We [Roisin and Rhiannon McVeigh] went along to see Vince Kidd at Sin City to check out his live performance.
I had to do a bit of research to find out who the hell this guy actually was before we went to see him at Sin City on Monday. In case you didn’t know- Vince Kidd is probably better known in the mainstream media industry as the contestant who came 4th in the first series of the BBC’s talent show the Voice, featuring judges Will.i.am, Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones and Danny Donoghue. He was also recently tweeted about by none other than Samuel L Jackson (“Have you heard this guy Vince Kidd @kiddulthood? He’s Mad Good!”).
Paddy Kelly was the local support act and received a good deal of cheering from fans who must have missed his regular appearances at Sin over the summer. Despite the odd choice to wear sunglasses for the first couple of songs there was a definite improvement in the sound quality of his music and some surprises in the way of original songs and new covers. His music didn’t seem right for a Vince Kidd support act but he did an excellent job of getting the crowd in the mood for the performance later in the night.
After what seemed like the longest wait for a main act of my life and a fairly tedious drum roll to four or five recent R&B/club tracks, Vince finally appeared on stage.
Live, Vince is everything you want in a pop star; he’s fun, sexy, bold- a born entertainer. He moves up and down the stage like he owns the place and gets the crowd involved as well- inviting them up on the stage for a cheeky dance and loving every second of it.
Despite an unfortunate clash with Freshbook, the energy coming from this one guy is enough to compensate for the small crowd. One of the main problems is the band, not that they were “bad” on the night, but Vince doesn’t actually need any support for his voice- it’s powerful enough on its own. Asides from that, the overall performance was fantastic, with a good mix of covers and his own songs including a beautiful rendition of “Halo” by Beyonce and his own “Sick Love”, which is enjoying growing popularity on radio airwaves.
Despite the dramatic stage presence, it takes me a second to notice him sitting quietly in the corner of the room after the show while his band and support acts laugh and joke loudly at a table in the centre. I sit on the sofa next to his and ask him how the tour is going.
“Pretty good,” he says. “Basically I’ve got my album out next year, and this tour is gonna be crazy. Sin is the first stop for me. I was worried it was a bit shit- like for the first song I couldn’t hear a thing but… you know what? Shit like that happens. And now it’s good, all this is good.”
“I’ve got a lot of the album already done, I’m writing new songs all the time. And I wouldn’t say that’s what I go in terms of writing my own songs for but it’s just how it’s worked out. I was writing songs for other artists before I went on the show [the Voice] but obviously to be on that show you need to do covers by other artists and that’s what I needed to do to get my own work out there. But apart from that then yeah definitely, I want to do my own songs.”
I ask him if he feels talent shows can benefit musicians looking to get their music heard and whether it’s worth the pressure of appearing on television. He takes a moment to think of an answer.
“As a platform… I’d recommend it for the right person. I mean it has to be the right show, the right way for you to get yourself out there. It’s not for everyone. Obviously a lot of these shows are based around singing covers and a lot of people aren’t into that so it’s just very much up to the person themselves. It’s kind of hard to maintain your creative control on shows like that. But the thing is it’s 2012… it’s very hard to get yourself seen nowadays if you don’t go for stuff like that.”
I’m interested to know how it was being on the show and whether he was asked for a “sob story” when he was signed on.
“Good, very good. Pretty crazy,” he says mildly. “No sob story though. In the interview they ask you for your life story but I mean… that show’s different, it doesn’t really ask for you to talk about stuff like that.”
“I was a song-writer before I went on the show. And I was very much just working as like an underground artist, playing at lots of raves and lots of crazy clubs… I mean I’m 22 years old so I’m very much in that world of what’s new and was playing all over London. I guess I was famous in the underground scene but I just wanted to take it to the next level.”
Azaelia Banks is his immediate answer when I ask him what musician he’d most like to work with and it turns out that the two are already in touch via Twitter so this seems like a genuine possibility for a future collaboration.
“Angel Hayes as well”, he adds. “We’re gonna get in the studio next week, so like the rap bitches basically.” He laughs.
He seems to have a pretty vast musical awareness and is highly confident of what he likes. There’s also the sense that he really wants to promote the artists he loves to the best of his ability.
“Jessie Ware- like her whole album is something I’ve been listening to a lot recently. I’ve actually known Jessie for years as well, not as a singer but she used to date one of my friends and I remember her saying like “I wanna be a singer” and I’d go “I wanna be a singer” so we were both going for it at the same time- and she’s signed to the same label as me and everything.”
I comment on his theatricality and stage persona. He nods when I ask whether he has some form of background in stage work as well as what he’s done so far in the music industry.
“Yeah definitely, well I studied theatre when I was younger- that never leaves you… I was one of those crazy drama kids at school, I didn’t fit in, I was weird, a fucking lunatic, always singing and making up little shows. I was just a fucking freak to be honest but I think the doors have been opened for us now… the freaks I mean.”
“I don’t understand why some artists have to be like a puppet for their label, I’m just like… why? People are much more interesting when they’re real. But I think everyone assumes that if you’re on a TV show then it’s manufactured.”
Vince’s manager comes in and checks that he’s told us about how awesome she is.
“She said she likes your jumper,” Vince tells her on my behalf.
“It’s from Asda,” she says.
I ask Vince how he met up with the guys he’s been touring with.
“My support act is a great friend of mine, I saw him rapping and I was like… ‘this guy is sick’ so we got him involved. Click… we’ve got the same live agent. Lady Leshurr’s going to be on the rest of the tour and maybe Benny Banks as well. Lady Leshurr’s on the new EP out on the 4th of November, I’m really excited about it, really like the choice on there.”
He takes a while to answer when I ask him whether he thinks the runners-up of talent shows generally tend to do better than the winners.
“I don’t really have an opinion on that, I mean… I don’t watch those shows myself and when I went on I just told myself I was going to do my own thing. Now I’m just really thankful because it was such a good opportunity for me to get my music out there. And I think it’s really about what you do after the show, not about whether you win or not.”
Just before we wrap up the interview I question whether he’d want to go on any other reality television shows.
“I’d go on the Valleys,” he says. “That show is fucking amazing. I’m joking really but I’ve actually been talking to one of the guys from the show recently on Twitter and just said how great they are. I love Geordie Shore as well, I mean obviously I couldn’t go on there because I’m not Geordie but I love watching it. But reality TV in general just isn’t for me but I’d never be scared about going for it. I’m not scared of anything.”
By Roisin O’Connor
Vince Kidd’s new album will go on general release next year. His EP for the single Sick Love will be released on the 4th of November 2012.