Presenting to you today an interview featuring Stratford, VT based singer-songwriter Noah Kahan. He's been making quite an impression as of late with his brand new tune "Hurt Somebody", that has garnered 594,000 streams in its first week, and is a artist that Billboard magazine called, “Scaled back with just a muted guitar melody and stomping rhythm, but it allows the songwriter to showcase his ability to blend mature themes with a folk-pop twist.” He definitely has a unique, organic component to him that is just stunning to hear unfold right before you. Noah was nice enough to devote some time to do a little interview as we find out more about his beginnings in Vermont, his musical influences, the story behind "Hurt Somebody", and what he likes to do away from the studio. Here is the transcript from our chat:
What were your musical influences growing up and how have they shaped you to this day?
I grew up listening to a consistent wealth of folk/singer-songwriter type artists. Legendary writers like Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and John Lennon were staples of my childhood, and I ended up following their introspective lyrical and melodic styles which led me to more contemporary singer-songwriters such as Hozier, Ben Howard, Gregory Alan Isakov, etc. They all have such unique ways of telling a familiar story while combining incredible vocals and musicianship which never ceases to inspire me. Their influence has allowed me to find new ways to describe how I'm feeling through my lyrics and has opened the door to mainstream success with just a guitar and my voice.
Is your upbringing in Vermont reflected eloquently in your music?
I think that's a question better asked for someone who listens to the music. I do think that the isolation and beauty of the Green Mountain State has found footing in my music, though. I grew up in a small town and live on a large farm surrounding by trees, about 20 minutes from a gas station. Folk music was the natural route for me, and I think that there is an isolating serenity in some of the music.
What themes or emotions circulate most frequently throughout your music?
I think the most familiar themes throughout all the songs are vulnerability and self-doubt in marriage with empowerment. I try to not only focus on the light at the end of the tunnel but the journey through the tunnel itself, making the payoff of reaching the end that much sweeter and more real. Being new in the music industry and going against the grain so to speak can be frightening and I try to cut no corners with the reality of that in my lyrics.
Take us behind the recording process for "Hurt Somebody" and the story behind the track?
I wrote Hurt Somebody with the incredible Scott Harris in a writing room in Nashville, TN. I recorded the song with the equally incredible Joel Little in LA.
What is a typical recording process like for you, is there a certain formula you adhere to?
I usually try to get a guitar track cut then cut the vocals. The rest starts to fall into place through trial and error.
Besides music, what you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I like to read, play basketball and soccer, eat terrible Mexican food, hang out with my dawgs, and hang out with my dogs.
How can fans find out more info about you online?
I've been waiting for some bored person on the internet to make me a Wikipedia page since it's always been a dream of mine to have one. In the meantime, check out my website and my Instagram to get an idea of what I'm about.
Lastly, how has music changed your life thus far?
It has given me a real purpose and has allowed me to express my feelings in a healthy way, all the while inspiring others at the same time. It is the greatest gift I've ever received and I'm so thankful for it.
Thanks once again to Noah for being so gracious in his time for doing this interview! It's really enlightening to hear first hand accounts from upstart artists to get a sense of what their mindset is going in, and you really begin to develop your first hand impression of them right then and there. For more on Noah Kahan, please 'Like' him on Facebook from this locale here, and check out his official website at this spot here for more in depth info surrounding him, including links to stream his music also.
What themes or emotions circulate m