Kyle Lionhart is an actual bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, born-and-bred local.
‘I grew up on the foot hills of Mt Warning. I moved out of home when I was 17 and headed to Byron Bay with plans to make it to Melbourne, but, just like many others, I got stuck here happily in the Byron Hub.’
Six years on and a full year’s cycle of performing under his belt, the local scene has only increased his love for this place. ‘What’s not to love here? We generally have good surf, good music and good vibes.’
Kyle has been surrounded by art, music, eccentricity and creative people his whole life. ‘I always roll the lyrics off my tongue for the first time out in the surf, or winding through the back roads of this beautiful valley,’ he says. ‘When I started playing music I was under the influence of conspiracy theorists, fairy-loving parents, and old-school rock and roll. I think the thing I love about writing music is not just expressing myself, but how it doesn’t always make much sense at the time yet feels so good to write. I’m influenced by old-school rock and psychedelics but there’s a raw sweetness about folk music that really pulls me and I feel I can get to the point more when trying to explain a certain emotion or idea. I never really wrote to perform.’
Lionhart has quickly gained a formidable reputation for stopping crowds in their tracks. So much so that he was invited to play at this years Splendour in the Grass music festival. Lionhart has shared the stage with legends Jeff Lang and Ash Grunwald, and played at the 2012 Byron Bay Surf Festival.
Lionhart performed in the show at the second North Coast Songwriters Session in July and left the audience in a state of rapture with both his extraordinarily beautiful lyrics and the angelic tones of his voice. Former Rolling Stones manager Sam Cutler said of Lionhart, ‘This is what music is supposed to be like’.
Kyle will be around for a long time and one imagines he will eventually conquer the world. We can only hope he remembers where he came from and visit us once in a while.
You can catch Kyle all over the shop this weekend from Frankie Brown Byron Bay on Friday to Mokha early, then the Backroom late on Saturday and Sunday at the Sphinx Rock Cafe in the arvo.
You can find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/kylelionhart.