Hear Chennai Pop Artist Kevin Fernando’s Bright-Eyed Debut ‘Cherie’
The singer-composer has tied up with artist label AWAL, whose roster includes singer-songwriter Lauv, indie band The Kooks and alternative composer Tom Misch
On his debut EP Cherie, Chennai-based Kevin Fernando takes influence from songwriters across history — Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. His bubbling, club-friendly set of three tracks is even more accessible because these sensibilities are laid over electronic, acoustic guitar-fed melodies and hooks about love. He says, ” I didn’t want it to be the singer-songwriter stuff that I’m used to.”
Also part of indie/alt rockers Vertigo, Kevin had been working on his music away from band work and gigs. Late last year, Kevin lent his voice to Tamil movie Vidhi Madhi Ultaa, teaming up with producer-composer Ashwin Vinayagamoorthy. The producer certainly brings cinematic elements to Cherie, but Kevin’s vocals remain rooted in pop, soul and indie. As for topics, He found himself picking the songs that broadly spoke about love. Kevin adds, “Love is an important thing for me, so I wanted to write about different kinds of love around the world and stuff that I haven’t been through.”
From fairytale-esque scenarios (on the folksy “Windy”) to making long-distance relationships last (“Bittersweet”) and the idea of friendship building up to something more (the electro-pop, hook-filled “There She Goes”), Cherie has a straightforwardness that not many artists risk.
While Kevin was seeking distribution outlets, he applied with Kobalt’s agency AWAL, which stands for ‘Artists Without A Label’. With a distribution deal in place plus promotion and marketing underway, Kevin is sharing the same perks as indie rock bands The Kooks, The Wombats, pop singer-songwriters such as Lauv and Laura Marling and more. The singer explains, “They are very transparent with what they do. They want to be a label where they help artists but without being the same old label.”