Following the release of his latest single "Just Talkin," singer-actor Kyle Meagher is setting his sights to new heights. In fact, he has a U.S. tour and many more project in the works!
Enstarz had a chance to get an exclusive interview with Meagher, in which he opened up about his acting and music career, his personal experiences in the entertainment industry and, of course, his current relationshp!
Who was your favorite singer growing up? Who inspired you to pursue singing?
Kyle Meagher: I can't even remember when I started singing. I just remember when I was younger, my classmates used to think I was strange because I was always singing, even without realizing it. I had played musical instruments since I was about 3 or 4 years old -- sax, piano and guitar -- and singing just came naturally with it, I didn't take formal vocal lessons until I was about 13 or 14. In fact, through elementary and middle school, a lot of kids made fun of me because I was always singing and they used to tell me my voice was too high and tease me but I just never let it deter me.
I listened to a lot of different types of music -- I had a Green Day phase, a Bruno Mars phase and who didn't love Justin Bieber? However, I would say that in the last five years, and since I started working on music as a profession and not just a hobby, I would say that Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes are two of my biggest influences. I love their authentic personality and personal touch to their songwriting and style.
How did you get started in acting? music? Which one came first?
KM: As I mentioned before, I have been doing music since I was 3 or 4 years old as a hobby and learning experience, but from a professional standpoint, I actually started out with acting first, and acting is what began my music career. I started acting when I was about 10 years old, I went to an open call at the agency I am with called Angie's Models and Talent (AMTI) .
It's a funny story because I had a hockey game to go to that afternoon and when 10-year-old me walked in and saw there were about 200 people in line at the open call, I turned around to leave and Lou, the husband of Angie, the owner, asked "Where do you think you are going" and stopped me at the door. I told him I had a hockey game and couldn't wait in line so he laughed and put me in front of the line and signed me. I had done a bit of musical theatre and things like that but not a ton of acting, and I really didn't know what I was expecting from the agency. I honestly thought I'd be joining the agency to do local commercials or modelling for flyers, however, after meeting my agent, I started going on huge auditions and booking stuff like Murdoch Mysteries and then "Anne with an E."
This led to me eventually booking a pilot called "7 Hills," which eventually kickstarted my music career as well. The director for 7 Hills asked if I could write a song for the soundtrack of the show, and I agreed! It really showed me a different side of music and ignited my passion, and after meeting some industry professionals, my musical career finally got started.
How was it to pursue singing when you already have a busy acting schedule?
KM: It was a great start because the first experience I had with it was the project that included both music and acting, so I think that made me realize how they can go together hand in hand. Then, I was able to record my visual album "Beats in a Bagel Shop" in between seasons 2 and 3 of "Anne with an E" and other work. When I was back on set again I would write in my spare time and promote the album in ways that didn't require me to be face to face with someone! When I'm off set and during downtime, I record and release my new songs.
How hard is it to juggle an acting and music career?
KM: Sometimes it's pretty hectic, but I've been fortunate to pursue both at the same time. The times so far have all seem to match up perfectly, so I'm able to pursue both. There have definitely been a few conflicts where I have been asked to do a show, but when you've already signed an acting contract stating your full availability to a show on a set of dates, you can't commit to anything else so there have been music shows that I have had to turn down or postpone, but most of these event organizers understand. You just take it day by day!
If you were to only choose one, would you rather be an actor or a singer?
KM: I haven't been able to give a committed answer to this question yet, because I truly enjoy both and it would be too hard to give up either one. But what I'd honestly love to do is to be able to combine the two as much as possible. There are actually many roles on TV or in film that have a musical element to them, so I love working on those projects. I have also been able to combine the two on my own with my last EP, "Beats in a Bagel Shop," where I created a visual album for it. What that means is that the 7 songs on my EP were written as a complete story and filmed all the music videos as a story with scenes between them so it turned into a short film.
It was amazing because I combined singing and acting - and it even had some accolades at film festivals, such as being nominated for Best Musical at the Orlando Film Festival and appearing as an official selection at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival. So, whether I'd be making a musical, or composing my own visual album, I'd love to keep working on both as much as possible, and be able to combine them into something I truly love.
Do you think you already have a set sound? Or is it still going to evolve in the future?
KM: I think in terms of my sound, I still have a lot of space to grow and change. People change, tastes change, so it's pretty fair to say that sounds will change with them. I have changed a lot with my first album to my second set of singles. I had lots of country influences in my last album whereas my recent singles had a touch of reggae and a more pop vibe. I do think that there are certain elements that I really like in music such as having strong guitar, good harmonies and great stories in the lyrics are definitely parts of my sound that are here to stay.
What's next for you in acting? How about musically?
KM: The TV show that kick started my music career: "7 Hills" has actually been greenlit to start filming in a few months, so I'm very excited to reprise a role there. It's going to be one of those great projects where I will get to combine my music and acting while also bringing to light a very important subject -- addiction and the opioid crisis. I am also already in the midst of writing a new visual album! That will be released later in the year and will resemble my original "Beats in a Bagel Shop" EP.
Finally, I'll be releasing some summer tour dates soon, so watch my Instagram for announcements coming in the spring!
Are you currently dating anyone?
KM: I am not right now, but I'm definitely open to it! However, I think it's tough on other people my age trying to have a serious relationship with me while I am so busy with music and acting and a lot of people my age are at school. I am away a lot and I find that sometimes it's hard for people to understand why I can't see them as often as I would like to because I'm busy songwriting, recording, auditioning or travelling. I have had a couple relationships -- friendships and otherwise -- that have had troubles because of my schedule, so I'm sure it will take a special person to be able to deal with me and the chaos that comes with my daily lifestyle.
How do you manage work-life balance?
KM: Considering I have fun with what I do, it's never really a challenge to try and manage my work-life balance. I play hockey, I go to university, I do acting and I do music and I have a great group of friends that I enjoy hanging out with in my downtime. I just love being on the go and I seem to have a million things going on in my head so to be able to let that out in the form of creativity, learning and physical activity helps me to not overthink too much and just get things done. I do have a tendency to overthink things if given the chance, but usually my initial instincts are pretty okay so I actually think it helps me to be on the busy side. So far, it's been a blast!
Are there tours lined up?
KM: Yep! It's in the works for this summer but unfortunately I can't say too much about it right now, other than it will be in the U.S. Details will be coming out in the spring.
Liste to Kyle Meagher's latest single "Just Talkin" below: