53° Good Afternoon
53° Good Afternoon

Kidsday talks with singer Kevin Rudolf

We met one of our favorite singers Kevin Rudolf while he was visiting his record offices in Manhattan recently.
Do you write your own songs or does someone help you?

I usually almost all the time write my own songs. I have a friend of mine that sometimes comes over if I get stuck on an idea, like sometimes I’ll come up with a melody and I’ll have some of the words but not all of them, so he’ll help and like fill out the words. But usually I write everything myself.
How many hours a week do you spend on your music?

A lot of my schedule is broken up into like being in the studios, writing and producing. Sometimes you’re on the road doing shows. It’s almost like if I’m not traveling, not eating and not sleeping, it’s pretty much all my time.
Have you ever competed in a talent show?

Yeah I did. When I was a kid I played like different battle of the bands thing and stuff like that. I didn’t sing a song in that. I played and a friend of mine sang, we played a Pink Floyd song, “Comfortably Numb.” That was like the first talent show type thing I ever did.
What does it feel like to stand in front of thousands of people on stage?

It’s amazing. As long as they like you. If they don’t like you then it’s not cool. But it’s an amazing feeling. It’s literally a dream. You get lost in the moment and you don’t know where you are.
Did you like to sing the song “Let It Rock”?

Do I like to sing it? Yeah. I love to sing it because everyone else loves it. So it’s like instant crowd reaction. If you can play one note of a song and everyone starts cheering it’s awesome.
Do you hear the music in your head first or the words first?

What I’ll do is make a basic track and then I start to work on the melody and lyrics. When you come up with a melody, like sometimes it has words attached to it and it’s something you have to like listen to what you’re saying. Sometimes what I do - like when I wrote “Let It Rock” I just had the basic chords and the track and I just started going, “Maybe cause you’re gone, you know, yeah, you got it coming cause you know.” I didn’t even know what I was saying I was just in that flow and I just kept . . . “because when I arrive” and it came out of me doing that so many times and I thought it was really special, like I don’t want to really sit down and write it, I’m going to let it come out of me, kept on writing notes. Every time a phrase would come out that made sense, I would write it down.

Is anyone in your family a musician?

My mother was a singer when I was growing up. So she was playing in bands in the city and I’d like see her going to sound check, watch her shows. And she went through the whole process of trying to make it and the whole thing. And she really doesn’t do it much anymore, but it definitely had some kind of rubbing off effect on me, like I really just loved music at a young age.
Do you play any instruments?

Yes I do. I play guitar, I play bass, I play drum, keyboards. I also produce and engineer and I could pretty much make a record with just by myself. And that’s what I like to do.
What inspired you to start singing?

It wasn’t something I really wanted to do. It was like I love playing guitar and then it was like, all right so where do you go from playing a guitar. You can join a band, or you can record yourself playing guitar. If you don’t write songs, like you really don’t have anything to kind of . . . you’re always playing someone else’s music. I started writing songs, I started making demos and things like that of me playing the guitar and then I’d get a drum machine and try different things and try to make it sound like a whole song. I was like well someone’s got to sing, so I started singing the songs. And that’s how it pretty much happened. I wasn’t good at it at all a long time, but still that’s how it pretty much started.
What was your favorite subject in school?

I think my favorite subject in school was probably anything to do with like creative writing, like English. Things you like you do well at. I was horrible in Math. I had to go to summer school in the 7th grade. It was a nightmare. I was like into English and creative writing and anything with art.
When you grew up what was your favorite game to play?

I grew up in New York City, so you guys have like houses in Ronkonkoma and more like land. I didn’t have -- I was lucky I went to the park. Game, I use to like playing football and baseball. I was in Little League for a little while except it was like a crappy little league because it didn’t even have a pitcher. Had like a batting tee, you hit everything off the batting tee. So it was like no cool at all. I like those kinds of sports, but mostly I got into music because I think there was no where to go except to leave the apartment.
How old where you when you wrote your first song?

I think I was probably maybe like 12 or 13. Doesn’t necessarily mean it was good. You can write something. I think it was called "What’s Done is Done" I was like bitter as a child. It’s like What’s Done is Done, can’t change that. I actually found the lyric sheet a long time ago.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in NYC about 20 blocks from here.
Did you have any pets when you were younger?

Yeah I did. I had a lot of pets actually. I had a cat, I had a parakeet, I had a rat, I had a gerbil. They all seem to have died. Never had a dog. I always wanted a dog. My mom wouldn’t let me have a dog. She said it’s like it’ll be going to the bathroom in the apartment.
Do you have any now?

No. I kind of want one. It’s like when you’re on the road you don’t really get to take care of - have the time to take care of it.
Do you enjoy reading?

I do. I don’t read that many books anymore though. I read magazines on airplanes. But you should read books.
When you were little did you play video games and if so, which ones?

I don’t know. I wasn’t really into video games. It’s weird. I always like the older stuff, like Ninetendo64, Super Mario Brothers. I’m actually like a vintage, Pac-man was like a little before my time, but, I love miss Pac-man, Asteroids and all that stuff. They still have that. They have remakes on PS2, 3. I didn’t have one (gameboard). Is that new?
If you could have a room full of anything, what would it be?

Room full of money would be good. A great studio would be fun, a room full of musical instruments. Room full of seafood. I like lobster. All those things would work.
Do you have a role model?

I don’t know if I do anymore. You kind of -- I idolize different people at different times. I idolize certain aspects of people, or someone’s creativity, someone else’s business sense, or someone else’s ambition whatever it may be. But I don’t really have one person that I model myself after. One person I always really admired was Richard Branson, who started Virgin Records, Virgin Airways and all those companies. Mainly because he seemed like someone who does what he loves and super successful, but also really does it for the passion of doing it, not just to make money or just to.


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