Known for his California Country sound, Kevin Beadles is a singer, songwriter and composer from Berkeley, California, who has three songs in the ECMA European Country Charts’ Top 40. His music is a fusion of contemporary country and retro pop that is hard to put down.
Kevin’s musical journey began as a child in Glendale, California, where he was raised. His mother bought him a used piano for $100, and he was born a songwriter. He soon found himself playing in Los Angeles bands.
In 2021, Beadles’ entire catalogue was licenced to Capp Records, which specialises in licencing music for film and television.
As he discusses his music career, he also premieres his new single “Coming Home” for us.
What is your real name?
What’s your official Showbiz name?
Same thing. Beadles is an old English name. The “s” means that I’m the son of the “beadle”, the town crier who shared the news of the day. I think that’s pretty apt for a songwriter and it sounds like a tip of the hat to that band from Liverpool.
How did you get into music?
When I was 10 years old, my mom bought me a used piano for $100. I took to it right away and three years later bought an acoustic guitar with money I’d saved from odd jobs.
I started playing in bands at 15, and by the time I was 19 or 20, we were opening for a nationally known act who had a one-hit career. Now I aspire to be a one-hit-wonder.
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
I do a mix of contemporary country & throw-back pop. Think of Chris Stapleton doing covers of Tom Petty or Elvis Costello.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My debut record came out on an indie label in 2010. My band at the time was the same basic line-up as the guys who played on my new single, “Coming Home”. We all met through word of mouth.
We got invited to perform live in the studio on an Americana radio program called On the Road Again. The appearance caught the ear of Ripple Music and they released my debut record a few months later.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
I love the rush of writing a new song. Sometimes I’ll be kicking an idea around and suddenly something clicks and I realize I’ve got a song on my hands. That creative process is really rewarding and I never tire of it.
But my favourite moments happen live. There are moments on stage where you feel totally connected to your bandmates and the audience. And I love that challenge of seeing if you can reach another person with a song, move them in some way, and know that you share something in common for 3-4 minutes.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
I was really moved by David Bowie’s death. He had disappeared for a decade and it seemed his career was over. Then he released two great albums to top off the last 3 years of his already amazing career.
I was a big fan growing up, but I kind of lost awareness of how much his music meant to me. The fact that he never stopped creating and pushing boundaries right up to the end is something any artist would aspire to. Like Picasso’s paintings in his 90’s.
What do you look out for in this line of business?
I’ve jokingly said that the only difference between playing in a bar band and playing pickup basketball is that the guys playing hoops don’t expect their friends to come to watch them play, let alone pay for the privilege.
Being a songwriter can feel pretty self-indulgent at times, so it really satisfying to see other people enjoy my music. It’s that connection thing I spoke of earlier.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
There’s so much good music out there that it’s hard for anyone to stand out.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I think it’s great that I get daily reports telling me exactly how many people streamed my music and which songs were most popular. To me, that’s far better than selling a CD and wondering if it’s gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.
And I love that I can collaborate with anyone, anywhere. For instance, my latest single, “Coming Home”, was mixed in the Gold Country of the Sierra Nevadas while I watched and gave live feedback from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Get feedback on your songs from pro writers. There are a ton of resources online but I happened to join the West Coast Songwriters and met people there who helped me become a much better writer and go on to win competitions like the Great American Song Contest.
When you’re getting feedback, set your ego aside and really listen to what they’re telling you. Then re-write the song. And keep repeating this process until it’s as good as it can be. But most importantly, never forget that it’s YOUR song. What makes you unique as an artist is the #1 thing you have to offer the world, so make sure your fingerprints don’t get lost in the process.
What is your current project about?
“Coming Home” is the lead single off my upcoming “Beautiful Bastards” EP. There were 11 tracks of guitar recorded for this song and I made the mistake of accidentally listening to several channels at once. To my surprise, it almost worked. Something was definitely there, but in rough forms, like a jigsaw puzzle when the border’s done and a few islands of connected pieces are scattered about. So my job became to figure out where all those pieces belonged. It took me nearly 100 hours to assemble this 4-minute song but I’m really proud of the arrangement, though I hope never to repeat the experience.
What are your hobbies?
I love baseball, hiking, travel, and hanging out with my wife & kids. Pretty standard stuff.
What do you do aside from this profession?
I have a day gig doing eye surgery.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I think many fans don’t realize that there are some pretty simple things they can do to help me expand my audience.
Every time you like or share a song, add a song to a playlist, or especially, whenever you check the box to follow an artist, it dramatically affects the algorithms that decide whether a song or artist is heard by new people.
So please give “Coming Home” a listen and consider clicking a button or two if you like it. And best of all, you don’t have to pay cover changes and buy a beer to help me out. Thank you for your support!