Performing a blend of dance-pop and EDM both solo and with his band, The Kelseys, UMich business major KWITNY doesn’t like dogs all that much and says he owes a debt of gratitude to Justin Bieber. Don’t let that stop you. KWITNY is the real deal, and his brilliant, addicting sound will move you to think – and dance. Quadio approves.
1. What movie do you wish you had written the soundtrack to?
Interstellar. It’s the kind of music that makes you think you could do anything in this world. Making music that makes you feel that way, that’s the dream.
2. What's your phone background?
For the past four years, it’s been “The Old Guitarist,” by Pablo Picasso. There’s something in the way the guy is looking at his guitar – exhaustion, mixed with passion and dedication. It motivates me.
3. What piece of advice would you give other artists starting out?
Learn how to produce as early as possible, and use the computer, because you could be the best musician in the world, but if you don’t know how to record it and make it into a full track, then you can’t really do much with it.
4. Looking back on your musical journey so far, is there a moment that stands out?
I got followed on Instagram by Sammy Adams, which is pretty cool. He’s dating my cousin’s best friend, and then my cousin shared my song, and he shared it on his IG story and followed me. Hopefully, he still follows me.
5. What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?
It’s actually the first one I wrote, an acoustic ballad called, “Goodbye, Ohio.” Everything I’d done up to then was just kind of terrible – I was really, really bad -- but then, my senior year in high school, I wrote this cool chord progression, and I was like, “Maybe I could do this.”
6. What’s it about?
Missing someone. Missing them a lot.
7. What’s a favorite lyric not by yourself?
“Who Knows, Who Cares” by the Local Natives. It could mean something different to someone else, but the way I hear it, it’s about going with what’s right in your heart. It’s a simple phrase that can summarize youthful innocence.
8. Make us hate you.
Cats are better than dogs. And I’ve had four dogs. But my cat, she was always super chillin’. You’re looking at me in a way that makes me think I’ve done my job.
9. When did you know you were an artist?
Up until I was ten, my whole life was sports. Then one day, I was in a pizza place, singing along with a song on the radio, and a lady told my mother I had perfect pitch. This was about the time Justin Bieber was coming out, and I remember thinking it could be pretty cool to be a big pop star. And you could; I mean, Justin Bieber got discovered with social media. So, I started taking guitar and piano lessons, and then I just fell in love with making music. So, you know, people hate on Justin Bieber, but I think he changed music for a lot of people, me included.
10. Do you have a song title with no song?
Yeah, it’s called, “Enough About Us.” Originally, I wanted to write a song called, “Enough About You,” but I heard you shouldn’t antagonize listeners. So, whatever – it’s about stopping the talk and just living. I’ve actually started writing it. I have to finish it.