Interview – Kendall Patrick

By: Jordyn Meade-Baxter

This singer and songwriter from Ladysmith, BC will be an inspiration for all. Kendall Patrick is a wonderful musician, who brings poetry into her songs and uses passion to write them and guide her career.

What has been the biggest inspiration for you as a writer?

KP: Ani Difranco, Brett Dennen, and Shane Koyczan are artists that write in such a way that I feel they are speaking right to me – encouraging me to be brave, to love myself, to have compassion, and to care about the world – and they do this by being honest in their responses to their life, always with a silver lining of empowerment and hope. Their effect on my life on every level has been profound. I am ever grateful to these mentors who are able to affect massive positive change in people by telling the stories of how they faced life head on so we can face life head on. Thanks to this experience, I feel INSPIRED to give my audience encouragement to be brave, to love themselves, to have compassion, and to care about the world through the personal honesty in my lyrics.

Your website says that you believe art should “serve a purpose bigger than the ego and influence of the artist who creates it”. What do you mean by that? How do you think it’s affected the way you create music?

KP: That is a summation written by the very fine gentleman that wrote my bio after a very candid phone interview we had. I believe what he was referring to was along the lines of what I described in the first question. As artists with audiences, we have the power of influence. It’s important to reflect on the motives for which we release our art, as everything has a cause and effect. Am I spewing myself out into the public so I can get attention and feel good about myself? Or do I have a message? Am I considering the people who are on the other end of my art? What does this really mean to me, and what could it mean to the world? Not that we have control over how it ends up being received, but the reflection can make the art better, can make the delivery better, and can help the artist grow by getting more real with themselves. I say this because, honestly, what is the point of the over sexualized pop culture robots getting spit out all over TV, radio and magazines over and over and over. The artists who are in those roles, I wonder, if they care about the messages they are sending to youth. I wonder if they feel bad for using their amazing god given talent for the big machine. Throwing it away, and contributing to the struggling self esteem issues that dog every woman and man in this culture.

Disclaimer: I don’t think art should be anything. Art is personal and precious to the individual. I do however try to serve a greater purpose with my own art as a response to the things in the world that I believe are detrimental to peace.

Does this mean you are not influenced by any artists, or their influence is not shown through your music?

KP: No way. Honestly I’m a little unsure what “influence of the artist who creates it” means. I think that first line in my bio is gonna need a rewrite.  I’ve wracked my brain for two days trying to figure out how to answer this question. I can’t.

What advice would you have to young Canadians trying to make it into music?

KP: Never give up. Read “A Career in Music; The Other 12 Step Program” by Bob D’Eith. Apply for festivals like Indie Week Canada, Canadian Music Week, NXNW, Break Out West, etc. Respect your fans. Educate yourself in marketing. Build a team to help you. Stay open to feedback. Meet your Canadian musician family. Believe in yourself more than anyone else believes in you.

You have done work with young girls and in schools. What has that experience been like? Do you think you will do something like that again?

KP: I have a project called Operation Empowerment, which surfaces and resurfaces over the years. It will surely come to life again although concrete plans have not yet been made. Operation Empowerment is an opportunity for me to get together with a group of kids (usually between grade 7 and 12 girls and boys…but particularly girls) and introduce the concept of media literacy. It is an interactive discussion facilitated by some story telling of my own experience being affected by media influence, a live performance of the Girl Rant, and question/answers. There is nothing more invigorating than helping others. Operation Empowerment provides an experience where the sharing of my music and messages is enhanced because it’s blatant activism and garners a strong bond with audience because of the personal nature of media literacy. It hits home hard for everyone who is open to looking at how self-esteem is a struggle, and how we are led very astray by our media when looking for answers in the fog of growing up and trying to find our place in the world. The value of these presentations feels more apparent because it is so direct, as opposed to playing a show and hoping people are hearing the lyrics and hoping they are relating to it in their own way.

How would you describe your sound to new listeners?

KP: This is one of the hardest questions. The first thing that comes to mind is “not difficult to hear”. There is a lot of music out there that I wince at within the first 10 seconds. I don’t believe my music has that effect. It may be lyrically inclined to fall into a “niche” category but musically it’s pretty easy to receive no matter what your age or taste. I’m a sucker for pop and catchy melodies, sounds that invite the heart to feel, the ears to listen, and often the feet to dance. Not too easy but not too complicated. If there is an adjective that sums up what I just said, could someone let me know?

As usual we like to add in a few fun questions for the fans.

If you could do a tour with 3 other Canadian band/artists, who would it be?

KP: The Franklin Electric. Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long, Tegan and Sara

What would be the one song you would listen to if you had to listen to only one song for the rest of your life?

KP: Old Piano by The Franklin Electric.

What’s next for you?

KP: My hope is that I will receive a recording grant so that I can get busy and record my next album. I’m rearing to get in the studio and get out on the road. I’ve fumbled my way through recording and touring up until now and I believe my next stab at things will be a lot different because of how much I’ve learned. My team has grown and I have more to work with, so it’s exciting to venture out with a bigger set of tools and see how far we can get. What I do know for sure is that in June I’ll be participating at a songwriter’s retreat in Louisiana with my long time idol, Ani DiFranco. This is sure to be another life changing/career changing adventure.

And, like always, anything you’d like to say to the fans?

KP: My gratitude to you for supporting the journey is unspeakable. What I have most appreciated from my favorite artists other than their music is their interactive engagement with their fans, and so I will do this with you too. Blogging, vlogging, social media, etc.


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