Kyle McVea: From YTV’s The Next Star SuperGroup to Solo Artist
Emerge Music: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Kyle McVea: I’m Kyle McVea, I’m 21 years old from a small town in New Brunswick called “Quispamsis”. That’s where I grew up and my family still currently lives there.
EM: You’re a singer/songwriter, how old were you when you started to have an interest in music? And, why?
KMcV: I started having an interest in music through video games, funny enough. I was playing some Disney skateboarding game and the band Simple Plan was playing on it and I would just jam for hours to one of their songs on that game. My mom researched the band and then got me tickets to their concert. The cool thing about that was that her work got her backstage passes, so I actually got to meet the band as well. I’d say that’s where my love for music came from. That was all in Grade 4 and it wasn’t until Grade 7 that I started writing and playing music for myself.
EM: What was the first tune you learned? How long did it take for you to master it?
KMcV: The first song I ever learned was “You and Me” by Lifehouse. I don’t recall it taking too long to learn as they were pretty standard basic chords on a guitar, but once I realized that I could only play that so many times before people got tired of it, I learned to play it behind my head. Eventually, I had to learn more songs/chords.
EM: Who are your musical influences?
KMcV: My musical influences are Simple Plan, Hedley, Marianas Trench, and Our Lady Peace.
EM: In 2014, you were in a band called “Rebel Coast”, can you tell us about your experience?
KMcV: Being in a band was a really cool experience because the workload was dispersed rather evenly so not everything would be one-sided and everyone could have their own feedback within the music. It was certainly a surreal experience as we won a YTV show (The Next Star: Supergroup), were on ETalk, CP24, toured across Canada, had our song hit #1 on the iTunes music video charts, played the Pan Am games and had our song chosen to be the anthem for The Canadian Cancer Society’s Fearless challenge. That last one I am truly humbled by especially.
EM: Last year, you released your first single “Meltdown” as a solo artist. Did you write it yourself?
KMcV: Yes, I actually wrote “Meltdown” when I was going through a hard time and couldn’t really see myself getting past it so I decided to write it in the perspective as if I had already overcome it. I wrote and produced it with Steve Molella (drummer/producer of Finger Eleven).
EM: What advice can you give about going from being in a band to a solo artist?
KMcV: I’m not sure if I have much advice as far as telling someone what to do during a switch like that. Honestly, as long as you’re making music for yourself and love doing it, then whether you’re in a band or solo, the result at the end of the day is the same: pride/happiness. Have a team with you that supports you and has your best interest in mind because you guys are like a family with the amount of time and emotional investment put into the project.
EM: You’ve been touring with motivational speaker Saidat, can you tell us what the tour is about? And, why it is important to you?
KMcV: The tour is all about mental well-being this year. The show switches its theme annually to keep it fresh and modern. Honestly, when I was in school, there wasn’t a show around like this. We had presenters that either couldn’t hold much attention or, in my case, scared the living daylights out of me by saying that the world was either gonna freeze over or combust inflame due to global warming.
Anyways, this show is especially relevant these days because it seems lately that mental issues have been placed in more of a spotlight. People are actually willing to talk about their struggles, rather than feel ashamed of them. It’s important for kids to know that adults go through these things too and it’s okay to talk about it and ask for help.
EM: What’s the best thing to happen to you so far in your music career?
KMcV: I think a huge highlight of my music career so far is playing shows or meeting some of my music idols through my music. For example, when I was in high school, I used to jam to the band “Neverest” and once I moved to Toronto and was playing shows with my band, we actually were on a lineup with Neverest, so that for me was a ‘pinch me’ moment.
EM: What’s the best advice you’ve been given while in the music industry?
KMcV: The best music industry advice is that it is honestly such a small industry. Everyone knows everyone. So don’t be some big shot who thinks they own the world because of accolades you have or feel you’re going to have. Every encounter with someone is an interview for potentially the next chapter in your career.
EM: What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
KMcV: Lots and lots more music. I’ve been in production and writing constantly for the past two or three years and I’m very excited to share what I’ve been holding so closely to my heart, so stay tuned!
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