You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is for. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. Let’s get started!
I'll admit it. This blog has been featuring a lot of 11 Questions lately. I'll try to post some more non-11 Questions stuff soon but in the mean time let me introduce you to Kyle Cox. Kyle is an excellent composer, singer songwriter, and musician. I've been fortunate to get to know Kyle over the last year or so. We've had beers, talked about basketball, and brainstormed on some forthcoming creative shenanigans. I was lucky enough to have him to score my upcoming short documentary and was pleased to hear some of the songs on his upcoming album. His songs are honest and touching, personal and laid back, much like the man behind the music. If you get a chance to meet Kyle, indulge yourself.
If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?
This is probably the worst answer to start off an interview, but I really don't care about animals. I'm not even sure I could tell you two species of animals that I like & would want to see their offspring. Penguins are cool. Pretty chill animals. I have no good reason for saying that. Just the first animal that popped in my mind. Maybe a groundhog too. I don't know. Ha. I suck.
Who do you look up to?
There are so many people I look up to in so many areas of my life. Spiritually, relationally (marriage & friends), professionally, creatively, etc. Some of those people overlap in different areas, some not so much. I guess since this is a professional/creative blog, I'll mention those. Professionally, I really look up to my producer, Mike Marsh. He's a great example of someone working really hard to achieve his goals & dreams. He also has a great family, two daughters & a super supportive wife, so it's been really great seeing that side of professional. How to make those relationships a priority while managing his profession. It's a real cool perspective that I feel blessed to see. Creatively, there's so many people I look up to. A lot of them are my friends. Seriously, Orlando's songwriting & music community is outstanding. I'm not even sure Orlando realizes what it has going on. I spend quite a bit of time in Nashville, especially recently, and honestly this community can hold their own against some of Nashville's best (not that it's a competition). I bet there are some readers who are rolling their eyes at that statement, but I am serious. The only difference between Orlando & Nashville is the quantity, not the quality. Each one of my friends in Orlando would definitely hold their own, if not stand out in the Nashville scene. Heck, there's a few Orlando transplant friends of mine who have moved to Nashville & are already making waves in the scene up there. I say all that to say, my friends & this creative community are a huge influence on me. I look up to so many people in this community, their talent, their character, their willingness to use those gifts & make a difference. It's a cool thing & I hope that Orlando appreciates what's happening in their own backyard.
Do you have a favorite book or album?
I don't really read much, which I know is terrible. Especially for a songwriter. Great writers are great readers, and I'm trying to fix that in my life. However, I have read some great books that have helped influence me quite a bit. Making Ideas Happen is an incredible book that any professional creative or a creative hoping to make it their profession must read. That book spends a lot of time communicating practical ways to actually get the crap done creatives hope to get done. Any creative, if being honest, will tell you that staying organized & committed to a singular project and seeing that project to completion is one of the most difficult things to do. This book addresses that & helps give practical steps toward that.
Quitter was another book I really enjoyed. I read it just months before I quit my job. It address the desires that most people feel about not working their dream job & how to maybe make that happen. I didn't agree with everything in the book, but there is quite a bit of quality in there.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a killer book too. I read it in a time in my life where I was deciding what I should do next. Should I quit my job? Am I being foolish or selfish? Or is this really the right thing to do? Well, this book is all about living a story worth living. I'm all about great storytelling & wanting my life to be a story worth telling. It really helped me sort through those questions of risk & comfort that I was struggling with and what that means in the grander story of my life as a whole.
Favorite place to eat in Orlando?
I have a lot of places I love to eat in Orlando. I think Orlando has so many great restaurants, so it's hard to pick a favorite. However, the first place I thought of was Gringos Locos Tacos. I love their pork Double D tacos WITH their chipotle sauce. That's the kicker right there. You have to put the chipotle sauce on it.
What gives you inspiration?
I try to find inspiration in a lot of places. I think the things that I continually find inspiration in is seeing my peers creating quality art, whatever it is. Film, photography, music, graphics, etc. Anytime one of my peers creates something that's of high quality, it gets me excited about what's happening & my wheels turning on what I should create next.
