The Practice of Creativity

Interview with Kimani Star: Singer and Songwriter

Posted on: September 16, 2013

Although I am interested in all facets of creativity and all types of artists, many of my interviews for this blog are with writers. I’m breaking out of that trend by interviewing a friend who is an up and coming musician and childhood friend. I met Kimani through his big sister, Adhana. Adhana and I became friends in the seventh grade. Kimani was like my little brother–annoying, funny, attention seeking and lovable. I particularly liked to tease him by rhyming his name with ‘Del Monte’, and ‘Asti Spumante’. Adhana and I were close friends through high school and have remained in contact off and on for many decades. The magic of Facebook put me back in touch with her and later when I got a friend request from someone named ‘Kimani Star’, I shot back an email and asked–‘How do we know each other?’ I discovered that Kimani had changed his last name to ‘Star’. Well, needless to say, Kimani’s all grown up now! I was delighted to find out that he pursued his passion and is a musician. Kimani’s got a unique sound and perspective and I’m happy that I get to introduce him here on ‘The Practice of Creativity’.

 

kimani2

 

Tell us a story of how you came to music and became a professional musician.

In high school I just started listening to lots of rock bands and decided that I liked music so much that I wanted to play. That led to me trying to teach myself guitar and write lyrics. Years later I decided to start singing and years after that I busked on the train which helped me develop as s singer, writer and performer. Those experiences led to me getting local gigs and promoting my own shows.

What’s your most recent song and how did you get the idea for it?

I can’t say I ever have one song I’m working on. I usually have a bunch I’m working on at any given time. Currently, I’m recording a song called ‘Touch the Sky’ about being guided by God. I wrote it with the idea of sharing with people how close God really is to all of us.

What’s your process like when you’re working on a series of songs?

My process of songwriting starts with harmonic structure that I build out of a melody. And, out of the melody I build some kind of hook and lyrics. Can’t say I ever worked on a series of songs per say, I just play my guitar and if I hear something I like I work on it.

How do you stay inspired?kimani

I find staying inspired pretty easy: watching the news, daydreaming, thinking about the past, talking with people, etc. I’m always inspired. I often get inspired by listening to music.Not a big surprise I guess.

What’s on your bookshelf, next to your bed? What are you reading and listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to this audio book called The 48 Laws of Power about how control and manipulation is a part of everyday human life. Music wise, I’m listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, Santana, and Seal as of late. But I love all music. If it’s good I’ll give it a chance.

What’s your best tip about creativity that you’d like to share?

My best tip about creativity is to learn as much as you can about your craft, whatever it is. Become fans of the greats in your field and practice. Also realize you are an artist not an athlete. All artistic scenes can become very competitive. The arts are filled with narcissistic people who want to tear others down. Stay focused on your craft and love what you do. I say avoid artistic scenes all together and just work on your stuff. Develop strong techniques, but also balance it out with feeling. Being an artist, I believe, means inhabiting that middle ground between the heart and the head. If you have too much of one and not enough of the other it’s not gonna be good. Some people say art is just feeling or technique, but I say it’s the marriage of the two. Finding the middle ground is the key.

Kimani Star is a singer and songwriter from the Bronx, New York. He also plays guitar, bass, keys and harmonica. His music is a combination of funk, rock, reggae, blues, soul and folk. He lives in Germany.

Check out his music: http://www.youtube.com/user/kimanistar/videos

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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

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