For his third album, a work he titled AMERICASimon Kearney decided to go all out with his desires, his desires and his desires Pop’n’Roll.
Three years after the Maison Ouverte album, the author, composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and director, who has lived on the Île d’Orléans for four years, shows himself completely free in 12 new songs.
“It’s an uncompromising album. Things really are at their peak and over the top. I’m getting closer and closer to my everyday personality and what makes me who I am. I’m very proud of this album,” he said at a roastery in uptown Quebec.
He explains his approach.
“For a power ballad, I wanted it to be very powerful. For a guitar solo, I wanted it to be as direct as possible. I wanted to go all in on those joys and feel guilt free and take full advantage of them,” he said.
Simon Kearney describes his music as pop ‘n’ roll. A mixture of pop, soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop and rock’n’roll.
“Pop’n’Roll is reminiscent of Rock’n’Roll. There’s that rock ‘n’ roll energy that reminds me of our grandparents who went dancing and were told it was the devil’s music. Pop is in front of me because I accept my guilty pleasures and pop is very important to me. The mixture of these two words represents my style of music,” he described.
The 26-year-old musician spent four years pondering a theme and sound direction for an album that would become AMÉRICA. He lists among his inspirations the names of Dua Lipa, Bruno Mars and his idols Prince and Beck.
“I have a growing interest in American pop. I wanted to take advantage of that. Yes, we live in Quebec, but we’re also Americans. We can make music just as well, if not better, than our neighbors to the south. And that’s what I’m trying to demonstrate with AMERICA,” he said.
In his studio on the island
Simon Kearney conceived and recorded a large part of AMÉRICA in the studio of his house on the Île d’Orléans.
“I had two bedrooms. One big and one small. I decided to convert the largest into a studio. There is a drum set, six basses, a dozen guitars, synths and two double basses. That’s my playground, that’s where I try to make music and create beats every day.
We find on AMÉRICA the presence of rapper Steve Beezy, Lou-Adriane Cassidy, Gabrielle Shonk and the ESCA quartet and Dominique Messier, drummer of Celine Dion.
In the AMÉRICA lyrics, Simon Kearney talks about the importance of believing in your dreams, pursuing your ideas and never giving up. As in the title Aweille!
“It says get your ass off the couch and take it, your chariot, if you want to go west to live your travels. Do it. I try to go with simplicity. The more I progress in this profession of author and composer, the more I try to write simple lyrics that have stronger images,” he said.
Big fan of Leloup
The first single from that album, a track titled JeanLeloup, released this spring, received radio attention.
“I’m a big fan. He’s a good example of freedom of expression for me. He does what he wants without regard for the eyes of others. He doesn’t give a shit and I appreciate that,” he said.
During the creative period, Simon Kearney weathered the pandemic without suffering too much. He has directed for Étienne Coppé, Jérôme 50, Kinkead and Émile Bilodeau.
He also moderated the web series Plaisir Coupé in spring 2022.
“It was really fun,” he said, adding the words “you never know” in reference to a possible second season.
AMERICA is on all digital platforms and on the website Oziko.com.