Kyle Park is determined to make it on his own steam.
In a music landscape populated increasingly with manufactured artists who rely on a committee to produce their music and lyrics, Park stands resolute in letting his voice come through both literally and figuratively as he writes all of his own material. What you see on stage and hear on his albums is 100 percent Park.
Growing up near Austin, Park’s love for music and particularly playing the guitar had been fostered since an early age, though he said it took him a while to discover country music.
“I grew up listening to rock music and I just thought that’s all you could do with a guitar,” he said.
He soon discovered the melodies and more lyrical nature of country music and quickly found himself writing his first batch of songs in his early teens and playing his first gig at 15. By the time he was on the verge of graduating high school, Park was playing gigs a couple of times a month and had his first recording session.
In addition to near non-stop touring (he plays about 175 shows a year), Park has put out two EPs and three full-length albums, the most recent of which is “Make Or Break Me.” This was an interesting foray for Park as it was also his first time as producer, an experience he said gave him a greater appreciation for the technical side of constructing an album.
“It hasn’t really changed the way that I write songs, but I definitely find myself listening to the music differently,” Park said.
If there is one thing that sets Park apart from the rest of his contemporaries, it’s that he comes across as genuine. Be it his affable demeanor or his unwillingness to have anyone but himself write his own music and lyrics, Park feels positively organic in a music scene where a manufactured image seems de rigueur.
This quality shines through in his songs as well as his personal countenance, focusing more on the emotional side of things, writing about his experiences in life and the way love has molded and shaped him. Park admits that he enjoys songs about partying and girls in bikinis as much as the next guy, but said he tries to focus on songs with content that is a bit more universal.
If that’s his goal then consider his mission accomplished, at least going by the content of “Make Or Break Me.” The album is a collection of solid lyrical writing and guitar-focused compositions that do their best to keep your toe tapping. The affability and true-blue nature that Park projects on-stage and in conversation is readily apparent, even on some of the more somber tracks as “Mistakes I’ll Regret” and the wistful “Just A Fake Smile.”
Park has established his musical sensibilities in a strong way with this latest album and proves himself worthy of keeping an eye on. Catch him in Tyler when he plays The Electric Cowboy at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday.