Arts & Entertainment

Kyle Lionhart

Kyle Lionhart

Kyle Lionhart

The last two years have been incredibly tough on the global music & arts communities. However, for Byron Bay musician Kyle Lionhart there was a silver lining to the trials & tribulations of the global pandemic.

When the pandemic first reared its ugly head Kyle had been touring for roughly 6-7 years, often spending the “best part of 8 months out of the year” away from home, friends & family.

“After a good 6-7 years touring there were a lot of things that I had put on the back burner. Things like relationships & family issues, things that I didn’t want to face so it was easier to run away from with airports & constant touring,” recalled Kyle. “When COVID hit it forced me to be at home & sit with those things. During that time of reflection I realised I had kind of lost everything from my friends & the people that I loved the most because I did’t really know who I was anymore. I was just the muso that was in & out of airports all the time but I had forgotten why I was doing it.”

Continuing the conversation Kyle explained that the enforced period away from live performances was “integral” to him rediscovering the passion for music that initially saw him begin this journey.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say the break was good but it was integral in giving me a new energy & appreciation for everything I had… [The break] was important for me to be able to sustain myself as an artist. It was also important for me to be able to give the people that matter, my supporters & my fans, the show that they deserve.

“Before the pandemic hit I kind of took performing for granted. I knew I could put on a show & people would be there, so I think I was starting to lose touch of why I was doing music.”

Reflecting on his roots & rediscovering his passion

With this new found energy & focus Kyle says he has recaptured the energy he had when he first embarked on his journey in earnest. For Kyle the journey into the world of music started a little later than most when he finally decided he wanted music to be more than just a hobby at the age of 21.

“I always found great love & peace within playing music but kind of had it drilled into me by my parents to ‘find a real job’, so I never really thought about pursuing music as a career. It eventually got to the point though when I was 21 years old, just before I had my first kid, that I decided I really wanted to pursue music because music was the only thing that brought me true happiness.”

Kyle Lionhart

Kyle Lionhart

At that moment Kyle began performing gigs in the pubs & clubs of Byron Bay, performing covers of popular music at the time. However, as his music progressed he soon realised he needed to be doing more, “I think any muso can relate to that experience because it’s kind of a means to an end, but your soul starts to die after a while when you really want to start sharing your own art.”

Once this mindset took root in Kyle he decided to head out to the streets of Byron Bay busking.

“When you feel like you have something to share you really want to catch the people that want to hear it. On the streets those people that stop & listen to you perform really want to listen because it’s an uncomfortable place for them to be, on a street corner exposed to the elements listening to you. For anybody to stay & listen to you for 1 song or 10 they really have to want to listen… Busking was such an integral part of my journey… it lets you find your thing that you are bringing to the world.”

Kyle’s newest single, Shelter

Kyle’s latest single, Shelter, showcases his journey back to that passion & gives a small glimpse into the next chapter of his career. Although when you ask him if Shelter is a good indication of his next wave of music Kyle lets out a big chuckle & says “not really.”

Perhaps Kyle is of that mindset because he draws from a vast array of musical influences such as Ben Harper, Al Green, Donny Hathaway, Jeff Buckley & perhaps most shockingly Eminem.

“One of my earliest in terms of songwriting, & this is a bit of weird one, was Eminem. In terms of lyrics, poetry & the way to write down lyrics he was a huge inspiration.”

As we closed out our conversation Kyle said he is “nervous, but in a good way” ahead of his return to performing live post-pandemic.

“I haven’t really felt this way in a while, it’s kind of like an excitement  mixed with nerves… I’m really looking forward to sharing new music with my supporters because it’s been close to 2 years, so god bless them all for hanging on.”

June 17. Landsdowne Hotel, 2-6 City Rd, Chippendale. $37.59+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.thelansdownepub.com.au

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