Digging Up Bones Xclusive: Interview With Matt Kennon
"It's safe to say I underestimated how strong you are."
Hello once again Randy Travis fans. Time to briefly press the pause button on 'America Will Always Stand,' which I am sure is booming from your stereo. I hope you all had an exciting and safe Fourth of July weekend thus far. Today, I was able to get some questions answered by the individual who wrote the promising new song on 'Around the Bend' known as 'Turn It Around.' The man behind the pen is songwriter and musician, Matt Kennon. There is no question that he is making a quick and sudden impact by penning 'Turn It Around' for an icon of the country music scene in Randy Travis. Kennon discusses his experience working with longtime Randy producer Kyle Lehning, as well as speaking to the legend himself.
When and how did you start writing music?
In 2001, I co-wrote a couple of songs. But upon arrival in Nashville in pursuit of my artist career I was told numerous times to survive financially and to have a better shot as an artist you had to write songs. After a lot of co-writing and completing some songs I was very proud of I realized this was too a passion of mine and a talent that I needed to put to good use. So there it is.
What inspired you to write 'Turn It Around'?
My producer at the time that I was doing an album with was Kyle Lehning, who has produced Randy since day one. Noah Gordon (my co-writer, awesome writer and one of my best friends) and I knew they were looking for songs and we could get it to him. We actually wrote this with Randy in mind. The idea came from a relationship I was in with a girl I thought was the one and she had me to believe that I was in need of turning my life around for us to continue down that forever road. Needless to say, I turned my life around for all the right reasons instead and got away from her after writing the song!
Can you describe the phone call when Randy told you he was going to record the song?
Kyle told me and the day they cut it I was on the phone with Kyle and I asked him to tell Randy thanks for giving the song a shot and "Kyle said hey you tell him, here he is." So we got on the phone and his speaking voice was exactly like his singing voice. We talked for about ten minutes and it was really cool just talking about Kyle, the song, and music in general. I was totally stoked because this was my first cut ever...to have a legend like Randy singing a song you were a part of writing, what an amazing feeling.
What is your favorite Randy Travis classic tune?
Diggin Up Bones, He Walked On Water, too many to list...
What is it like working with legendary producer Kyle Lehning?
Kyle is first class producer and friend. He is a very kind, generous, and honest man. I would not be half the artist/songwriter I have become without him developing me and investing his time and his infinite wisdom into me. Kyle is a lot of fun to work with. I'll always remember what he has done for me and forever be grateful for us working together for 3 years.
Are you ready for 'Around the Bend', Randy's first all country album in eight years?
Without a doubt. I would like to see Randy make a huge comeback in COUNTRY Music...explode back on the scene!!!!
I would like to thank Matt on behalf of the Randy Travis Fan Nation for participating in this brief interview during a holiday weekend. It is much appreciated. Kennon is without a doubt going to be a successful writer in this business, so keep an eye out on him over at his official MySpace domain, http://www.myspace.com/mattkennon. Also, check out my custom 'promo' video I put together for 'Turn It Around' which you can find at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmoV-BzG6HQ.
July 15th is just 'around the bend.' Prepare for the ultimate return!
Forever and ever amen,