The brainchild of singer-songwriter Christian Stezycki, Carnival Kid is a musical project melding the power of indie-rock melodies with passionate pop-rock vocals. We spoke with the talented artist about his new single ‘The Remains’, collaborations and discovering new music.
How did Carnival Kid form and how did you choose the band name?
Carnival Kid is actually a solo project that I (Christian) started around the end of 2018. The actual “Carnival Kid” is my son who was born on the 11th of November. In Germany, children born on this date are called Faschingskinder which translates to carnival kids. Since every part of my creative work changed after the birth of my child, I felt Carnival Kid to be a quite suiting name for the project.
What can you tell us about ‘The Remains’?
‘The Remains’ is a very straightforward and powerful comment on the daily struggles and describes the instability of the world around us and that even the deepest emotions and strongest relationships may become a victim of time and circumstances.
Does ‘The Remains’ hold a significant meaning for you?
It definitely has a very personal note since it somehow summarises all the hardship that my family and me went through during the last few years. It’s not only the stress that comes along with raising your children, but it also asks the question if there actually is relief on the horizon. It also deals with things like disappointments, false promises and toxic distractions that you are confronted with, but it also has a very hopeful note to it. Especially the line “oh my love, are you still waiting on the bench?” has a very personal and romantic meaning to me. That said, I really think ‘The Remains’ is a true love song that’s hidden somewhere beneath all the drums and guitars.
You mention that ‘The Remains’ is a collaboration with A Little Nothing and Jovernanté. What was this experience like?
We’ve known each other for a very long time and have been working together on several projects already. Mike, aka A Little Nothing, did the production on my first EP All The Easy Places and he regularly helps me to improve my mixes and recording strategies. So, getting back together wasn’t a revolutionary or mind-opening experience, but rather like coming back to a very comfortable space where everything feels familiar, which definitely helps you to relax and get into work.
For ‘The Remains’ we decided to also work with Jovernanté, which actually was my band during my twenties. Working with Eric and Tobi again was a fantastic and refreshing experience that resulted in great energy, which I think got transferred to the song pretty well.
Would you recommend collaboration between artists?
Collaborations are definitely a great way to expand your musical horizon and to give you new ideas. They also are a very easy and sometimes rather quick way to grow your audience, especially when you’re collaborating with an artist that already has more listeners than you. It always depends on your own working and writing process to figure out at which point of the whole “let’s make a song together” thing you start the collaboration. Generally speaking, I see no real downsides in collaborative work.
What do you think is the best way of discovering new music?
There are tons of great ways to discover new music. Sometimes a well-curated playlist on Spotify is a good starting point. Since I am a music blogger myself, I also think that there are lots of great blogs and magazines out there that can get you on the right track.
What are the pros and cons of being an unsigned artist?
For me, the most important advantage of being completely independent is that there is no schedule and no time pressure. Besides being a musician, I have a regular job and two kids that consume quite a large amount of time. So, I can completely use the creative work as a counterweight to the daily stress and pressure.
The downside is that there is no possibility to cooperate with many professional people without paying quite some cash out of your own pocket. Getting in contact with producers, designers, marketing agencies or bookers is much easier once you are under contract at a well-connected and committed record company. Also, a record deal can make a lot of the promotional work, begging or even paying curators for playlist spots and so on, obsolete – or at least easier. The idea that a record company “trusts” in your vision and pays for all the expenses of recording an album in a professional way is, as I think, the greatest advantage of being signed.