Exclusive Artist Interview: April Kry
April started singing in church, where her father was a worship leader, when she was barely 5 years old. At the age of 13, she sang “God Bless America” at a gala event where the Keynote speaker was the legendary Jermaine Jackson, and she knew from that point she was destined to be a professional singer. In the time between then and now, April has performed at the legendary Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, and sang background for new age singer Enya on the nationally televised talk show Live With Regis & Kelly. Eventually, April learned to play guitar and discovered that she enjoyed writing songs as well as performing them. “My inspirations when it comes to songwriting are things that happen in everyday life. I like to write about struggles or heartache that people go through in life because I believe that it’s something that we can all relate to.” (Read April’s Full Bio). We recently had the pleasure to catch up with April Kry in Nashville, TN for a photo shoot with Bedell Guitars. April was also kind enough to sit down with us for an exclusive artist interview:
Bedell Guitars: Hi April. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! How’s your summer been?
April: It’s been great! I have been in the studio and writing a bunch. For the past two to three years, I’ve been on quite the musical journey. I feel like at this point, especially this summer, I’ve been experimenting with new sounds. I’m definitely gearing up for a new direction, so I’m super excited about it. Can’t wait to release some new stuff for you guys to hear.
Bedell Guitars: What kind of music have you been writing?
April: I grew up in the church. My dad was a worship leader, so I’ve had that gospel and soul influence from the start. I kind of fell into country music because my mom got me a Martina McBride CD when I was 14 or 15, just getting into high school. That sparked my interest in country, and I just love how honest the country genre is overall. So I dabbled a little in the pop/rock world and then I came back to country. I just felt at home with country, so I knew it was where I wanted to end up. So now that’s where I am, but through these last few years of experimenting with new sounds I feel like I’ve finally found my voice. So because of my roots, which stem from gospel, I am leaning now towards more of a soulful, bluesy country vibe. A lot of my influences are even Motown, R&B, like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder. Those amazing voices mixed with the influence of Martina McBride, Keith Urban and LeAnn Rimes. Throw all of that in a blender and you’ve got me!
So it’s kind of like a mixture, and a lot of people don’t know what to do with it, but I am who I am. I guess at this point in my artistic career I’ve learned to accept that. Not a lot of people may get it, but I’m willing to be unwaveringly me, finally, after years of that exploration.
Bedell Guitars: You’ve been in Nashville for a couple of years now? What is it like living in Music City?
April: I’ve been in Nashville permanently for five years, but I’ve been coming to Nashville since I was about 18, 19. I don’t want to give away my age, but I’ve been coming here for a long time. I feel like Nashville is my home. I grew up in Connecticut, but I feel like Nashville is where I was always supposed to be.
Bedell Guitars: Do you find more of energy and inspiration just from living in a town where you’re constantly surrounded by musicians and the music scene?
April: The community here, the community of songwriters, is incredible. I’m so fortunate to be living in a city like Nashville. It’s wonderful to be around such supportive people who are like-minded in the artistic world. As I have always heard and said, music is a universal language, and it brings us together. That’s what I love so much about music. At a time right now in the world where I feel like it’s so divided, music is one thing that can bring us all together. So I just love that.
Bedell Guitars: Speaking of Nashville and all the fantastic players, is there artists at the top of your list that you’d like to collaborate with?
April: Oh yeah, for sure. Chris Stapleton is probably one of the top artists that I would be so honored and humbled to share the stage with one day in my career. He’s just out of this world as a songwriter, lyricist, and singer. I just absolutely admire his voice. Martina McBride has been one of my influences as a young girl so that I would love to collab with her. Also John Mayer is insanely talented, I just saw him at Bridgestone in Nashville, and his concert was so inspiring to me. I would love to collab with him one day.
Bedell Guitars: You are also in a place where there are just incredible venues of all different types, size, and scales. Are there venues that you’re just dying to play or that you have played recently?
