Recording Connection grad Lindsey Kappa Releases Album & Lands Studio Job!
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It’s been a busy year for Recording Connection graduate Lindsey Kappa. She worked SXSW last March, just released her new EP, now, she’s landed an assistant engineering position at Chicken Run Studios, owned and operated by award winning singer-songwriter and SXSW Artist Scott Collins, designed by Grammy winner Chet Himes, with Dylan Fischer serving as Head Engineer.
We recently caught up with the DIY artist, songwriter, and engineer to talk about the recent release, find out how she nabbed the studio job, and garner a few insights to share with our readers.
So Lindsey, prior to signing up with Recording Connection, you’d just graduated from college where you earned an Associate’s Degree in audio production and engineering. So what made you decide to apply for our program?
“I wanted more hands-on work since I was used to the typical classroom environment. I just did my research and ended up finding Recording Connection. I made some phone calls, asked some questions, and it just seemed like kind of the perfect thing for me to start out with…with [ordinary] colleges, there’s a classroom of six or eight, at least for my program, because it wasn’t a huge school and everybody gets their turn of trying to experience things, but sometimes you want that one-on-one action, which I didn’t always get. So I wanted something that would provide me that kind of education.”
So you got accepted, started Recording Connection, and externed with Frenchie Smith (The Dandy Warhols, Meat Puppets, Scorpion Child) over at the Bubble. Could you tell us about that experience?
“Frenchie was a lot like me in the sense of we’re both musicians, we’re both songwriters, we’re both producers, and we’re both engineers, but I needed to improve on my engineering and get some more experience under my belt. He was perfect for that because he understood how I operated…What was really interesting too was I really got to see the more rock n’ roll aspect of things. I am a more digital person but I love rock. I mean, I love everything from The Doors to Led Zeppelin and all that stuff, and working with Frenchie definitely sparked up that side of me, because at that time I was listening to a lot of synth and electronic and 80’s pop, that kind of stuff.”
So Frenchie reenergized your interest or your inspiration to work in rock. Did that end up showing up in your music?
“In the EP that I released I’m playing my electric guitar along with my synths.”
Tell us all about the new album, You Don’t Own Me.
“The first song entitled, “ You Don’t Own Me,” is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written…is definitely a feminist song. My mom’s a feminist, and so I kind of grew up in the equality atmosphere. I definitely wanted to make it very heavy synth, electric guitar, just gritty and something that kind of shows more of my blues, soul, rock n’ roll side while at the same time keeping it more of an electropop feel, which I’m happy with…I feel like it really captures how I feel emotionally, because this honestly was the first album where I just sang through the whole thing. I didn’t want to cut or edit…Because the thing is, digital music, electronic music especially, gets such a bad rap…
The next song, “Side to Side,” even though it sounds happy, when you read the lyrics, it actually describes my struggle with anxiety. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was 15. So you know, I always wrote about sadness, but I never wrote about the anxiousness. When I wrote that song there were a lot of anxious feelings happening. But I also like to keep it happy and light so that whether [the listener] knows or doesn’t know what I’m talking about, both of them can enjoy it.”
A lot of people say, ‘Oh, this person can’t play their instrument,’ or, ‘This person can just slack off and then fix it in computers.’ But I always want to try to break that stigma because you do have to have a somewhat musical background. That’s why I also want to introduce all these other instruments into my electronic music and it’s also the reason why I want to play them, to kind of prove a point [that] I’m more than synths and digital music. I know my sh_t. So there’s a little bit of proving a point in there.”
For other DIY’s (Do It Yourself artists) who are getting into the program because they want to engineer and produce their own music, what’s your advice to them?
“My advice is, go with your gut. For me, I don’t have any interest in working with a record label. I just want to create my own business, [build] my own empire. I want full freedom to do what I want, say what I want, work with whom I want, and do it wherever. And I’m not saying that record labels are bad. [They’re] just not for me…
And sometimes that’s hard because…sometimes you doubt yourself, you’re thinking, “What if this happens?” or what if I did sign with someone? I would have been here or there. But you can’t focus on that because there’s a reason why you make the decisions you make, and the reason why I made that decision is because I want to have full-on opportunities completely open to me. If I were to ever talk with someone who was thinking about approaching it the way that I approach it, go with your gut, be willing to improve. Because sometimes I think some artists get stuck in thinking that they don’t need help. But there’s no end to learning.”
So how’d you get hired at Chicken Run Studios?
“Before I finished my [externship] with Frenchie, he told me the way to start off is to offer to record people for free. Scott Collins, who’s now my close friend, got back to me saying, ‘I really would love that if you could help me record some stuff.’ So I was like, ‘Sure.’ So I came over, we recorded vocals, guitar, just a bunch of stuff, I mixed it up for him, and he was so happy with it that he wanted to work together again. He started telling me about the studio and his visions for it. He was kind of re-staffing at that point or just trying to get a more permanent setup in there…So he asked me if I wanted to assist, and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ So that’s how that all happened. We recorded some bands in the studio, and it’s been great.”
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