Living out of a van with just a bag, his instruments and music on his mind, it seems from the outside that the life of Kim Churchill couldn’t be more chilled.
It might be the life of a gypsy, but this dude packs plenty of talent having already released four albums before his 30th birthday.
Growing up in the small town of Merimbula, on the south-east coast of NSW, Kim picked up a guitar and began “showing off” to his primary school classmates.
“At first it wasn’t so much that I was enjoying the music as I was enjoying the process of playing guitar, but also the identity of it, being that kid who had a guitar and who could play guitar,” Kim says.
“I don’t reckon it was until I was about 12 or 13 years old that I really started to get that inspiring, passionate emotion on the basis of what I was listening to and what I was starting to play.”
From that point on he says he “finally unwrapped the ice cream” and discovered there was so much more to his journey; playing music became his calling.
One of the talents that musicians have is the ability to capture the magic that music possesses, which is exactly what Kim’s open and creative attitude brings to the table. His beautiful soul opens the door to honest emotions that he communicates to his listeners.
He says this kind of language is where the real magic happens. “Whether it’s being really excited, a high-energy level, trying to rev everybody up and bring people to that next level or whether it’s… just a real reflection of melancholy of a mistake once made,” Kim says.
“I think music is magic in the sense that it’s far better than any language in terms of describing human experience and emotion and the reflection of the world as it really is.”
When Kim turned 18 he bought a van, built a bed in the back and left Merimbula to start touring. With humble beginnings, he began his journey as a musician busking at markets and playing small gigs at pubs along the way.
Later this month, Kim will be performing at The Gum Ball Music and Arts Festival
and is excited to be performing songs from his new album for the first time. “The Gum Ball is run by some close friends of mine actually… there’s a pub quite close to the festival called The Junk Yard and the pub is a musical sort of mecca for Australian touring bands,” Kim says.
“That was one of the first places I ever played at after building my little van and heading off on the road; they were one of the first pubs to give me a gig.”
The couple who own the property where The Gum Ball is held were at that show, and have become close friends of Kim's since. “You almost don’t feel like you’re at a festival, but rather this huge party and everyone knows each other… all of the bands are hanging out, camping and kicking around with everybody,” Kim says.
For the last year, Kim has spent most of his time in Sydney recording music for his fifth album, 'Weight Falls', which is due to be released in June this year.
“It’s better than anything I’ve done before and it’s a real symbol of an enormous amount of work on my part to breakdown a lot of the elements of a human that can get in the way of your creative potential,” Kim says.
“For me, it was the music industry and the idea of success and giving the record label a great album that they can sell to the world and all that kind of stuff… breaking through all of that just to write music is an enormous achievement I think.”Kim Churchill performs at The Gum Ball, which takes place at Dashville (Hunter Valley) 21-23 April.
Kim Churchill Shows
Thu 18 May - The Old Museum (Brisbane)Fri 19 May - Meat Market (Melbourne)Sat 20 May - Verbrugghen Hall (Sydney)Sat 3 Jun - Fremantle Town Hall