I have been busy in the underground music scene in London- a lot going on here, especially at a record label I have been involved with called Spiritual Records run by Raf Pesce- my most recent album I released independently, but I have been involved in an A&R capacity for Spiritual Records- they are a label based in Camden, the old stomping ground of Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran. It’s a really exciting scene here, a lot of good artists from all over are coming through and the experience has really influenced my own music and sound. A few artists I like which I’d recommend keeping an eye out for are Dom Glynn, William Poyer, Bandini, and Jack Trouble; they are magical.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Killadelphia”?
This song is about the city I was born in. Philly’s un-official nick-name is Killadelphia due to the murder rate there. People I know have succumbed to its grip, so that is what inspired me to write this particular song. There are a lot of positive aspects of Philly too that it’s important are not overlooked however- it’s a city of hard-working people that know how to survive. It was once the capital of the country, and that muscle and history still shows today- plus Philly people tell it like it is, what you see is what you get.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
The murder of someone close to me inspired me to write this song. Also, the racial tension around that event played a part in the lyrics as well, which is why I mention O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson. It was a meeting of the inner city ghetto with the comfortable suburbs and what ensued: brutal love.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I am just coming off the recording of the album this single is on, so that is next on agenda. I was thinking of shooting it in London and playing off the idea that what people consider racism and violence in London doesn’t even come close to the likes of Philly.
The single comes off your new album KTH III – what’s the story behind the title?
I’m a dedicated Led Zeppelin fan and their first four albums were all self-titled with roman numerals. I’m following suit, and this is my third album. For my next album I may even choose a symbol and develop an interest in the occult. The label I have been involved with, Spiritual Records, uses the Eye of Ra as their logo, so I was thinking of leaning Egyptian as well.
How was the recording and writing process?
The recording process took place in London- it was finished at Abbey Road Studios. The steps to the studio overlook the street where tourists gather daily and take pictures of where the Beatles walked. I may have briefly stood on the steps and pretended I was a celebrity. I also may have let one of the tourists into the gate for some cash. Why not?
The writing of the song took some time- I was dealing with some pretty uncomfortable memories and trying to do it in an artistic way- which is tough. Just because something is true and honest doesn’t mean it’s good; there is still a craft to honor. Also, I didn’t want to seem like I was slighting Philly- which to be clear is not what I did. Believe you me, the last thing you want to do is slight someone from that city. I was just writing about a personal memory and event from my past. So crafting the writing took some time until I felt like I had it.
What role does Philadelphia play in your music?
I think the fact that I am even still involved in music is testament to the Philly vibe- we work hard and don’t quit, no matter how hard the road. All musicians should be like that, but it’s easier said than done.
Learning about the artists that have influenced me has made me see just how much music has come out of Philly and just how much Philly has influenced music. People often overlook Philly today for the likes of New York, but historically the Philly area is where a lot happened. From Jazz to Pop to Soul, Philly has an impressive list of artists it has not only bred, but influenced.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Unfortunate personal experience and a Bruce Springsteen song called “Streets of Philadelphia”. I was listening to his song, and thought, “What does this guy know about Philly? He’s from Jersey.” But he wrote a great song, where he walks the streets of Philly. My song is kind of like a continuation of his, and is about what happens when the streets follow you out of the city.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m pretty ingrained in the British scene, and I plan on playing in London and the greater London area for now. I am currently setting up shows for the year, all of which I list on my website, www.kylethurley.com.
What else is happening next in Kyle T Hurley’s world?
Playing live and writing songs for my next album. Also, soaking in the cool, organic music scene currently in Camden, London that Spiritual Records has been developing. They actually have their own Café Wha?-like bar in London called the Spiritual Bar where artists perform- I’d recommend any artist to come by and check out the artistic scene there; you’d think you found yourself in Greenwich Village in the 60’s and 70’s.