Meet Solo Artist, Multi-Instrumentalist & Producer, Seven Story Fall

Seven Story Fall is a solo act consisting of 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist and producer Hunter Kennedy from Wayne, Michigan. With the ability to play over seven instruments as well as sing his own lead vocals and harmonies, he forms a one-man band in the studio and performs with a backing band for live shows.

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He has recently released his new album, entitled Stories and Anthologies, which tells an exciting story of its own. This seriously talented young musician is definitely one to watch in the coming months and years.

By Rochelle Dulaney

Please start by telling us a bit about yourself.

My name is Hunter Kennedy. I am twenty-three and from Wayne, Michigan. I’m a solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, who performs under the name “Seven Story Fall,” with a backing band for live shows.

What first inspired you to want to pursue a career in music?

I remember just always really getting into music that my parents played on the radio, which influenced me to join band class doing percussion (mostly snare, first chair). I convinced my parents to buy me a drum set and a guitar soon after.

How would you describe your music and your target audience?

I’ve always listened to a ton of different music, and I’ve tried to incorporate that into my own music by doing things from strings and orchestral stuff, to pop punk, to heavier stuff with breakdowns and screaming; the latter I don’t do anymore.

I typically stick to a good mix that could be compared to other artists’ styles, like Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Mariana’s Trench, and Neck Deep. I don’t have a small niche of people I’m trying to reach. I’m really trying to reach as many as possible and be universally liked.

I’d like to cross borders with my music and have many different cultures, religions, and, just simply, styles of people enjoy and understand my music.

The current and next album put two talented people in the position to see and do something about the small and big problems in the world that eventually create a massive war, which seems inevitable in today’s society if we don’t act soon.

So the story I’m going for and direction my music is going should be understood lyrically by everyone, while creating its own niche group from the story and characters themselves. The music will be that of a soundtrack ranging from fast pop punk to orchestral type songs to give dimension to the album.

Similar to movies such as Harry Potter or Star Wars, the story/album will offer entertainment for everyone, even people who aren’t hardcore fans and know all the details.

Who are your main musical influences?

I have way too many to list, but basically anything that catches my attention.

How did you come to decide on the name “Seven Story Fall?”

Back when I first started this project, it was a regular three-piece band; the bassist had come up with the name, and we liked it, so we kept it. After a few years of keeping the name, things had gone up and down, changing members often, but I kept going (basically doing everything even then, unfortunately).

One summer I was in Florida with my dad at our family’s condo on the beach. Well, my dad and I were asleep, but the next day we were talking to a couple at the pool and they asked if we heard or saw anything last night. We said “no,” and they told us that some guy had fallen off the seventh floor and hit the cement and broke every bone, but lived, and they airlifted him to the hospital.

From that day on, I loved that story and adopted it as the official story. The reason why? I’ve gone through so much with this project, I’ve worked my ass off, I’ve spent more then I’d like to admit and I’ve lost a ton of members, friends, family and girlfriends trying to create what I love.

I’ve fallen and lost and gotten right back up. The guy fell seven stories and broke every bone and lived…not sure you can get any more inspirational than that. It motivates me to just keep going; I hope to spread that to others.

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Do you play with a backing band? What instruments do you play, and which do your band members play?

I only play live with a backing band. They consist of another guitar player, a bassist (who sings backup vocals as well), and a drummer. I perform live just doing the lead vocals, guitar and synth. When it comes to who writes my music that I’ve recorded, I do every single part myself.

I can personally sing lead and harmonized backups and play lead and rhythm guitar, bass, drums, individual percussion, synth, piano, and xylophone, and I understand all other instruments to the point where, for example, I don’t have a lot of experience playing violin, but I understand it well enough to know what I can do with it and what its best used for, so I just pull it up on my midi keyboard and create what I hear in my head. So what I can’t physically play, I play using a midi keyboard.

What awards have you won that you are most proud of?

I am very proud of all my awards I’ve won on my currently released album Stories and Analogies. My two favorites are from the IMEA awards in Ashland, Kentucky, where I won Rock Song of the Year for “Sing to me” in October 2013 and Rock Group of the Year in November 2014.

What has been the most exciting moment in your career thus far?

Honestly, I can’t answer this. I have had a ton of awesome moments so far, which makes it so hard to choose just one, and I know it’s only about to get better and harder to pick.

With this current album, I’ve played some really cool shows that I’m extremely proud of, though, ranging from Liquid Sol Music Fest in Arizona to Center of the Universe Festival in Oklahoma.

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What was it like playing at festivals alongside artists such as Train, the All-American Rejects, and Twenty One Pilots? Tell us about those experiences.

