April 7, 2020
Tune-In Tuesdays #64: Keesh on Finding His Groove
Musician and producer William Keesh pushes his hair back and locks eyes with the cameraSource: Keesh
Los Angeles, Calif-based musician and producer William Keesh is a passionate artist still “digging deeper” to find the groove in his tunes.
Recently, Keesh released “Again,” a smooth, sultry single about overcoming lustful distractions. We reached out to Keesh via telephone to learn more about his journey as a musician, his move to LA, and the story behind “Again.”
Tell us a little about yourself and your music
I started playing guitar when I was about 14, 15. My mom told me to pick up an instrument and I convinced her that I only wanted to play guitar.
She was like, “Okay, only acoustic guitar.” I was like, “Okay, fine.”
Eventually, I convinced her [to let me play] an electric guitar. After school and while planning my move out to Los Angeles from Oklahoma, I always kind of knew I was going to pursue music.
When I moved out to LA, I started writing a lot more, producing a lot more. I started learning other instruments.
From there, whenever I started writing I was trying to figure out what I wanted my sound to be. Then I started thinking about people that were really inspirational to me – I was thinking of Tame Impala, y’know, Kevin Parker he produces, writes, and records all of his songs.
That was really inspirational for me just because of how much I connected with his music and how much he was able to connect with a lot of other people through his music.
I love the idea of playing in a band, and I did play in bands in college and high school, but unfortunately none of them really stuck. I figured out of necessity I needed to do everything else myself.
How come your mom only let you play the acoustic guitar at first?
She had this whole classic idea of “electric guitar is the devil” and “rock music is not real music, classical music is the only way to go.”
I think she was seeing how much I enjoyed it and how much I dove into it. When I started guitar, I was also playing soccer, I was in martial arts, I was doing a lot of theatre in high school, too.
When I started guitar, all of those kind of fizzled away. I think that’s what she saw and convinced her this was the route for me.
Was your move from Oklahoma to Los Angeles inspired by your music career, or were there other factors involved?
It was mainly fueled by the music career. I knew that if I really wanted to push myself, I needed to go to a different place – a place where I could fully immerse myself in the industry.
It was really between New York and LA, and my older brother actually lives out in Los Angeles, so the timing of things worked out so perfectly during the last six months that I was in school. I was really, really planning it out, and he had found a new place that we could live in together.
It’s really weird with the timing of things, there’s almost a divine nature to it.
What has the process of figuring out your sound been like for you and what have you learned about yourself while finding your style as an artist?
I learned a lot. I like to think I’m a pretty deep person and I’m not really public about that. I’m pretty private about what I’m feeling and my emotions.
My music is my one true outlet for that. When I started writing songs that I thought were of quality to put out to the public, I was thinking, “What kind of a vibe do I want? What kind of a sound do I want?”
I started learning more about production. I started getting a lot more into electronic and dance type music, music that just kind of makes you move. That’s kind of what I’ve been keeping in mind whenever I’ve been writing, especially since I wrote the last song.
These next songs that I’ve been working on definitely have that dance-vibe incorporated into them or at least some sort of a dance groove to them. They make you move a little bit.
Could you tell us a little more about the meaning and inspiration behind your latest single, “Again?”
I’m working on music out here a lot and I don’t have too many distractions, but we’re all human. I think one of the distractions that got me was finding a girl or a companion, and I found myself focusing a little too much on that at a period of time – not too long.
I think this is a common distraction a lot of us face. Not just boys, but girls face that too. But I came out here for a reason and I have goals in mind that I want to accomplish and writing that song kind of helped me put myself into perspective if that makes sense; to show myself what I was supposed to be doing and how I was getting distracted.
It was a really fun song to write, too, because I love playing funk music. That was one of the first styles I learned when I started learning electric guitar from the Red Hot Chile Peppers. John Frusciante is my favorite guitarist.
When I wrote that little guitar part at the end [of “Again”] it was really funk-inspired and it just kind of came out. I didn’t really plan on it and it really fits the song.
It was a really fun one [to write]. I think that’s the first song that really hit a groove in the sound and I’m trying to dig deeper into that groove. I’m excited about that for sure.
Could you give us a behind the scenes glimpse of what it was like to write, record, and produce “Again?” What is your studio set up like?
It’s a little limited… I don’t think that would be a good way of describing it.
It’s a bedroom studio, y’know, I work out of my home. I feel like nowadays you can make something sound so cool with a lack of hardware equipment. A lot of stuff is done on the computer, but you can really tweak a lot of stuff, if you need to. You can really plugin and play.
I always had a guitar amp and I recently sold it to get an interface that I really needed to upgrade my sound quality. I got that and I figured I don’t need too much, but as I write more and get better at production, all this extra equipment sounds a lot more fun to work with.
