Kisses is a Los Angeles-based pop project featuring Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson.
How has living in Los Angeles affected your music? Los Angeles is a place of relentless sunshine. As a result, it shapes the way I write songs, particularly when I write during the day. With that said, a greater influence on my music is the space within which I work. My studio is kind of exposed to my neighbors and as a result, I generally work on quieter, more subdued music.
Describe your current studio or practice space. It is a pre-fab shed on the side of my home. It has windows, fake wood floors and all of my gear. I sit at a computer and next to it are my wurlitzer, my fender jazzmaster, my dx7II and juno 106. I write and record into pro tools through a digi 02.
What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Rod Stewart at the moment is really influencing me as well as Paul McCartney during his Wings/Disco era. These guys were classic songwriters who brought that into a disco format, which is something I always aspire to do.
If you were a drink, what drink would you be? Being a drink seems like an unpleasant and helpless experience, but if I had to be one I guess I would be a shot of whisky, so I could just get the whole thing over with quickly.
What other musicians/bands are you interested in right now? A lot of my friends and family are doing cool stuff right now. My brother, Matt Kivel has a solo record coming out on Woodsist that is great and I really like the music I have heard so far from the group, Jungle. I am also always a fan of Classixx and the remixes they have most recently done, particularly The Preatures one.
What past trends in music do you think should never come back? I think given the time and place all musical trends should come back as they will serve a new and unique purpose. There is nothing to me that we have done in the past that is so embarrassing that we should never do it again.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? While I love many older artists, I would not like to collaborate with any of them right now because most have probably lost their edge and are getting ready to cruise the rest of their life. As for more contemporary artists, I have really admired the work of Robin Hannibal and would love to work with him at some point.
Where is your favorite/ideal place to perform? I like performing internationally, specifically in Denmark. We had a great show their once and it just feels nice to be in a place where you don’t know anyone and to play music for different cultures and people.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after hearing your music? I want them to feel like they want to live in the music. That the music sets a mood, time and place that they can go to whenever they put the record on.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? In high school with my first band, I was tracking vocals and admittedly I did not really know how to sing. Our guitar player Dexter’s father David came down the stairs and yelled to us “has that hyena died yet?” That always stuck with me both because it was traumatizing and for the fact that I can not believe a grown man would say something like that.