I also think being so involved in sports my whole life, there's a level of friendly competition that builds up in me anytime I see a peer create something great. It pushes me to keep creating & drives something inside of me to not want to be the only one who's not doing something fresh, new, & of quality. But I need to be careful with that competitive drive. It can cause me sometimes to be unable to celebrate with my peers because I'll get so caught up in the competition of it & not wanting to be the one left behind. That's not a good way to live & I have to make a constant effort to not respond that way. It's very important to be able to truly celebrate with those around you & make sure they feel genuinely supported. Then allow their successes to help drive your motivation, not out of spite, but in a loving, competitive community of support.
If you had a chance to live in a different decade, what decade would you choose?
I think I would love to live in Europe in the 20s or 30s. I'm not sure if I even have a reason for that. But I think that would be rad. I also think America in the late 1800s would be awesome. I'm pretty terrible with history, so those could be the worst times to live, but hey, whatever. Seems cool to me.
What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career?
I've always wanted to do things out of the ordinary in my life. I never was that kid who grew up wanting to be a firefighter, teacher, or astronaut. That always seemed so boring. I've always loved creating. I think the most normal profession I considered while growing up was an architect, but other than that, I always wanted to be things like an actor, magician, play in the NBA, rock star, professional skateboarder, artist, etc. As I grew older, I found that I kept landing back at playing music. Thankfully, my parents were always supportive of the music/band thing. They bought most of my first guitars & amps, allowed my bands to rehearse at their house multiple hours a week, & always came out to my shows. As bands came & went, I think really the last 3-4 years is when I've really settled into songwriting & composing as a career, whatever that may look like. As long as I can put food on the table doing those things, I'm grateful.
To sum it all up, I think what has really driven me to choose this career is the lack of discouragement in any creative decision I've made growing up. I was not only given, but encouraged to make creative decisions, and mistakes, in my life. As I've grown up making those choices, they've all kind of boiled down into what I'm most passionate about, and that's songwriting & composing.
How do you balance your personal and professional life?
When I was working multiple jobs, that was very difficult, so you know what I did? I quit those jobs. This now has left me the opportunity to work on music much more than I ever have as well as give me more time for my wife & friends than I have had in long time. Thankfully I've been fortunate enough to have an incredibly supportive wife with a great job as well as been able to make a little money myself with music. It's been a incredible blessing. With all that being said, I still have to make a conscious effort to not let music consume everything I do. Honestly, music, songwriting, composing, my passions, etc. are really of such little importance in the grander picture of life. Not to diminish these gifts I've been trusted with, I do believe I need to be a good steward of them, however, the relationships I've been blessed & trusted with are more important and I need to be just as much a good steward of those as anything else.
Is there anything you haven't done yet that you feel compelled to achieve in the future?
This is a really interesting time in my career to ask that question. I feel like the goals I've been shooting for the last couple years are just about reached. I've finished recording my first full length record with a killer producer & we are now just in the mixing/mastering stage of everything. I love how everything is sounding & I couldn't be more proud of this record. That's been a huge goal for me for a while. I also just finished writing & recording the score to my first full feature film. It's an independent film out of Australia & am I really excited about how it turned out. Doing a full feature film has been a goal of mine for a long time now too.
I definitely have goals & aspirations that hinge off of those accomplishments. I would love to play some killer festivals or get put on some great tours with acts I really love. I'd also love to score many more full feature indie films. However, right now, it's just the waiting game. I can't really push the movie until it's released. I can't really push the record until it's finished.
I think if I had my way in the future, I would tour, write records, play shows for about half the year & the other half of the year score independent films. We'll see what happens!
What are your other interests?
That's a funny question. I've been told by many friends that my hobby is hobbies. Basically, I have a ton of other interests that I love. I love sports, especially the NBA & college football. I love craft beer & scotch whiskey (and taking the time to try as many different kinds I can). I've gone through painting spurts, mostly graffiti style lettering (all legal, no vandalism). I love classic magic culture, Houdini era stuff. I love watching independent films & documentaries. I love building Legos. Pretty much name it & at some point I've spent way too much time messing with it.
What rejuvenates you?
Being an introvert, solo time is my main way of getting rejuvenated. Anytime I'm feeling wore out or drained, I know that if I just spend some time by myself, walking around the city, sitting on the front porch playing guitar, hanging out in a coffee shop alone. Anything like that generally will do the trick. Being married, often times a good conversation with my wife will rejuvenate me well. I love a good conversation.
Have any questions for Kyle? Leave them in the comments below and I'll make sure he answers them.