Released on November 17th, “Royalty Free” is the latest single from Austin-based artist, Kenton Mackay . The first single off of his upcoming debut EP, “Royalty Free” is an energetic, hard-hitting garage alt-rock track that carries the weight of grunge-filled guitars, soaring vocals with a distinct punch, and a gritty edge that straddles the border of alternative rock.
Inspired by the likes of Nirvana, Radiohead,Beck and the Black Angels, Kenton’s music tackles themes of self-destruction, isolation, mental health, and modern society. Doing all of this with his distinctive baritone vocals. That being said, he still finds ways to extract humor and beauty from the mundane aspects of everyday life. With a busy 2024 ahead of him and more music to come, Kenton is an artist you’ll want to keep your eyes (and ears) on.
“Royalty Free” and the upcoming EP was mostly recorded at Kenton’s house, the project was rounded up when he brought in Erik Wofford on board (My Morning Jacket, Black Pumas, The Black Angels) to record live drums, mix and master the project. Regarding the single, Kenton stated “it is an ironic pop anthem that encapsulates the realization that, as a performer, I will inevitably have to exclaim, ‘Hey everybody! Look at me! Give me your attention and money!’ — along with the disconcerting feelings that such a proclamation brings”.
“Royalty Free” is available on all streaming platforms. His debut EP “In Good Taste” will be available in February 2024. Stick around for Jammerzine’s exclusive interview with Kenton Mackay!
First off, what’s the significance of the ” “?
I was considering creating some kind of alter ego like Orville Peck or something like that, but that isn’t really my style. To me, the represents censorship. I liked the idea of the most outgoing and expressive version of myself needing to be censored in some way. I’m pretty introverted by nature. And obsessed with irony and contradictions.
Do you feel like moving to Austin helped with your music career? If so, how?
Definitely. It’s generally a pretty supportive artistic community, and there’s lots of venues that you can cut your teeth at while you figure out playing live. There are also tons of amazing musicians to play with.
“Royalty Free” is raunchy in the best kind of way. What went into choosing the tones and gear to get it to sound like that?
Credit goes to Erik Wofford on getting those tones dialed in. My goal was to have the main guitar tones be as contradictory to each other as possible, so the fuzz riff is actually the guitar directly into an API preamp and driven into another preamp I forgot the name of. The jangly pretty guitar is a clean AC-30 with tons of delay, chorus, and reverb.
What was it like working with Erik Wofford?
Wofford is the man. We have similar philosophies about how “perfecting” music ruins it in a way. I would not have been able to find that balance without him. We had a great time working on the EP together.
What’s in store for your 2024?
Debut EP “In Good Taste” is out in February, lots of shows, possibly some touring in the spring/summer. I’m always writing and recording as well.
SOURCE: Official Bio