CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT - Ken De Poto: "Art will always serve a purpose..."

1) Where were you raised? Can you paint a picture of your childhood?


I was also raised in North Jersey. I was your typical spend every waking moment outside exploring type of kid. 

2) Did you always create art/music as a kid, or did you come to it later in life?

I grew up with two older brothers who both played instruments so from a pretty early age I was exposed to that world. I started playing the guitar around 8 years old and just picked up other instruments along the way. 

3) which artists have influenced your work? Why and how?

I have always been enamored by the blues. I think its a mix of the simplistic way of telling a story and the raw emotion that got me hooked. You did this and now I feel this way. Thats it. It’s extremely easy to connect with something like that. We’ve all been there. I think I’ve always tried to incorporate that into my writing in a way. I try to keep it simple.

4) any other influences (people, places, ideas)?

I’m very lucky to have a ton of creative friends who continue to inspire me day in and day out. They always inspire me to push myself and think outside of the box. This whole project came from KLANDO and I being inspired by one another. 

5) tell me about your practice—how do you generate ideas, what medium do you use?

When it comes to songwriting I generally like things to be pretty free form. I have many notebooks filled with one liners as a starting off point that I’ll write down throughout the day. From there I just keep it pretty fluid. I like my lyrics to be more conversational than metaphoric. So I’ll just keep playing over the same chords until I find a conversation I like. When it comes time to flesh out the lyrics to their final form I actually like to write in complete silence which I know is a little weird. No music. I generally won’t even have my guitar in hand. Anything else is too distracting for me. 

6) is your art more concept-driven or image-driven?

My music is more image driven than concept driven. I want to bring you to an exact moment in time. 

7) why do you make the art/music you make?

I make the music that I make because thats what is inside of me. I can’t force myself to create a different style without it seeming disingenuous. And that would not only be offensive to the people who listen to my music but also to myself. 

8) does your art/music influence your life, and vice versa?

I completely agree with KLANDO on this one. My art is absolutely influenced by my life. Every song is a short film from a moment in my life. A still image from a day I can’t get out of my head. 

9) what do you think about the notion "the lonely artist"? 

I think the term “lonely artist” is a little bit funny. Most of the time we create something very personal and generally by ourselves. We can devote so much time and so much energy and completely obsess over the smallest detail of our art. That can make you feel a bit disengaged from the world around you. You can forget that there are billions of people living billions of lives right next to you. But once that is all done we invite you into our little world that we’ve created. We want you to share it with us. 

10) does your art connect you to the world in some way, or does it help you navigate the world?

Aside from connecting me physically to other people through shows, it helps me navigate the world because it helps me better understand who I am. You can write a song or paint a picture that can tell you something about yourself you didn’t already know. You can then take that into the world with you. Creating art can be very therapeutic that way. 

11) do you make art for yourself or other people?

I only make art for myself. It serves as a release for me. A way to get out any emotions I may be harboring. If people dig it along the way that is only a plus. 

12) what purpose do you think art serves today?

Art will always serve a purpose. People will always want to connect with something on an emotional level. Whether it be through messages of love and hope, or fear and sadness. 


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