By Kieran Webber
Pete Kent is a fingerstyle guitarist that through intricate movements and unique guitar playing that is essentially multi tasking across one instrument, similar to artists such as Ben Howard but without the vocals.
We found this style of music fascinating so caught up with Pete for a few words on his music and his latest release ‘The Hidden Hand’ out May 16th via Revolver.
I want to start by saying thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A! How are things and what have you been up to?
It’s a pleasure thanks for asking me. Things are great, I’m very busy with the album release and I’ve been filming some new videos this week, between teaching and gigs. It’s all great fun.
For those who haven’t heard of you how would you explain your music to them?
I play a style of guitar called fingerstyle. It’s basically multi tasking on one instrument. I play bass lines and percussion with my thumb whilst picking the rhythm and vocal melody with my fingers. I write my own songs and also play covers from many genres.
When was it you started to play music?
I began playing the guitar when I was about 9 or 10.
Was the guitar the first instrument you learnt?
My mother played piano when I was a child so that was the first instrument I played. I stopped playing piano after a few months though as I discovered the guitar!!!
What is being a musician to you ?
I feel very lucky to be a musician. The feeling of writing a good piece of music and seeing people enjoy what I play live is a buzz like no other.
Your latest release ‘The Hidden Hand’ what can listeners expect from it?
I’m very excited about the new record. I’ve tried to mix the dynamics more on this album,there are uptempo in your face fast technical pieces, some old classic covers and also some emotional ballads. The title track has dance music, metal and classical influences.
Is there any particular influence behind ‘The Hidden Hand’ ?
I have many influences but I don’t have one particular style that I regularly listen too. I like well written melodic pop songs but I listen to anything from Hip hop to Heavy metal so I guess there’s probably a bit of everything in my writing.
What artists or people influenced you start making music ?
I grew up listening to heavy rock bands mainly, at this point I started copying guitarists like Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page etc. Later on I discovered acoustic players like Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins, it was these players that inspired me to improve and write my own music as a solo performer.
When writing new material how do you go about it do you let the music flow through you or is it something that is rigorous ?
When I write I usually don’t intend to do so. Ideas usually come when I’m practising and if I come across something that touches me then I go with it. My best songs and ideas usually come all at once so I record myself playing and pick the best bits when I listen back. When I choose cover versions I usually pick songs that I like and will work in the fingerstyle method. I’ve had a lot of interest in my last video, a cover of “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby. It was shared by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in USA and has opened a lot of doors for me. I now get requests from all over the world for new arrangements of covers. It’s a lovely feeling that I’m getting a lot of recognition as I’ve only been a professional player for 18 months.
Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2016?
I’m hoping to gig as much as possible and am hoping to get over to play some dates in USA later in the year.