Review Fix: What have the last few months been like for you?
Bill Kwan: The past few months have been super busy. I’ve been getting the album ready for release which involves so many small details. Plus I’ve been rehearsing with my new band for our tour. It’s been a whirlwind that still isn’t slowing down yet.
Review Fix: What acts inspire you?
Kwan: Gosh there are so many. Beck is amazing and I’ve been a fan for a long time. He’s done so many different types of music and really seems to follow his own creative instincts. Gillian Welch is such a pure songwriter and seeing the simplicity of her in concert is very inspiring, just her and a guitar. Bon Iver for the lushness of his arrangements.
Review Fix: What songs do you love but are ashamed to admit because no one would expect it?
Kwan: I hate to admit it but I really like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I put it on. Such a great groove. Also Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” and Alison Krauss’ “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You” always bring a smile to my face.
Review Fix: What do you think makes you special?
Kwan: I think I try to sing in a really heartfelt, intimate style that reflects the meaning of each lyric. I’d like to think that comes through and the listener can identify with that and discover their own meaning to the lyrics and song. That’s my ideal that I strive for.
Review Fix: Why did you choose to cover “Missing” by Beck?
Kwan: Having been a Beck fan and listening to every one of his albums numerous times, “Missing” always spoke to me. I like the bossa feel that’s on the original track, and the lyrics of loss are so universal. It tells a compelling story.
Review Fix: How do you want your versions of these songs to affect people?
Kwan: I want them to personally connect and identify with what they are hearing. Everyone has their own story and would like them to hear bits of that in my songs. This album is about lost love, which I think we all have experience with. Hopefully it helps with healing that in a listener. That would be the ultimate compliment to me.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why should someone listen to your music?
Kwan: I believe that I have a unique perspective on interpreting some familiar and also some more obscure material. People tell me there is a special intimate quality to my voice that is easy and approachable. Each song is meticulously crafted with such an amazing group of musicians. Sonically we’ve tried to create a unique sound that is all my own.
Review Fix: What’s next? Will you tour to promote the new album?
Kwan: Yes, I’m in the process of touring in support of “Poison & Wine”. We’ll keep adding dates and this should be at the forefront for the next 6 months. I’m also starting early work on a new project that will record next year. Looking for new material and continuing to do some songwriting and playing lots of guitar.