Engineering music that moves emotions

Keith Kevin writes songs that can have widespread appeal
Keith Kevin juggles two careers, that of an engineer and a musician.
Keith Kevin juggles two careers, that of an engineer and a musician.Pic courtesy: Aaron Monteiro

Fr Carlos Luis SAC

With his debut single “Wonders of life”, which was released on 30th November 2021 and his second single “Feels like home”, which was released on 18th May 2022, Keith Kevin De Vieira Menezes, an engineer, musician, singer, songwriter and composer, is winning young hearts as the soothing quality of his voice and lyrics that are infinitely relatable. His third single “Breathe for you”, which dropped on all streaming platforms on 23rd September 2022, does not shy away from creating the same magic. Perhaps his unique guitar fingering techniques extraordinarily complement his songwriting. He writes about the emotions that he feels, be it joy or sorrow. Then he surrenders it to the listeners to connect in their special way.

Your first song filled us with a lot of hope and made us see the wonders of life, and your second song made us feel at home with ourselves. What is the third one “Breathe for you” about?

“Breathe for you” is an original song, written in 2020, about that one person who gets the real you, the one who you would go to great lengths for. It is about that one person who you can’t stop thinking about and brings a memory of a certain kind every time she walks into a room. My whole goal for this song is for people to experience the emotion hidden in this creation. It started as a song to showcase my love for music when I had to decide whether to get into engineering or music. That’s what the first verse depicts. But then as I went further, it ended up as a love song. I ended up doing both – engineering and music!

Keith Kevin juggles two careers, that of an engineer and a musician.
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How do you find the process of writing song lyrics?

I try to keep my songs generic, so people can connect with them in their own special way and make the lyrics theirs to keep. I like it when someone comes up to me and says, “I really loved those two lines in your song!” Or something similar. I want people to experience my hidden feelings while writing the song, and give them not just the listening pleasure, but also a whole different experience when it comes to music with Keith Kevin. Sometimes lyrics come to me in minutes and sometimes it takes hours. If I get stuck, I don’t force myself to write more. I just pack up my guitar and get back to it with a fresh mind the next day, or even after a year. I have so many unfinished songs on my phone.

Listening closely to the song, one can feel that there are eight to nine different vocal layer tracks and a lot of different electric and acoustic guitars. How did this unique magic happen?

My friend Revellino Fernandes (bass guitar) layered up an amazing bass line for the song, which fit in perfectly to complete the whole frequency spectrum. Yovan Noronha (lead guitar) pieced together a beautiful guitar lead as well. I sent the whole idea to my mix/master engineer, Rahul Kammar, based in Mumbai, and he got the mix to a whole new level and music industry standard. It’s tough to get that kind of sound when you’re recording in your bedroom.

Keith Kevin juggles two careers, that of an engineer and a musician.
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You said in a previous interview, speaking of your interest in music, “It is not a competition at the end of the day. It is for the love of music.” Can you elaborate?

When you are juggling between work and music, you need to have that drive that keeps you going. Many people from Goa who are releasing original music really inspire me and keep me on my toes. This helps me get the best possible output for my songs. Tsumyoki is one of my Goa-based inspirations.

What should we expect next?

“Everlasting now”, a different song – a wedding, first dance kind of song! I don’t think the world is ready for that one just yet. I’m just waiting to get everything perfectly shaped for it. I got the famous Adrian Sequeira to layer some keys for it. If everything goes well in these next 2 months, it’ll be out soon.

The song “Breathe for You” is available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and on other platforms. The song also has an official lyric video on Keith Kevin’s YouTube Channel, which features his nephew Kaique Luke D’Souza.

(The writer is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottine) and currently the Mission Secretary of the ABVM Province, Bangalore. He comments on literature and films that mirror life.)

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