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INTERVIEW: Che-Val

Hi guys, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?

Kenny: In one word… busy! We’re excited to showcase our new record.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Waterproof”?

Kenny: I was sitting down at the piano after being inspired by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys’ chord progressions, and I was just trying to play around with arranging different chords in different orders. I tracked an idea at the home studio, went off to work, and when I came home, Laura had written a song to it. After she did, she was like “By the way, can I write to this?”

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Laura: I had a really bad experience with a coworker in my past job, where they essentially stole my intellectual property and tried to pass it off as their own. I made a conscious decision to myself to say, “You know what? I’m going to rise above and let this roll off of me. I can stay mad, or I can write a great song about it”… And that’s what I did. Thankfully Kenny had left the computer open that day!

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Laura: I actually thought that the lyric video would suffice as a great video because I’m so in love with it, but my students have requested a video for it as well! So you’ll have to stay tuned!

The lyric video shows footage of Dancing In The Rain – did the movie itself influence the song in any way?

Kenny: Actually, no. After hearing Laura’s lyrics, I had a thought that the imagery of someone dancing in the rain would really capture the song. So I pulled up Gene Kelly’s scene to show my idea, and it lined up so perfectly that we decided to use it.”

Why name the record after this track in particular?

Laura: I didn’t know what a powerful word “Waterproof” could be until after Kenny’s business partner at the Factory Underground, Ethan Isaac, said that we better name our album after it or he would! We also chose this because I think that this song marks a pivotal moment where both Kenny and I agreed that my songwriting and singing really started taking on a unique sound.

How was the recording and writing process?

Kenny: Experimental. We were trying to push our own abilities and trying to not be as conventional even when we were being conventional.

Does science play a role in your music?

Laura: I feel like science has shaped who I am as a person. Going to school for chemical engineering and teaching chemistry turns you into the ultimate problem solver – like hearing, “Mrs. Cash, I did [insert disaster here], what do I do?” So I try to nod to that chemistry background in certain songs when I can, like the song “Poison”.

What decades get to influence the music on this record?

Laura: So many! 1960s (“Oh Darlin”), 1970s (“Love Still Waiting”), 1980s (“My Beat”), and everything has a modern day twist. Kenny and I are influenced by so many genres and so many eras, that we were able to incorporate that into the entire album.

Where did you find the inspiration for the lyrics on this record?

Laura: Life! Whatever my mood is at the moment, influenced by the events of that day, inspire my songs. Like “Love Still Waiting” was written because I was eating Doritos waiting for Kenny to get home from work! If Kenny has already created an instrumental, the sounds usually incite an emotion that can tie back to an experience.

Any plans to hit the road?

Kenny: We’ve been developing our live show in different contexts because the songs have such deep arrangements. It’s a little challenging because we want to be able to perform as a full band with full horn sections or stripped down to just piano or guitar with vocals depending on the venue. – Kenny Cash

What else is happening next in Che-Val’s world?

Kenny: Prince was my biggest influence, so his passing struck more of an urgency for me to dive deeper into his musical genius. Much like the before-mentioned Brian Wilson, Prince broke the mold of conventional pop to add little spices that can only be described as genius. He never composed his music to fit in a traditional spot so it’s inspiring us to try to push further on our upcoming writing and collaborations.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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