At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s really necessary. Another inspiration of mine is Steve Lacy. I heard he did a lot of stuff on his phone and that blew my mind – just GarageBand on your phone, what? And you can be a professional musician?
What was your favorite part of shooting the music video for “Again?”
“Again” by Keesh music videoSource: Keesh – Again (Official Video) | Keesh
It was a two-day shoot and the first day of shooting was a little tough for me because I was changing and trying to really act, play the drums, trying to play the keys, trying to play the guitar, and trying to match it up to the song.
While at the same time going under the direction of my brother, which he did an amazing job of directing and producing. He did a lot of producing with Bret Robertson. I really got so lucky with the team.
They did so much preparation before the shoot that during the shoot everything went so smoothly. I was even talking about the shoot with friends of mine who’ve done music videos and people who have worked as crew members on music videos and they always tell me stories about how something always goes wrong, they always go over budget, or something bad happens.
I got so lucky that everything went so smoothly, we even saved some money during the music video.
I think my favorite part of the music video was the people I got to work with. Everyone from Indi [Indiana Massara] – she’s so great, easy to work with, down to Earth – to the crew. Everyone was so on the job and making everything run smoothly.
Honestly, they’re the ones who made me look good. I owe it to them.
Were there any other music videos, movies, or TV shows that inspired the direction and cinematography for the music video?
A little bit. There was a lot from my brother with his direction. He’s an actor himself and this was a directorial debut. So he was pulling inspiration from more of a film type style.
I think why the style of the music video is a lot more movie-esque, the widescreen angle and the last shot being very cinematic, I think he was pulling ideas from different movies he enjoys.
What do you hope listeners take away from your latest single?
Everyone has got their own perspective when they listen to a song. It means something totally different to someone than it does to me, which I love.
As long as they’re able to connect with it in some way and take away something from it – whether it be the same thing I was writing it for or something totally different. As long as there’s a connection there, that’s what I care about.
If you could give your listeners just one piece of advice – whether it pertains to music, relationships, their careers, etc… What would it be?
There’s always going to be someone out there that isn’t going to vibe with your stuff, and that’s totally fine. That’s actually what makes it a beautiful thing. Some people will totally love it and some people might not.
As long as you stay true to yourself and stay honest about the work that you’re putting out, whatever it may be, then people can really tell if you’re trying to fake it. Especially nowadays, I think the BS media is a little bit better than it used to be.
Being transparent and being truthful as an artist, especially when you’re an artist, is really important. But that also translates directly to relationships, to other careers, everything. Honesty.
What are your personal goals as a musician?
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A post shared by William Keesh (@keeshmusic) on
I have a lot I want to accomplish, of course. Firstly, when it comes to music, I want to be able to connect with as many people as I can and have some sort of a positive influence in their life in the same way that music has done for me.
I want to influence, not just other people, but other artists, as well. I don’t like to compare my journey to other people, but I like having other people to look up to. For instance, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). He’s so big in the music world and he’s also really big in the acting world. He has different artistic outlets.
Ultimately, my goal is connect with as many people as I can through as many outlets as I can – whether that be through music, through acting, or any sort of art.
What’s next for you, Keesh? You said that you have some new music in the works, but are you working on an EP or an album, perhaps?
It’s looking like an EP right now. We’re looking at about four songs right there, give or take a few. It’ll be this year.
Like I said, I’ve been producing for a little over two years and I’m still learning a lot. I’m trying not to let that slow me down and I’m actually leaving next week to go on a little writing retreat by myself in a secluded cabin so I can really write out these songs and have them ready in the production stage.
Give Keesh’s single “Again” a listen now on Spotify!
Be sure to follow Keesh on Instagram to keep up with his latest releases.
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This entry was posted in 2020, Spring 2020, April 2020, Hot Stuff, Blog, Interviews, Blog, Tune-In Tuesdays and tagged in again by keesh, again song, april 2020, blog, blogging, blogging community, burgundy zine, burgundyzine, burgundyzine.com, california, california music, funk, funk music, groove, guitarist, indie, indie music, interview, interviews, keesh, keesh again, keesh music, keesh music the burgundy zine, keesh the burgundy zine, music, music blog, music community, music interview, music lovers, music news, music producer, music the burgundy zine, musician, musicians, new music, new music releases, now playing, producer, the burgundy zine, the burgundy zine interviews, the burgundy zine tune in tuesdays, tune in tuesadays the burgundy zine, tune in tuesdays, tune in Tuesdays #64, Tune-In Tuesdays #64: Keesh on Finding His Groove, wesam keesh, wesam keesh music, wesam keesh the burgundy zine, zine, zines.
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