10 Questions with ... Richard Kincaid
March 4, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) What Got You Interested in music? What inspired you to pursue a career as a recording artist?
My mother would say I started singing at 18 months and it has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was singing solos in church in elementary school and started serious vocal training in 6th grade. It was a big commitment for my parents. I grew up in a small town in Kansas as one of six kids.
I realize now how hard it was for my parents to drive me over 10 miles one way to study voice with a teacher at a community college, but they always encouraged me to pursue music. I was also very active in musical theatre in high school and college. Ultimately, I decided to study music and get a Finance degree. My degree took me into a long real estate career, but I still found space for music.
When my company was old in 2007, I decided to pursue music again. I credit my Producer and collaborator David Taylor for pushing me to record. He heard me sing one time and said he needed to get me into the studio. It was like finding my first love again. I love the creative process that goes into each song and it has been a privilege to perform and record with such talented musicians.
2) Your recent release "I Wish That Was Me" features Dave Koz. How did you two connect and what was it like recording with this legendary artist?
We had a mutual friend suggest that we work with Dave Koz for "I Wish That Was Me". Fortunately, he said yes! Dave was the consummate pro and he just crushed the sax solo on this track! He really helped make the track special.
3) What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes?
For my last CD, "Mosaic" I didn't write the music. We did some creative covers and recorded four tracks written by David Taylor, my producer. David is a very talented producer/composer/arranger/singer/performer. As was evident in "I Wish That Was Me", David tells vivid stories with his compositions. His work is also quite challenging, from a vocal perspective. For an artist, it means that there is a lot you can do with David's songs. The song structure is there and if you can sing with dynamics and emotion, you have the chance to really connect with the audience.
4) How have social networks and sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter affected the way you promote your music and interact with your fans?
It has been interesting to see how the social networks are transforming the music business. You really can reach thousands of fans and stay in contact with them. The challenge however is that everyone is trying to do the same thing. You really need a good team to break through and get noticed. It is easier than ever to get your music out. However, in some ways it is harder than ever to get fans to notice you.
5) What are the biggest changes you would like to see happen in the music and radio industries?
The biggest challenge for the music business is creating a model where musicians can make a living from the content they create. Everyone loves music, but a large segment of the population won't pay for it. That is a very tough situation because it is expensive to record a full length CD. I would also like to see more venues offering live music. There is so much talent in every city in this country. It is a shame there aren't more places for great musicians to share their craft.
6) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Marvin Gaye and other singer/songwriters from the late 60's and early 70's heavily influence me. There are so many compositions from that era that have really stood the test of time. Many would be hits if they were released today.
7) Please tell us about the non-profit organization you co-founded the BeCause Foundation.
The BeCause Foundation ignites social change through the powerful fusion of documentary filmmaking and creative outreach and engagement projects. We build coalitions of non-profits to work together on a common issue. At the core of these campaigns is a powerful story that motivates viewers to act. We have completed five film projects that have addressed, bullying in schools, a refugee camp on the Thai/Myanmar border, a doctor treating the homeless on the streets, child abuse, and immigration issues. For our next project, I am hoping to start a scholarship program for socially conscious kids. If you are athletic or super smart, you have no problem getting a scholarship. If you are a humanitarian, you really get no attention and that seems wrong to me.
8) How are you using new music technologies to record music and in your personal life?
It very easy to create demo tracks or practice tracks. It is also incredibly easy to transpose music into another key. That used to be done by hand! Finally, arrangements and tabs are readily available on the Internet. There are even sites solely dedicated to new compositions. When you combine that with streaming sites for performances, it is stunning how easy it is to create music and get it out to the public.
9) How do new technologies compare to the recording techniques you used early in your career? What are some of the pros and cons or each?
Digital technology has clearly democratized recording. When you can use Pro Tools on any PC, you enable state of the art recording almost anywhere! It is also is so much easier to back up tracks, etc. There is a downside to so much recorded material, as a lot of it is not very good or very complicated. With the advent of loops, you don't often hear complex arrangement, particularly vocals and back up vocals. Overall, the digital revolution is a boon for musicians and music fans. We have more choices today than ever before and record labels don't control our choices.
The bad news: more supply means it is harder for the fan to find you. Moreover, this Internet/digital revolution makes pirating easy, so lots of people simply refuse to pay for music.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Your personal integrity is the most priceless asset you have. Developing a reputation for consistently doing what you say you will do and doing the right thing (even when it's difficult) will pay off over time.
When you're not playing music, what do you do in your spare time?
I love to ski, hike, and play tennis. I love the mountains, particularly Glacier National Park. We go hiking in Glacier every summer and it never gets old to me.
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
At one point, I was the youngest CEO of a company in the S&P 500.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
I would advise anyone pursuing a career in music to have a realistic back up plan. Sometimes your passion has to be part time if you want to support your family. It is hard to break through in music today, but that doesn't mean you can't perform, write and even record music while still pursuing a career that might provide you and your family with more financial security.
As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I really don't' have regrets. In many ways, I have lived a charmed life. I have been married to an incredible woman for 26 years, I have three happy, healthy kids and I have been able to pick up my passion (singing) after a career in business. Part of me wishes I would have pursued a recording career earlier, but I also don't regret the experiences I have had in the business world. My career path has been a little strange, but it has worked for me.