Kishi Bashi is a wonderful discovery I made via Bob Boilen on the NPR Program, “All Songs Considered” in 2012. Ever since that episode, I have been in awe of the wonder of Kishi Bashi. After discovering Kishi Bashi, I realized he was everywhere! Commercials for Microsoft, Windows 8, Sony and Smart Cars were featuring his music. I also realized I may have seen him before as he has played and toured with such greats as Regina Spector and Of Montreal.
To see Kishi Bashi perform live will leave you in a state of smiles and positivity. He beams happiness. I saw him last at Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati. CincyMusic.com was very fortunate to book him for the VIP tent at that festival (check out the video HERE). During that VIP set at the Bunbury Music Festival, the packed tent was wow'ed by his music. I am flabbergasted to see him in Cincinnati again, on the beautiful stage of the 20th Century Theatre on Thursday, August 28th.
Enter to win a pair of tickets to the show HERE!
I had the opportunity to sit down with this amazing musician prior to the show next Thursday.
CP: Congrats on the new album! It is fantastic. Of all the songs, I really have to know what inspired “The Ballard of Mr. Steak”…
KB: I heard a short story by David Sedaris in which he describes the complexities of gender specific pronouns. The story of Mr. Steak specifically is about a sad tale of consumption and dancing.
CP: I have heard that rather choosing words for their meaning, you choose them for their lyrical sounds. Tell us a bit about your writing process…
KB: Everything starts with music for me. The words are just an extension of the sounds that appeal to me. Strong words will make their way to the top and inspire me to connect them into stories or fantasies. This is usually how it starts for me.
CP: What do you prefer, touring with a band or solo?
KB: I love performing solo because I realize how big of an impact it has on the audience for them to see me create this large sound without anybody else, but I also like to It does get a bit lonely touring alone, so I prefer to have people with me.
CP: Even though your music has been featured in a number of commercials, I personally find your music to not be commercial. Why do you think companies want to use your songs?
KB: I make music that is positive (in general), and I think ad agencies like music that will make you feel happy. If the music makes you feel uplifted when you're viewing the commercial, then the ad is doing exactly what it should be.
CP: Rumor has it you played quite the house party after Midpoint Music Festival last year in Cincinnati, do you often do that? And if so, may I give you my address?
KB: All the time. What's your address? Do you have Rolling Rock?
CP: I adore the NPR program, All Songs Considered…I’m curious, did Bob Boilen from NPR naming you as one of his favorites have any impact on your (solo) popularity?
KB: Absolutely. When they named me one of 4 top SXSW picks to watch despite the fact that I was rejected from the official festival definitely opened a lot of doors. I'm eternally grateful for his support.
CP: What can one expect to witness at a Kishi Bashi performance?
KB: Sweaty arms and big smiles are always what we like to promote at our shows (and confetti cannons)!