Interview – Twin Kennedy

By: Jenna Melanson

Powell River, BC based country duo, Twin Kennedy consists of sisters, Carli and Julie Kennedy. The sibling duo has made a name for themselves throughout BC and are now about to break out all over Canada. They will be releasing their debut album, “It’s A Love Thing” on April 7th, and I was lucky enough to ask them a few questions about their background, their music and more in this email interview.

When did you decide that you wanted to take on music as a career?

We have known that we wanted to be performers since we were little kids. There are countless family videos of us performing living room concerts for our family and friends, and we got our start on stage performing in a family band at small town events and fairs in our hometown of Powell River. We made the decision to take on music professionally after high school, and we went to the University of Victoria and got our Bachelors Degrees in Music Performance on guitar and violin. A career in country music was an honest return to our roots!

What is it like working in a band with your sibling?

It’s the best! We spend a lot of time on the road, so it’s great to have your best friend by your side.

You have released 2 EP’s in the past, and now are about to release your debut LP, how has your sound changed since your EP’s?

As musicians, our goal is to keep growing and evolving. With this album, our sound is more contemporary than our past EPs. We obviously still focus on our sibling harmonies, guitar and fiddle, but we also added some new instruments to the mix – a lot of electric guitars, keyboard and amazing background vocals from George Canyon!

What can you tell us about your writing process?

Our writing process starts with a lyrical or melodic hook. Sometimes these ideas come to us while we’re driving in the car or falling asleep (thank goodness for iPhone voice memos!). We develop the ideas in writing sessions. They can become a complete song in a matter of hours, and sometimes it takes multiple days. We are lucky to have an amazing group of co-writers that we collaborate with on a regular basis, and this album features co-writes with many of our favourites!

The album has been produced by George Canyon and Graham Sharkey, what was it like working with these two?

Working with George and Graham was a great experience. We have admired George as an artist and a writer for years, and it was amazing to have the opportunity to learn from him in the studio. We really clicked musically with Graham as well, and having another guitarist, especially one who comes from the electric guitar side of things, was an amazing combination with our more acoustic-based sound.

The album will be available on April 7, if you had to describe the album as a whole in only 3 words, which words would you choose?

Love, truth and fun!

You released your debut single from the album, “It’s A Love Thing” earlier this year, how was the response?

We had a very rewarding experience releasing our first single. We travelled across Canada all the way from our home on Vancouver Island to Cape Breton! We visited 47 radio stations, and it was so great to meet so many incredible people working behind the scenes and behind the mics! Our most memorable night was during soundcheck at one of our shows in Saskatchewan when we went to move our car from loading in and randomly heard our single on the radio for the first time! It is a moment we will never forget!

It seems like everyone has worked hard, sacrificed, or followed their heart when it comes to love. It has been amazing to receive messages from fans relating to the song and telling us what they have done for love – be it working day and night to support their families or chasing their dreams!

What is your favourite song on the album?

Ooo that’s a hard one! We love all of the songs for different reasons. However, “It’s a Love Thing” is special because it truly is the theme for the album. All of the songs relate to love in some way, be it a happy love story, a song about heartbreak, or a story about embracing life and living it to the fullest!

You will be doing a number of CD Release tour dates in Alberta & British Columbia, is there any news on when you will do a full Canadian tour?

Definitely! We had a blast on our first cross-Canada tour as a duo promoting the debut single. We will be making the trip again in the Fall with tour dates all across the country – and now that we know we can make it in the middle of winter, it should be no problem with dry roads! J Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and at twinkennedy.com for show announcements and updates from the road.

What can fans expect from a live show?

Being on stage is one of our favourite places in the world. It’s our happy place, and our goal is to make the crowd feel happy too! When you come to our show, you can expect to have a rockin’ country time, but also hear some classical instrumental intros mixed in with the country tunes! We love to play our original tunes and our favourite covers arranged in unique ways. We like to dance, tell stories, and get the audience singing along!

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so we want to know, who is your favourite Canadian bands and artists?

We have been huge Shania Twain fans forever! Her concert at GM Place in Vancouver was the first stadium show we ever attended. We also love Bryan Adams, Beverly Mahood, Small Town Pistols, Patricia Conroy, Michelle Wright, Paul Brandt, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, The Rankins, and of course, George Canyon!

Here, at Canadian Beats we like to include a small portion of random questions that may help your fans learn something new about yourself, so here goes:

What was the first song you ever sang in front of someone?

Hank Williams – Tear In My Beer… Yep, it was one of our all-time favourites when we were little girls.

If you were able to tour with any other Canadian band/ artist, who would you choose?

Obviously we would love to re-create our album tunes on stage with George! It has also always been a dream to open for Shania, and there are so many great BC country artists that we would love to share the stage with too, including Dallas Smith and Chad Brownlee!

What is your favourite clothing store?

We have a friend who designs most of our stage clothes – Maureen Patricia Design in Toronto – so anything that she makes is tops on our list!

Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they?

Nope – we’re tattoo free… it just looks too painful!

What’s the one thing you cannot leave your house without?

Carli: I’ll answer for Julie… her fiddle! She seriously carries it with her everywhere!

Julie: For Carli, it would have to be her purse… she could survive on a desert island with that thing! She’s always got snacks, a first aid kit, and all kinds of things stashed in there. It’s very handy to have her on tour!

What is your favourite meal to cook?

When we cook, it’s a team effort. Our “twin specialty” is a strawberry salad with goat cheese and balsamic dressing (made by Julie), avocado chicken stuffed with cream cheese and rosemary roasted potatoes (made by Carli). If we’re not cooking the meal together you might be missing a few food groups. 😉

Do you prefer cooking or eating at a restaurant?

If our Mom is cooking, there’s nothing else we would rather eat! If it’s brunch, then we love eating out at our favourite brunch spots in Victoria, BC, where people line up down the street for the best eggs benny and biscuits around!

What is your favourite Spring activity?

Walking on the beach, mountain biking, running… anything outside to enjoy the fresh air!

Last, but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Thank you!!! All the support, the love, the tweets, the messages… they mean the world to us!

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