Each stage was huge, and the bands had catered meals and air-conditioned areas to hang out in with free snacks and drinks. Each crowd was big, and I just had a ton of fun performing for the locals of each place; they were all awesome, and I met a ton of cool people who I stayed friends with.

The larger acts had amazing sets with some crazy dedicated fans because it was insanely hot during these days. Somehow they all performed flawlessly, though, so props to them.

The locations of each show were very nice as well, with a ton to do right there or nearby. The scenery in Arizona was just awesome to see, being from the Midwest and never before seeing the desert or huge rocks that are scattered about across the horizon.

I had amazing times at these events and hope to go back.

How would you describe your most recent release, Stories and Analogies?

Stories and Analogies is a full-length, 12-song album and part of a larger multi-album story. The songs follow the story, being the soundtrack in the order of each scene. This is Part One of a multi-album concept story that will become the first part of a movie and soundtrack. It follows a girl and boy who want more out of life, and they meet each other, fall in love and explore these desires.

They start out great and team up to start helping little by little, hoping maybe they could change the world, since it’s all they were really good at and knew they were meant for it. They run into some problems many couples face, hence the “Small Problems.”

Because of this, they break up and go their own ways, doing their own plans. Eventually down the road, they both end up moving different places, then end up in NYC for something that involves their plan to change something for the better. A random attack on the city happens, which scares the couple back into each other’s lives, knowing it may end, but remembering they fought to change things. They see the smoke and remnants of the initial attack and know they aren’t doing enough and need to step it up and fight.

This ends the album’s story, with the couple reuniting and people coming together looking over the wreckage, knowing the only thing they can do now is fight back at whatever it is that attacked them. This attacker is a group that wants control, and the story is of the resistance who fight back.

It’s an explanation of what our current world will end up like if we don’t fix the big things now.

Musically, what are your plans for the near future? Any projects or tours coming up that fans should be aware of?

My goal is to finish up this next album, which is Part Two of a series of albums belonging to the same story I’m writing. I’ve already recorded two new singles from the new album, and once I’m finished with the rest, I’ll be recording them in the studio within the next month or two.

I’m also going to be finishing the story and filming multiple music videos, promos, teasers, then eventually the movie featuring the current and next albums’ story parts and the songs from each album as the movie soundtrack.

Lastly, I plan to book some shows, maybe a tour after the PR campaign for the new album is done. This should all happen within a year and a half. I think the most exciting part will be really introducing the themes of the story to everyone.

I’m hoping to make as much of an impression with the themes, world and characters as some of the more well-known themed movies out there.

Where have you performed? What has been the most exciting venue for you, and why?

I’ve performed in multiple states across the United States. Never outside the country, though, even though I’ve been offered by a school in India. The most exciting venue was probably Sportsman Park outside the University of Phoenix stadium, where the Liquid Sol Music Fest was held.

There was a ton of people, the stage was huge, the crew was awesome, and the bands were given catered meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, I got to see Train and the All-American Rejects perform, so that was awesome.

Which venue have you enjoyed the least so far?

There hasn’t been a venue I’ve truly hated, because I haven’t played a shitty venue in quite a while, and even then I was still sort of picky where I played. In the beginning I played some pretty crappy places, but you gotta understand that when you start out, you take what you can get and you need to be grateful because you get experience and those venues can tell you “no,” and then you have nowhere to perform and build your fan base.

So I won’t talk bad about anyone, but just say be grateful, work hard and eventually you’ll play better places from all that experience at the “crappier” venues. So I thank every venue for giving me a chance to showcase my music.

If you could collaborate with any artist or producer, who would it be?

I would collaborate with Paul McCartney and Josh Ramsay, both amazing artists who go outside the box and can create whole songs with many different instruments and genres. Also, they do more than just write some songs and call it an album; they make packages that entertain in multiple ways from music to visuals, usually following a theme or story.

What advice would you give to any aspiring artist?

I could give a ton of advice I wasn’t given and had to find out myself, but I think the best thing I could tell someone is to try and learn how to do everything yourself so you don’t have to rely on anyone else.

It’s good to work with others sometimes, but if you work hard and practice, then you can get good at many different things and do most of it yourself, saving money and time and helping you to understand many different aspects of a musician’s career and what’s expected of them.

It also gives you a step up on other artists since you can create a whole song yourself and you don’t have to rely on others’ schedules or talents; you can just write the whole song yourself, record it, post it, promote it, and whatever reaction or profit you get goes straight to you.

Lastly, when you do end up working with someone in the studio, you’ll understand all the parts and how they go together and be able to be more a part of the process in deciding the final product instead of letting that be up to others or outside companies, because when that’s left up to others it almost always sounds different than your version of it.

So learn it all yourself to help keep your project on the path to the final product you intended.

Connect with Seven Story Fall

www.sevenstoryfall.com

facebook.com/7storyfall

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