Interview with KINLEY and Album Launch!

This is the first of many in my series about cool local things / people in PEI!

Click image to stream KINLEY'S Album

name: Kinley Dowling
age: 33….I think?
job title: Freelance musician
location: Charlottetown, PEI

1)What is your job, outside of creating music?

Well outside of creating music I also teach music (violin) at Holland College’s School of Performing Arts, work at the beautiful Green Eye Designs, and do any job that comes along.

2)How long have you been a musician? Was it something you did as a child and into adulthood, or a more recent endeavour?

I started taking music lessons from my aunt Janice when I was quite young. She taught Music For Young Children. It was piano based, and I continued with private piano lessons until I was in grade 5 I think. I never really liked practicing but I’m glad I had those lessons early on. I started playing violin in grade 4 in my school’s string program. I just started writing my own songs about 7 years ago. I’m only showing people now though. I write a lot about personal experiences so it feels very strange to show other people but I’m slowly getting used to it. Just this year I started collaborating with other writers and that’s proving to be REALLY fun. I have written a bunch of songs with Carleton Stone, Colin Buchanan and also Dennis Ellsworth.

3)Tell us about one random experience in your creative career that sticks out in your mind as amazing

I once answered the phone to whom I thought was someone else but was actually Rita McNeill, my childhood soundtrack and hero. I answered the phone with the entire Bud commercial in which the only words are “whaaaaaaazzzzzzzuuuuuupppppp????!!!!” many times. (tongue shaking). She laughed politely. I was mortified/ still wonder if she ever told anyone.

4)What is your favorite season?

Fall is my favourite season. I always think it’s summer but when fall arrives everything just feels so much better and relaxed. The smell of the crisp air reminds you to breathe.

5)Where do you sell / perform / distribute your music?

I play with the band Hey Rosetta! and all of those albums are on iTunes. I’m just finishing my own solo album so I have a Pledge campaign ( on the go to raise funds to finish it. (since this interview was finished, the campaign has reached 113% of its goal!) It will be available on iTunes as well as bandcamp. I’ll also have cd’s at Back Alley Music. I’ll have some of my tunes and collaborations on SoundCloud as well.

6)What is your favorite thing about PEI?

PEI is such a beautiful and serene place. I really love how late at night you can bike around the city and only see one or two people. You can go to the beach in the fall and be the only one around for kilometres. To experience such beauty in nature all to yourself can be a spiritual experience. I love living by the water.

7)Have you had any dreams lately that are weird or stand out in your mind? let's hear about one!

I’m always having wild dreams!

I'm sitting on the rocks by the water. A frog has a long face. It's out of the water looking for flies to eat. When it puts its' head back in the water it's actually a crab with two webbed frog legs. It walks away sideways. There is another frog-looking lobster. It's mouth is smashed and the shell is all broken where the nose would be. It has little glasses that are made out of possibly seaweed. It looks so sad and can't see, so I hold the glasses in place for it.

I also used to have a recurring nightmare that I was swimming in the deep end of the YMCA pool and suddenly the back of the pool opens up with these huge metal grates and a bunch of sharks swim into the pool and are about to eat me but then I wake up. I STILL feel weird swimming alone in pools. Ha!

8)What is your favorite album or song right now, and why?

My favourite band is called Sylvan Esso and they just released a new song called ‘Radio’. I can’t stop listening. Their music is so catchy and danceable and always has an interesting subject. This song is a reminder that the music business can be quite shallow and rigid. There are so many rules especially in music played on the radio. I was thinking about this today actually. There are so many radio stations on PEI but they barely play any PEI artists. There is a blog called East of The Dial and they’re really great at promoting music and artists from the maritimes. There is such amazing talent right here but the public is not exposed to it. But everyone DOES know all the words to every Rod Stewart song. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

9)Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hmm that is a good question. I would like to be making music and collaborating with other artists, musicians, painters, performance artists and film makers. I really love what I do now but if I could be making just a tad more moolah that would be sweet and make it easier to fund my creative projects. I love travelling too so did someone say Hawaiiiii???? Aloha. Variety is the spice of life.

10)What is your favorite weird snack?

I LOVE snacks. I always have a weird snack in my kitbag. My recent favourite is putting Freak Lunchbox’s dark chocolate cranberries and sour jujubes in your mouth at the same time. Delicious. Also tomato sliced with a dash of pink rock salt and a tiny piece of (lactose free for me) cheese is REALLY good. I’m also a fan of a bowl of cereal and (lactose free for me) milk and adding raisins and nuts and chocolate chips. I have a sweet tooth. Some would call it a cavity tooth.

11)Do you have someone in your life that inspires you? or someone who isn't in your life but has always been a big inspiration for the things you do?

I have always loved Gwen Stefani. She has cool style, sweet dance moves and she can write the coolest songs. She also has an awesome clothing line. I admire people that can juggle a bunch of things and still be sweet and look cool doing them. My group of friends right now are all very creative and doing cool things. They definitely inspire me to keep on going.

12)Where do you create? What about your space do you love?

I love creating music in my apartment. It feels very safe and cozy and it has everything I need. Coffee, paper, pen, instruments. Also there is a sweet back deck that looks onto the water. Staring at the water can help me relax and work through what I want to say better than staring at paper sometimes.

13)Do you have any brothers or sisters? What is your family like?

I’m an only child. My parents are also musicians. I always wanted a brother, but after joining Hey Rosetta I got a second family. So I guess I have five brothers.

14)What is one of your personal goals for the next few months?

I would like to dance more. I love dancing. It just immediately lifts your mood and feels good. I wish more people would dance. I also want to make sure I get outside and enjoy the beauty of PEI while it is easy and breezy. I would also like to read more. I’ve been watching the internet and mediocre movies for a while and while there are amazing things there it’s not the same as diving into a book.

15)Have you ever lived any other places, outside of PEI?

I went to university at Dalhousie for music. I ended up staying in Halifax for four extra years because I really loved it and there were so many creative people there…it turns out most of them were from PEI 🙂

16)What is your favorite thing to create.. or your favorite technique to use?

My new favourite thing to create is music with other people. I used to write all alone, or just play on other peoples’ music after it was written. I love coming in fresh and making up stories (that are usually based on reality….ok always), and making melodies and harmonies and then in a few hours you have a completely new piece of music that you otherwise wouldn’t have made on your own. It’s really fun.

17)Can you tell us anything about upcoming projects or goals you have on the horizon?

I am going to be making some more music videos and I’m really excited about them. There are some great film makers in PEI and I always dreamed of making music videos when I was younger. I’m living my dreams! I may have some more collaborations coming out in the near future. Look out for tunes I wrote with Carleton Stone and Colin Buchanan (we’re called Pizza Feelings), and some other collabs with Dennis Ellsworth (Grande Finale).

Connect w Kinley on TWITTER here
Follow Kinley on Facebook HERE

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