a trap of “trying to emulate something that isn’t maybe them.
“I think I’ve probably felt like I was a little bit guilty of that in the last project that I did ... while we’re saying you’ve got to be true to yourself and your voice, I think finding your voice is probably one of the single hardest things to do in the music industry,” he says.
Roy says finding his truth has brought him back around to where he started.
“I almost feel kind of like I went full circle. When I started writing music and playing music, it was the music of Neil Young and Tom Petty, and some of those songs that I grew up on ... and then I went into this whole country thing for a while.
“Vocally, I kind of think I’ve come back to where I started singing where I was most comfortable, and thematically, I think I’ve kind of found a way now to ... stay true to my voice and who I am as an artist and a performer,” he says.
Roy has released one track from Mister K and has another under wraps. The album will come out later this year.
Find out more at misterkband.com.
Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)