by Mona Jhaveri - October 19, 2021

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We spoke with Kevin Serey about his young start to music and what inspires him to write. His parents had been diagnosed with cancer which led him to join the Music Beats Cancer mission.

Q: What was your original calling to music?

I remember going through my dad’s record collection ever since I was old enough to work the record player. I discovered the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Creedance Clearwater Revival this way. I originally wanted to be a drummer, but we couldn’t afford a drum kit. I am absolutely thrilled that things worked out they way they did now… but I still have the drumsticks that I bought with my saved up allowance.

Q: How did you start?

At the age of 13, my parents got me a beat up old guitar from a friend. I recall the strings being ½ mile away from the neck, but I look back with fond memories now. After a few years, my dad took me to a local music store and let me pick out an upgraded acoustic guitar. I then saved up money for an electric guitar and at the age of 17, I started playing with some older gentlemen in their 40’s and we started a blues band. I was hanging out in bars before I was old enough to legally be in them. That blues band played together for 20 years.

Q: Who or what is your musical inspiration?

I truly believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. I have a ‘NOTES’ tab on my phone where I write down ideas constantly. I’ve gotten songwriting inspiration from my wife and family, local history, true murders, bonfire stories after an evening spent with friends, etc.

Q: Which artist(s) do you look up to?Did any of them inspire you to experiment with your music?

As far as songwriters… I don’t think it gets any better than John Prine, John Hiatt, Hayes Carll and Sturgill Simpson. For the ‘guitar’ side of things, I love Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy, Doc Watson and Ry Cooder. I used to try and emulate the styles of my guitar heroes… but I realized that I am NOT them. A quote I love is “knowing who you are starts with knowing who you’re not”. I am nowhere in the same ballpark as good as my heroes… so I like play to my strengths. No one can play like Kevin Serey as good as I can.

Q: Is there something new you’d like to try?

I LOVE trying new things musically. I get bored playing the same style/songs/instruments, etc. I love scratching all my musical itches. I play in a old-timey string band (where I get to play acoustic guitar, slide, mandolin, banjo) and I play in a rock band where I get to play loud and get rowdy. I would hate to be pigeon-holed into one style.

Q: Why did you become involved with Music Beats Cancer?

I first heard of Music Beats Cancer on ReverbNation. I think it is a fantastic organization and it feels good to have my music aligned with a cause that I believe in. Mona and Music Beats Cancer has allowed the ‘little guy (and gal)’ a chance to make a difference and have their voices be heard.

Visit Kevin’s page HERE.

Q: Has cancer directly or indirectly affected you?

Yes. Both my Father and Mother have each had cancer TWICE. They have both beaten it twice. My Father was actually given 6 months to live… over 35 years ago. He is still here and is happy and healthy. My mother found out she had breast cancer right before I was married (18 years ago), and she waited until we were back from our honeymoon to tell us because she wanted us to enjoy our trip and not worry.

Q: What is happening next in your music career?

Always recording and writing new songs. Some for my acoustic bluegrassy stuff, and some with the rock band. I have been Runner-Up (and a Finalist) at the International Acoustic Music Awards (for Best Country and Bluegrass), so my next goal is to win. I also have two lofty goals at the moment. I am working towards finding a Sync Agent to get my music in TV and films. I think there would be no greater thrill than to watch a movie and hear one of my songs elevate the scene. Secondly, I would love to write songs for other artists. I have no desire to tour the world and become famous… but making a living writing songs is as close to a dream come true as I can imagine. Other than that, I would love to keep scratching all my musical itches and play with musicians that inspire me to be better.

Check out some of Kevin’s music HERE.

Q: Anything else you would like Music Beats Cancer readers to know about you?

I appreciate you all reading this far. I have been incredibly blessed over the years to play with some amazing musicians and have seen some success with my songwriting too. But ultimately, one of the greatest goals I would like to achieve is to be recognized by my peers and my musical heroes as a good songwriter. One day, after I’m long gone, I hope someone will still listen to my songs and tap their toes and enjoy the stories. I know I sure enjoyed making them.

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