Kevin Connor, aka The Trust Fund Kids is a singer/songwriter from New Jersey, USA, creating upbeat indie rock tunes. Connor has so far released three singles, titled ‘Evelyn’, ‘Waiting on You’ and ‘Mercy Me.’
Connor’s sound is effervescent – bubbly indie rock n roll, with catchy choruses and notable 90’s rock influences.
“I grew up in a fairly musical household, but nothing out of the ordinary,” Connor states, discussing how he got into music, “I didn’t go around in a van touring the country or anything – but my dad and brother played the guitar. My parents are both pretty big music fans so artists like Simon and Garfunkel soundtracked my childhood. I heard a lot of pop rock, Celtic folk, 60’s folk and classic rock.”
Connor got into writing from an early age – “I dabbled in writing lyrics and little melodies when I was 9. They were extremely rudimentary. I was still learning guitar, which I grew fascinated with from my dad and brother playing.” The singer goes on to say “It wasn’t until I began to learn more chords, mostly on the internet, that I started writing. I would naturally come up with little riffs of chord progressions that grew into songs as I discovered my favourite bands like Nirvana in middle school. When I hit sophomore year of high school, I dove head first into the pantheon of incredible modern music I wasn’t privy to. This influenced me heavily and by junior year I began to write songs I was actually proud enough to want to release.”
Connor cites his music influences as mostly modern indie rock and pop, with artists such as Car Seat Headrest, Jeff Rosenstock, Mitski, Modern Baseball, Vampire Weekend, Frankie Cosmos, MGMT, and Smith Westerns playing a large part in influencing his writing, “in the ‘earlier days’ of my songwriting Ty Segall, FIDLAR, and Wavves were very much in the mix.” He also quotes The Supremes, Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Beatles as major influences, along with rap artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator “I’ve also been listening to a lot of rap – rap production or other artists influenced by rap production is extremely influential for me.”
“It’s difficult to explain my creative process because it changes every time I start creating a new batch of songs,” Connor explains. “I hop from genre to genre a lot, which is something I’m excited for people to see. But I’m very much influenced by David Bowie, so I feel a need to completely change my ‘sound’ every project.”
“There is very much a basic thread of commonalities – it usually starts with melody. I’m always approaching it from a pop song school of thought. I just love pop music. So, I try to write a hook first, which is either singing to a guitar riff/chord progression or singing to a looped musical idea in Logic. And after I get down the basic verse and chorus ideas as a Voice Memo on my phone, I start to think about lyrics.” Connor discusses his process of creating music.
“My earlier stuff was more stream of consciousness, which I’m proud of, but now I try to curate lines more. At the core of my interests is the fact that I just love writing stories. So whether it’s in an obfuscated way or not, I’m always trying to write compelling stories,” says the songwriter. “I also just like lyrics that are pleasing to read which is influenced by my mom, who is a fan of poetry. I do like to deviate from my process and sometimes write lyrics first or write a melody without a progression. I just like to keep the writing fun because I love to write songs and never want to make something that doesn’t feel enthusiastic.”
Connor describes the recording process as initially ‘extremely stressful’, noting that “Creating what feels like a “final version” of a piece of music you’re attached to is like sending your kid to kindergarten – when they board the bus you’re going to stress about whether you gave them enough fruit roll ups or whatever. You send your creation out into the world the best you can with your fingers crossed, so it’s stressful.” He adds, “Initially, I tried to record in studios, but I just didn’t have the money to do it well. So I started self-recording, very anxiously. I had two 100 dollar microphones my parents graciously got me for Christmas and an interface I bought, with summer job money, used on Reverb.com. I also had an electronic drum kit I bought to learn drums.”
“I recorded ‘Waiting On You’ into Garageband pulling my hair out over two weeks. Then I heard it mixed, and the mixing engineers ability to mold it made me realize no matter how much I sucked at recording at any given point, the song can be saved.” And with that confidence, Connor then produced the majority of his unreleased first record on Garageband, “Now, I have Logic and have learned to mix and fallen in love with production. So what used to be a scary beast to me, is now a best friend. I absolutely love producing. Now that I know and am more comfortable with the process, I hop around a lot.”
“The key to keeping it relaxed is just stepping away and collecting your thoughts. I have an anxiety disorder and OCD so you can imagine I get obsessed and stressed,” the singer discusses. “But, even now, it’s become a low stress thing for me, which is amazing. So, to make a long story long – for all musicians out there, if you don’t have a ton of money and/or get stressed recording, you can still record your songs properly! Just serve the songs and take a deep breath.”
“I’d say my ambitions are to try and make weird pop songs in a lot of different genres that I’m really proud of. I talk about a lot of the issues I’ve had with panic attacks and anxiety. There are artists who’ve single handedly gotten me through the worst times of my life, with recordings of songs they wrote sometimes up to 50 years ago. Some of these artists aren’t even alive and they’ve saved me so many times from complete despair.”
“And that is the most beautiful thing to me about music to me – an artist connecting with a person experiencing the art, no matter if they’re both even alive at the same time. If I can make one person feel less alone like bands before me made me feel less alone, I’ll have accomplished what I need to do,” he notes.
“From a logistical standpoint, I hope that perhaps I can make a living off of what I love to do. But I can only focus on the art as of now. I can only focus on making what’s true to me so the people that would connect with it will.”
Stream The Trust Fund Kids on Spotify here: