Interview – Keanu Ienco

Keanu Ienco is an interesting artist with a very diverse sound. We recently reviewed his song, Indigo, and felt like it would be a good opportunity to find out more about Keanu and his music. Read on below to find out more!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Indigo, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

The title Indigo actually refers to the colour indigo. To me, indigo is a beautiful colour that can portray deep and creative emotions. The track itself is about taking the pain you feel and letting your creativity grow out of it. I often think of feelings in colour and I would describe the emotions of writing this album as the colour indigo. If you look at my album art you can see shades of Indigo in the sky as a reference to this. You can purchase the track on Bandcamp and iTunes, as well as stream it on all major streaming platforms.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

It has certainly hindered the live performance aspect of it for sure. However, I took the pandemic and lockdowns as an opportunity to just focus on writing and creating this album. In terms of recording the record, we had to track the instruments separately as we couldn’t all get together due to the restrictions. Overall, I’m happy with how the project turned out despite restrictions and I’m excited to get back into performing live again!

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I often start writing the chord progressions of my tunes first. I do this to set up the feel and emotions I want to portray. Once I know the feel of the tune, I’ll compose a melody over the chords. From there, (after some adjustments and new arrangement ideas) I make a demo of the tune. For this record I recorded all the guitars at my home, while the bass, vocals and drums were each done at different times and locations due to the pandemic restrictions.

Indigo is the 2nd single from your debut album Celestial Desire which just came out. What was it like releasing your first album to the world?

It’s been amazing. This is my first release under my own name and I’m so happy with the feedback and support I’ve been getting. It was a long process making this album but it was certainly worth it!

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I have a lot of influences actually. I like to blend rock, jazz, metal and Native American styles. Some of my biggest influences include Brian May from Queen, Plini, Pat Metheny, Steve Vai and many more! Recently I’ve been listening to some modern rock and punk groups such as Citizen and Turnstile, as well as classic jazz players such as Wes Montgomery and Wayne Shorter.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world?

I am currently based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, which is on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. The music scene is pretty cool here. In my town in particular we have a cool jazz scene with a lot of great players. In general, I find Vancouver Island has a abundance of unique and original musicians of all genres, so there’s always cool artists to check out!

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I am currently finishing up a few more dates on a small Vancouver Island tour with shows in Duncan on April 23rd and Nanaimo on May 19th. However, I hope to have a bigger tour sometime this summer or in the coming fall.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

One can expect to hear deep and emotional expression through guitar playing with a killer rhythm section backing it up! My live band likes to create musical dreamscapes that will have you banging your head during the heavy parts, but also have you collecting deep thoughts during the more intimate moments. We are a rehearsed group but since we are all jazz school graduates, there’s always an element of improvisation and interplay unique to each show!

Any last words for the fans?

I just want to give a big thanks to everyone who’s checked out my album! I’m currently planning my next release as well as more performances, so I look forward to sharing my music with people for many years to come!