The least we can say about Simon Kingsbury’s creative process is that it’s slow.
He started out busy, first appearing on the scene as a member of the indie-folk-prog band Lac Estion, which produced three recordings – EP (2008), Affranchi (2009) and XXIe siècle (2010). He then followed up with a solo solo EP, released in 2011, and played at the 2012 Francouvertes. In short, he made his mark on the local indie scene.
But over the past two-plus years, news from him has been few and far between. “In 2013, I recorded tracks that sounded way too much like those on the 2011 EP,” he explains, “so I scrapped all of them and decided to take a year off!”
Only during the course of the last year did Kingsbury start feeling like he was ready to get cracking again. He was already signed to a publishing deal with Ad Litteram (since 2013), so the company’s boss, Guillaume Lombart, offered Kingsbury a production deal for his new songs. “Luckily for me, he gave me carte blanche creatively,” says Kingsbury. “They took care of the financing, and all the paperwork, that can easily bog down an artist… They took care of that whole side of things, but kept me in the loop, which was quite helpful.”
The result was Pêcher rien, a slick affair launched in early February 2016, and whose first single, “Comédien,” sets the tone.
When asked about his protégé, Guillaume Lombart is quick to answer that he himself is “a lucky publisher and producer, right now.” Birds of a feather, as the saying goes…
The Constant Gardner
It goes without saying that it all started as love at first sight – or hearing, as it were: “There was the voice, I truly believe that an artist’s signature is their voice,” says Lombart. “It’s the very personality of any project.”
Lombart enjoys working with singer-songwriters. “I like when I deal with only one person, especially if that person is aware of what it means to make music nowadays,” says Lombart. “On top of that, I also believe that songwriters are people who constantly question themselves and best grasp what it means to be human, starting with themselves. I think they are less susceptible to fall prey to the whole ‘star ego’ thing.”
Lombart and Kinsgbury also share the same vision of their collaboration: teamwork first. “Everybody on this boat works very hard, and we’re all in sync when it comes to the activities involved in this project,” says the publisher-producer.
Things really got underway when all 10 songs were committed to tape. “We produced the album and sought a licencing deal with a record label,” says Lombart. “But the licence never came, so we looked for financing on our own. And things fell into place.”
Clearly, when this man gets involved in a project, his publishing feelers extend very far. “As a publisher, my goal is to take a project as far as I can by getting the right people involved to make sure it does,” says Lombart. “CDs have become a promotional tool for publishers. And I’m also the producer of the live show. And, through Livetoune (an Ad Litteram subsidiary), I also produce the audio-visual aspect of it all. In the end, the goal is to integrate all of these elements in order to prop up the songs themselves… I love the idea of a musical-visual publisher. I created that model in reaction to a specific situation. I often compare it to gardening, how one needs to sow the seeds and ensure his produce thrives and grows.”
You Reap What You Sow
Québec radio stations have clearly confirmed the publisher-producer’s flair: At the time of this writing, Kingsbury’s “Comédien” was named buzz ÉNERGIE for the month of February, thus ensuring the song quite a heavy rotation over most of the network’s stations.
And if the artist’s ambitions are any indication of what’s to come, things are looking good. “Guillaume and I are on the same wavelength most of the time,” says Kingsbury. Ultimately, what I want is for my songs to be as widely heard as possible.” Add that to the positive critical reception of Pêcher rien, and what you have is a duo that thoroughly enjoys reaping what it has slowly and carefully sown.