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Monday, July 12, 2010

MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT-Azriahl Alternative Rock- Sandy Demina Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Monday, July 12, 2010
Ontario native Kevin Kennedy (also known as Azriahl) brings a knife's edge to his solo acoustic performance as well as power and command in full band format. This is not the usual strumming balladeer. Soulful curios sifted from post-grunge rubble combine with his earthy candor to create rich songs and lyrical imagery. As broad as his northern home land, Azriahl's influences span the edgy rock of Alice in Chains, introspect of Radiohead, and gives a respectful nod to storytellers like Bob Dylan.
More than a decade behind the microphone has given Kevin an easy going but seasoned stage presence that engages his audience. He has the experience and instinct to absorb a crowd's energy and give it back in his performance. He thrives on it in fact and lively performances and approachability make Azriahl a crowd favorite anywhere he goes.
Typically, Azriahl’s sound falls into “Hard Rock Alternative”, and is always adding to his list of original songs as well as personalizing covers to breathe fresh life into inspiring tracks. As a band, they love outdoor festivals and gatherings, willing to place their music into the hearts and minds of anyone in attendance.
Azriahl after 2 years and half of live performance in Second Life is not so much inworld as before.However I've been lucky to catch him on line and so he kindly responded to my usual little virtual interview...

SANDY:Where are you from?Azriahl:I'm a singer songwriter from Ontario Canada. I love the outdoors but i love creative expression more than anything.

SANDY:How long have you been playing music?
Azriahl:Ive been playing music for roughly 13 years and writing for about 11.
I grew up listening to music, music from all eras, i found i couldn't get enough.
Then over time i learned and began writing my own.

SANDY:What instruments do you play?Azriahl:I play string instruments mainly, my instrument is rhythm guitar though i am also fluent with Bass,
Leed and some Bow work.

SANDY:How would you describe your style?Azriahl: i would say it would be difficult to describe my style, It stems from all sorts of inspirational sources.
My music is high energy yet soothing and melodic, it would definitely fall into the category of Alternative and more than
likely into Hard rock grunge.

SANDY:You are a composer too,how long does it take to write a song/piece of music?Azriahl:Its hard to say. as with many things sometimes the moment hits you and BOOM you've got a song, sometimes
there's a favorite guitar piece or poem that you build the song around. My first full band release has taken over 120 hours beginning to end so far.
Now there is a learning curve in there but all the same to write, record, and polish it can take some time

SANDY:How prolific are you?Azriahl: I've been working on producing and mastering from the pool of my old portfolio which consists of over 25 songs.
Though a major contributing factor is my work schedule, though I am a musician I'm also a full time engineer.
This helps pay for production of music, gear and anything related. I sometimes come up with an idea while driving, sometimes when i first wake up.
I bank these songs and save them for a moment when i have more time.
So i can say i come up with roughly one new song a week.

SANDY:What do you spend the most time on: music or lyrics?Azriahl:Either or. Going back a few questions it depends on how the song is written.
My writing style is bardic meaning that all my songs are stories, Some pertain to situations in my life, some based on
stories I've come across. I do spend time on the lyrics but id have to say the most time usually goes into the music itself

SANDY:Which acts have most inspired you?
Azriahl:There's too many to mention though the ones that really inspired me where: The smashing pumpkins, Alice in chains, Filter, Tool, & Ministry.
Even then my taste broad and I'm constantly hearing new music like "Uss, Zoe keating, Champion, Apocalyptica" the list is endless.

SANDY:Where do you get ideas for songs/pieces of music?Azriahl: Id have to say from emotional moments in my life. Usually something big and important that's happened to me.
Sometimes something little like a fight, But its usually an emotional outlet.

SANDY:Except for other musicians what else inspires you?Azriahl:Scenery, sights, sounds, smells... Anything and everything around me. I love to travel and spend allot of time on the road.
The routes i generally take are often Northern through forests and countryside. Its in these places that i feel the most sincere.
Its also for this reason i carry a camera with me everywhere. I Actually publish my photography and you can even find it on my website.

SANDY:What has influenced you to get your to where you are today musically?Azriahl:What I've created, what i hear and my passions for creation. I listen to allot of music and find that my sound is extremely unique.
That's not to say there's not a place for it in the music world but that's just it. I make beautiful music that i enjoy. If i could separate
my creative half from me and have it write music 24/7 i would be in heaven. This manly because i write what I like.

SANDY:Which song would you most like to have written?Azriahl:I don't know how to answer that one... I appreciate most of the music i hear but have never really aspired to write something I've heard
in place of the author. A song more recently that I've heard though that i cant get enough of is "Puscifer - Humbling River"

SANDY How did you discover SL?Azriahl:A long lost friend showed it to me. I'm Also a furry and love wandering around exploring beautiful fantasy worlds in my Fox form.
That's what really appeals to me about SL, You can live out your dreams and fantasies.
It was also a great place to reach world audiences with my music and test it out before publishing it.

SANDY:what brought you inworld?
Azriahl: I'd have to say i came in world initially because i could play as an anthropomorphic fox..
I was able to create my character, bring it to life and well more or less play doll's with it (he laughs).
It was really cool seeing my alter ego "A golden Fox" Come to life, and for me to use it to interact with new and
unexplored dreamscapes.

SANDY:Did you ever think to use your real name for what you usually did in Second Life?Azriahl: I cant hide my real name so i just put it in my profile.

SANDY:What did you like to do in Second Life when you were not playing?Azriahl: I really enjoyed exploring, meeting other like minded people, getting trapped in deep conversations and just blowing off steam.
The virtual forests and islands are really pretty, One in particular that i loved no longer exists " The neko Reserve".
It was gorgeous, like something out of a dream, Beautiful ponds and rivers, glowing flowers and amazing sunsets.

SANDY:Do you think SL could have been a valid showcase for your RL works?Azriahl:Yes, Any exposure counts for exposure...
If 100 people on SL liked my work then I know a percentage would seek me out in the real world as well. Its for this reason i made a point to detail my profile with my RL websites and keep them up to date with my recordings.

SANDY: how many years did you spend in SL?
Azriahl:As of June 6th I'm 3 years old in second life.

SANDY: Why are not in world as much as you were before?Azriahl:I work full time and don't have much time to spare these days, I do pop in from time to time to catch up and tell my fans about whats going on in my music.

SANDY:What kind of digital promotions do you use?
Azriahl:Well lets see... I have my own website Http://, My Space Http:// ,I'm listed on over 30 Music sites, Deviant art, face book... Well that's all i can really think of at the moment.Check out also my video on you tube

SANDY:Where do you see yourself a year from now: will Second Life still exist?
Azriahl:A year from now I'm hoping my music will have found a much larger audience. Though that's a rather common dream for most artists. Personally
I hope to find myself with my better half living in a nice house in the country, with my own private studio to hide in (he smiles).
We also plan on having kids but would like to make sure our careers are mature before we take that step.
SL will always be around. People like to escape. A lot of people also have a hard time interacting with others so find comfort in hiding behind an avatar.
This allows them to be who they want and not worry about interacting socially in the real world. And if they mess up they can always make a new account.


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