Ryan Kilgore – Embracing Your Own Destiny (Interview)
‘A dream without a plan, is just a wish’
One day, ambitious, he decided to get up and walk up to the long avenue to his destiny.
Today, his face is up, thankful, as he woke up to his dream come true, finally.
A dream everybody around him used to think as foolish of him to nourish
Little did they know, not only did the man fulfill his dream, but he’s living now things beyond his initial ambitions…
Can You Imagine how that feels? Maybe you can if you too walk up to what you aspire.
So, just like this man, Just Walk.
This man , his name is Ryan Kilgore, and he came from Atlanta:
Inspirational, wise and humble, he’s great musician and a mentor for young men.
Indeed, at 25 years old, he was that close to give up on his dream to be a saxophonist, doing odd jobs and not having all his surroundings’ support to do music.
However, 10 years later, at 35 years old, here he is now with a shining career behind him, in the music industry and cinema industry; Just Walk also celebrates this 10 year anniversary, along with Conversation Of Love.
He is now Stevie Wonder’s saxophonist, and getting ready for greater miracles in his ife and career.
The suggestiveness he breathes into his saxophone,
The groove his puts into his music to make you move and feel,
Ryan has mastered the language of Sax (call it Saxuality).
As he came in Lyon, for his Just Walk Tour, we had the chance to meet and talk about his solo project, his foundation, and also, how he’s grown, or evolved as a man and as a musician…
1) « Music is a weapon », that’s an interesting point of view of yours. What you mean by that? What has been the biggest impact you’ve witnessed with your music?
See, people use Music as Entertainment, but if you take it in a more spiritual view, you remember that Lucifer uses Music to seduce people.
Therefore, God, and us, children of God, should use Music too, yet to enlighten and empower. Lifting people’s spirit, inspire, make them feel good, be a blessing.
The biggest impact I’ve ever witnessed was this time at a nursery home.
I was there for music therapy, having a musical conversation in front of people.
An old lady wouldn’t stop get up and kiss my hands, then cry, saying that I remind her of her son.
This kind of connection was powerful.
2) (Grammy award winning) Mike Philips is one of your mentor? What has been the most precious/valuable advice he gave you ?
Well, one piece of advice he gave me was:
« People never remember what they see or hear, but only what they feel;
So make sure you make them feel ».
3) How have you grown/evolved as a musician and as a (faithful) man from working with Stevie Wonder’s to this day?
As a musician, I’ve learnt to open up my ears, stretching my abilities to catch the sound of the wind, a conversation, the music playing… on another level.
Besides, working and traveling with Stevie Wonder, we always learn something new everyday. We call it the School of Wonder.
One thing I’ve learnt there was that even when everybody doesn’t feel your music now, there’s always someone to get your point, to feel what you mean, and connect with your music.
Talking about faith, my track Flashback illustrates it best, recording a conversation with my grand-father and I, and the voice of my godmother who didn’t understand my choice to do music and quitting my job.
My grand-father was the main one to push me forward to make a way for my career as a saxophonist.
When you want to embrace your destiny you need people to have you back like he did, instead of negative surroundings who don’t believe in you.
4) Last year Just Walk came out, is it one of your most meaningful solo project? Why?
With Just Walk I speak of faith: telling things to come true, and repeating to myself
‘One day, I’ll get there’, until it happens.
Now if you take a look at the cover art, let me break it down for you:
In the background you can see a car that’s just broke.
This broken car is a representation of life: you never know where you wanna go.
When the car broke down, you can choose to stand there or to get up and walk.
As you you see, I’m standing in a desert: it’s me waling in a spiritual desert.
You need to walk to the place that God has painted for you (that’s why you see the painting on the the cover art).
5) Last year came out Just Walk but a year before you were also working on your foundation: Kilgore Music Foundation. What can you tell us about its mission and vision? What has been the most satisfying accomplishment with this foundation?
The mission is to Mentor, Teach, and Empower, about the entertainment industry and being a lifelong musician.
We collect instruments and provide free classes to teach music to the youth.
The vision is to make it global, from Atlanta to the world. That’s also why you could see me in Italy.
In Italy has been one the most satisfying accomplishment for the foundation, as people, unexpectedly, donated instruments; the connection was really strong.
There are a lot of saxophonists here in Lyon. What tips can you give to young saxophonists beginning their career?
Sax is an extension of your voice
So make sure everybody can clearly understand what you express, adopt a clear and smooth language.
No need to go too fast, take the time, let people hear your voice.
How would you define Saxuality? (little wink to Saxtape)
For me this is the art of spoon-feeding, being all suggestive.
One last word you would like to add?
I’d like to end with the message behind ‘Can You Imagine’.
A message to let you know that your voice is carrying life:
The more you’re speaking it, the more it’s living.
And that’s also what I mean when I say ‘He created us to be creator’.
What you See Is What You Get