The fear of acceptance often tempts an artiste to bury his/her desire to explore and experiment. 22-year-old Kevin Lywait struggles with the same. However he gets his enthusiasm back by listening to his favorite music, a mix of jazz, funk and soul. ‘I would visualize something in my head and try to create a feeling out of it; it’s more like making that picture or visual alive. I often take a break for a couple of days from producing and I’ll be brimming with ideas and inspiration.’
Kevin started his musical journey in 2013. Born in Jowai and raised in Shillong, he is currently living in Bangalore, working as a freelancer and pursuing film studies. ‘I started playing guitar at the age of 11. I quit and got into singing which I was not very good at. I pursued dancing for a few years, DJing and making music only started after school. I have never learned music theory, but I am wishing I would do so soon.’
Kevin shares one of his best experiences performing live was at Master of the Mix Season 1, 2013 in Shillong. ‘The crowd was not really dancing but they were concentrating on what I was doing, it’s a great feeling when you catch someone’s attention.’
A defeat in the final round of his first DJ battle in Guwahati was not discouraging; as he went on to take part in another battle in Shillong where he came out victorious in 2014. ‘After that, I moved to Bangalore for further studies and took up a DJ course at Resonance DJ Academy. In 2015, I started making music and decided to learn on my own via YouTube tutorials. In the process of learning to make music, I also worked at Monkey Bar as a residential DJ.’
Every time there is a crisis in creativity, Kevin prefers attending festivals and watching artistes live in clubs and pubs. ‘It is also one of my best sources of inspiration. After coming out of recovery mode, I’ll be stuck in my room making music for days.’ A foodie at heart, Kevin prefers to chill with two cans of beer at parties.
His top five Indian acts are Kumail, Sandunes, Dualist Inquiry, Nicholson and Zokhuma. ‘There are good musicians and producers in India but what I feel is that India does not have much support, good publicity and big labels to help these artistes out.’
He is planning to release an EP with his band Ha Lor, which he formed in 2016 with Alexandria Rintoul. A couple of his tracks with Adiel Massar will also be out soon. ‘Right now I have no Plan B to fall back on, Plan A will have to be what works out. In a couple of years, I hope I can make music for a living and perform full live sets.’
This weekend if you are out on a drive, you should indulge in this soulful playlist of Kevin featuring some of his favorite artistes.
Disclaimer: Some songs in this playlist have explicit content. Suited best for 18+ audience.
By Mrinal Paul