April: I would love to be able to play the Opry. My good friend Mickey Guyton just played, and she invited me to watch from the backstage area, which was such a cool experience for me to see her shine out there. There are so many amazing venues here in Nashville. I love playing writers’ rounds. The Listening Room is one of my favorites. There are just so many. The High Watt, Bluebird, 12th & Porter.
Bedell Guitars: We love the custom Bedell guitar you designed. It sounds and looks amazing. What can you tell us about it?
April: My guitar is my baby. I named her Sparrow! I am just obsessed with it. Everytime I take it into a write or into a round or something, everyone comments on how beautiful it is, first of all, and then how awesome it sounds. I just love how easy it is for me to play. I had been struggling because I’m 4’11” and very small, and it was hard for me to find a guitar that actually fit me and that the parlor version is, just fits me perfectly. So I love it.
Bedell Guitars: You brought up something earlier that I just thought was magnificent, and that was the progression of your musical journey going from primarily spiritual to country, and now back to almost a spiritual presence. A lot of the blues music profoundly influenced country genre, and rock and roll.
April: I think a lot of people forget that country stems from the blues and all those different kind of styles coming together to create a new one. So many people right now are hung up on what’s country and what’s not country that they just get lost in the meaning of things. I try to listen to a song without thinking, “Okay, what genre is this?” I just listen to the song, and I’m like, “Well, that was a great song” or “I didn’t like that as much.”
Bedell Guitars: From your opinion and your perspective, and a lot of times our ears will change, and our likes will change, but do you hear yourself almost going back to your roots?
April: I lived a pretty sheltered life as a child because my dad was a pastor, and we were kind of only allowed to listen to Christian music for a good amount of my childhood. So it’s not that I felt forced to listen to it because that always felt like it was my home. It was comforting to me, and I always had music around me because my dad was a musician. But I knew that someday I would end up going back to that. I just didn’t know in what capacity. I knew I didn’t want to be a Christian artist necessarily. I wanted to be an artist that’s also a Christian if that makes any sense whatsoever.
I fell back into soul/bluesy land. I was listening to Chris Stapleton, a bunch because I just absolutely love him. My voice and obviously how I look is very different from Chris Stapleton, and my style and all of that, but there’s something about his voice and the way that he conveys his messages that drew me in. And then recently, I covered one of his songs, actually probably my favorite of his songs. It’s called “Fire Away”. So many people reached out to me and were like, “I’ve never heard your voice sound better and I’ve never heard your voice sound more at home than it did when you sang that song.”
The guy that I’m writing with today, Blair Daly, helped me pinpoint this new direction.. I was going through a tough time as an artist. I was just kind of like, “Man, I don’t know. I’ve been working with a bunch of producers, and I’ve been …” Mostly it’s just been country pop for me for the past three years. Not that that’s a bad thing. It led me to where I am at this present moment. But he was just kind of like, “Well, what, when you sing, what makes you feel the most comfortable?” And I was like, “Honestly, singing in church, like gospel music. That’s where I feel most comfortable.” He was like, “Okay, then let’s write that.”
We wrote this song called “I Feel At Home,” ironically enough. It’s a love song, but it can also mean I feel at home in this new sound. So that’s kind of how it all happened, my transformation. No one knows this. This is the first interview I’ve done where I’m talking about this new sound, so you guys have the exclusive.
Bedell Guitars: The last video I viewed of yours was “While We’re Young,” which is a little bit of the country-pop approach and the feel of it.
April: Yeah. This new music is going to be entirely different, and I think it’s going to be something cool, so I’m excited.
Bedell Guitars: Yeah, and to get so many accolades from your fan base that are saying we’ve never heard you be able to tune in or key into a tune as well as you have with this one, that’s a nice pat on the back and makes you feel pretty good.
April: Yeah. Absolutely.
Bedell Guitars: For folks that are new to your music, that are reading this, that want to learn more about you and listen to your music, where do you want people to tune in?
April: Please check me out on Spotify, April Kry, and then really for all of my social sites, you can just go to AprilKry.com, and they’ll be linked to my Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, on there.
Bedell Guitars: Well, thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us. We really appreciate it.
April: Of course. Thank you. I really enjoyed this!