INTERVIEW: CBC and Netflix actor Kyle Meagher

Hi Kyle, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me – I’ve been super busy which means I’m great!  I’m excited about what this year will bring.

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

Just Talkin’ is about the very early stage of a relationship – it’s about the sweet moments when two people are interested in each other but they are not entirely sure if the other feels the same way. In the song, I talk about that fun feeling of having so many emotions when dealing with a newfound relationship. It really captures the fun stages of early dating and I wanted it to have a real feeling of hopefulness in this song, describing the anticipation and excitement of uncertainty before putting a label on a newfound relationship.  I co-wrote the single with my writing partner, Joe Jordan, who wrote my first EP with me and it was produced by Mark Liggett, who has worked with great artists such as the BeeGees and Billy Idol in the past and Jerry Lane – both of whom also produced my first EP.

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

The idea came from an actual time when there was a girl that I was interested in but we weren’t officially dating. When I was writing this song, we were in that stage of a relationship where we were hanging out a lot, and I was really into her but I wasn’t quite sure what exactly was going on or if she was quite as into me. So this girl and I are still “just friends” even though we seemed to be OBVIOUSLY flirting, but I totally wasn’t prepared for a friend of ours to notice and ask out of the blue “So are you guys dating,” right in front of her. It was a little awkward, I must admit. So, in a desperate attempt to ease the tension I stammered out “uhm, I don’t know? We’re just talkin’ right now … right?”. I think that was kind of the wrong answer at the time because she didn’t look like she appreciated that answer. Anyway, even though in the end it didn’t quite work out, the phrase stuck with me and I knew I had to write a song about it. At the end of the day, I believe “Just Talkin’” isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s really about those sweet moments of uncertainty and excitement in dating before you put a label on it.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The video was truly a blast to film. Our director was Bill Fishman, from Fallout Entertainment who has done amazing videos for great artists such as Train, Counting Crows and OneRepublic.  It was filmed with lots of movement in a complete continuous circle – and you can see clips of myself, the band and the girl – sometimes multiple versions of ourselves,  in a never-ending cycle.  I had never seen how that was filmed before – we had to physically move quickly as the camera left us and rotated on an automatic motorized device, and then some of it was brought together in post-production.  I think the music video really helps to demonstrate the fun feeling of having so many emotions when dealing with a newfound relationship. We were trying to show the fun of early dating and hopefulness, and the spinning concept helps to show multiple different sides of a story that no one knows the end to. The playfulness of the song really shines through as well, and I think all in all that this video is the perfect fit for “Just Talkin’.”

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a lot of fun! I am very used to working with the master poet, Joe Jordan, again on writing this song, and Mark Liggett and Jerry Lane are just amazing producers.  Basically, I usually go to Joe with some ideas and storylines and then we hole up in a room with a couple guitars for a few days.  It’s really a fun process and we do a lot of laughing.  We typically come up with about six solid song demos with a verse and a chorus in 3 days. We then take the demos and work with Mark and Jerry to see which ones we think are solid enough to continue with and then we collaborate together to finish up the songs. Then, after some practice, I’ll go and record them, which is a few long days in the studio. I love the process but it’s definitely a lot of work!

What was it like to work with Mark Liggett and how did that relationship develop?

Well, I have been working with Mark Liggett for a while now, and he has been producing my songs since I started doing this professionally! I had originally become interested in professionally recording when I was working as an actor on a project called “7 Hills” and the director wanted to record an original soundtrack for the pilot.  He knew I played guitar and sang so he asked if I wanted to work with them to contribute an original song.  Since I loved the process, I met with a  local Ottawa artist, who’s also a family friend, and she explained the process of creating music. From there her family introduced us to Mark and we instantly clicked. He’s helped me so much with learning about the industry, and not just producing – but helping me with practical skills like stage performance, interviewing, connecting me to vocal coaches and industry people, etcetera. He’s truly been able to help me in almost every facet of my new musical career, and I am so thankful for that.

How much did he get to influence the song?

Just Talkin’ was a total team effort. Since I had such talented people working on this to make this the best song it could possibly be, I worked a lot with Mark and Joe to tweak this song in many different ways (like general sound, melodies, etc.) until we finally got to the final product we have today! Mark helped pick “Just Talkin” as one of the songs we were going to further develop right from the start – and it was actually his favorite. Then, in production, he really helped produce the sound to help make it what it is today.

How does your background as an actor influence your music as a whole and the other way around?

Acting and music go hand in hand for me.  They both have highly transferable skills – like helping me to not be frightened on stage or singing for a show or drawing out emotions for an emotional song. I need interview skills and performance skills for both, good vocal control and many other skills that service both. But what I really enjoy is when I get to bring the two together.  I love being able to work on projects that require as much of me musically as it does in the acting realm. This is why I eventually created my visual album “Beats in a Bagel Shop”. My first EP started as 7 songs that Joe and I wrote together as a story – and the story fit together so well that when it came time to start shooting music videos for the songs, I felt it would do it more justice to shoot them all together as a complete story.  We turned it into a full short film that has had a few accolades in the film festival circuit. “Beats in a Bagel Shop” allowed me to explore the worlds of acting and music to create something that ties into both of my passions!

Does the new single mean we can expect new material? How’s that coming along?

Yes, I am currently working on a new visual album, which I haven’t actually titled yet that will be very similar to my “Beats in a Bagel Shop” visual album. I have a couple songs written and one recorded so I’m getting close. I hope to be able to release this project later this year.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I would expect that by the time we fully record all the songs and then film the project it will likely be a Fall release.

Any plans to hit the road?

Definitely! I have plans to go touring this summer in the US. We are putting that plan together right now and will be releasing details on my website and social media as soon as the dates are confirmed..

What else is happening next in Kyle Meagher’s world?

In addition to touring and the new album I’m working on,  the TV pilot, “7 Hills” that kicked off my professional music career was greenlit to produce three episodes as a mini-series so I’m pretty excited to start working on that.  It’s a scripted drama about the opioid crisis but it also has a musical element, so I’m really looking forward to getting started working on that later this summer.  If people want to keep up with me, your best bet is to watch my instagram, http://www.instagram.com/thekylemeagher or my website: http://www.kylemeagher.com

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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