Kyan Burns grew up in Gawler, South Australia and has released a debut solo Single called ‘So I’m Telling You’.
Granddaughter of Hillbilly and yodelling Zeta Burns, who is still singing at 93 years of age. Our guest Kyan has numerous decades of performance behind them and today in this chat reflects on the future music they’ll be giving audiences to come.
On the eve of their latest release ‘Guess’ Kyan joined John Murch of radionotes for this chat
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IMAGE CREDIT: SUPPLIED
Late Nights in Siberia with Kyan Burns will be happening Saturdays across the Fringe/Festival seasons. Link HERE for trybookings.
SHOW NOTES: Kyan Burns
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In The Box / Music Mentions:
- I Believe In Kindness – Lisa Mitchell (Official Music Video)
- Hide From A Broken Heart – Dallas Smith (Official Music Video)
- Night Fall – Mild West (Amazon Music) here on Spotify
- Punching In – Tetsuians (Bandcamp)
- Mustang Crescent – Hayli (Music Video), as went to publish saw Kyan mention this artist/tune which has their musical partner Tristen Bird credited as guitarist on and the recorder of. Also available on lossless audio over at Apple Music
Feature Guest: Kyan Burns
- Instagram – Facebook – Music Links
- So I’m Telling You (Official Music Video)
- Brandon Meagher – Chelsea Balan
- RAViE (Official Site)
- Satellite (On Recovery introduced by Jane Gazzo) – Size DeMarchi
- HartBurn Acoustic Duo (FB)
- Rain Shadow (IMDb) and here on ABC iView
- Sabotage – Madeleine Clare (Official Music Video – Directed by Victoria Thaine)
- Landline’s Pip Courtney report on Zeta Burns
- Jewel (Official Site)
- Guess (Official Music Video) and All Links to get the tune
The Wiggles – ReWiggled
- Elephant – The Wiggles (Official Video)
- Can You (Point Your Fingers & Do the Twist?) -Papa Vs Pretty (Spotify)
- Time Jumpers with Vince Gill
- 2022 version of The Wiggles’ ReWiggled (LinksTo)
Next Feature Guest: Bec and Tara of Be Uncluttered
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Web-design/tech: Steve Davis
Voice: Tammy Weller
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First version provided by REV team member – check to audio before quoting wider
John Murch: Thanks for joining us.
Kyan Burns: No, thanks for having me.
John Murch: Let’s start off with the single. So, I’m telling you, this is the debut single, have a look at the songwriting process for it because you actually have collaborated at that level as a singer.
Kyan Burns: I was approached to record this song with some songwriters from the US, and a friend of mine, RAViE, who’s produced this track, brought this song to my attention, and it was a beautiful song.
John Murch: Presented with a song like this as a debut, I guess, firstly, what was it about this song that drew you to it?
Kyan Burns: It was a beautiful song, I think it sort of signifies a lot about where my life is at the moment, so I’ve related to it massively. Quite a sad song, but I think a lot of people can relate to it, and that’s why I chose this one. There was a few options, but this one just really found a spot in my heart.
John Murch: Talk to us about that element of the song.
Kyan Burns: The lyrics were beautiful, and it was just a really emotional tune. So, it was something that I think I wanted to release first because a lot of people could relate to it.
John Murch: So, you get to perform this song live, there are certain emotions in this song, what are those emotions tapping into?
Kyan Burns: Everyone, I suppose, has had a point, I mean, myself especially, when you’ve had to leave a situation where it’s the right thing to do, as hard as it may be. So, with me, I guess, it’s such a real feeling of, “We have to make these decisions whether or not we want to, but we have to do you what’s right.” Really emotional song in that respect, because I’ve had to leave relationships myself that were not necessarily bad, but just they weren’t right for us. Struck a chord with me because you just… We all have had to make these decisions that are not necessarily what we want, but we have to do them for it’s the right thing to-
John Murch: How are you finding it performing that song live for those very reason?
Kyan Burns: It’s very emotional singing it live. The first time I did sing it live was just a pretty incredible experience, there was a lot of people that, I think, really felt something in this song, I’ve had a lot of feedback. So, it was just a really emotional experience, singing it live.
John Murch: Let’s talk about emotions and talk about the single launch, which I believe you did where the film clip was done, which was somewhere they called The Siberia Restaurant, looks like a lovely place.
Kyan Burns: Yes it is. It was a really, really magical night, that magic was probably the only word I can use to explain it. It was just a really, really emotional moment for me to be able to sing these songs in front of my family and friends for the first time, and obviously, yeah, members of the public too. But it was just the support, and the vibe, and the atmosphere in the room was just amazing.
John Murch: The second single is now out, called Guess, what are you building on? I think it’s a four-track, an EP.
Kyan Burns: Initially, I started off with the idea of a four-track EP, these songs, because they were, sort of, happening a little bit further apart. We’ve, sort of, decided to release this, So I’m Telling You, as a single and now Guess, I believe I’m going to release it as a second single as opposed to the EP. We’ve got a couple of other songs in the works, so I don’t know whether or not I’m going to hold them back and maybe put them towards an EP, but yeah, sort of a little bit, just winging it at the minute.
John Murch: Collaborating with people in Nashville and the likes of that. What about Guess? What’s happening with that one?
Kyan Burns: RAViE, once again, has brought that forward for who us to-
John Murch: Who is this RAViE? Sounds a bit legend.
Kyan Burns: He is, he’s brilliant. So, he’s an artist himself, actually just released his EP, but he’s also producing the tracks. He’s been a massive support to me. So, he’s been an Adelaide artist for a long time and played the Gig Scene and decided to do the original stuff himself, and now he’s producing other people, and he’s been a really good friend of mine.
John Murch: This song Guess on first listen has those many layers about morals, but as well as, not deceptions, but people’s views and misconceptions in a way, as well. You’ve chosen these songs for a reason, this one here, I think, is a chance for you to say, “I’m not a wallflower, I’m something stronger than that.”
Kyan Burns: Yeah, I think you’ve sort of nailed it. It’s, sort of, to say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I think we’ve all, sort of, got this little side inside of us, this other little person, and I think it’s nice to be able to express that. I think this song is a little bit about coming out of your shell, releasing your inner self, I suppose. Yeah.
John Murch: One of the influences you cite is the baby animals, and that draws me to the power that is Suze DeMarchi.
Kyan Burns: I’ve always been a huge lover of rock, especially women in rock, they’re these powerful women belting out these amazing songs, it’s always been something I’ve loved. Even playing the Gig Scene, the rock songs is something that I’ve always loved to sing. So, these women in rock are just huge inspirations to me and my music, it’s sort of the path I’ve always wanted to go down. These big powerful voices, these sexy women, that’s kind of who I, sort of, like to think I can relate to a little bit.
John Murch: So, there is that sense of sexiness as well as empowerment?
Kyan Burns: Yes, absolutely. Yeah.
John Murch: And not defined, as many women unfortunately and wrongly have been over the years, not defined by age either.
Kyan Burns: Yes. 100%. I mean, I saw Suze a few years ago and she’s just still kicking out like she was 20 years ago, she’s a phenomenal artist, and with a beautiful, powerful voice.
John Murch: And Chrisy took it to the grave as well.
Kyan Burns: Absolutely. 100%. Yeah.
John Murch: Just talking about the blokes for a little while, Dave Gleeson, I believe you’ve supported at the Governor Hindmarsh, our premium live music venue here in South Australia, talk to me about that.
Kyan Burns: It was a huge honour to be asked, to be honest, to be able to get up there and do, I suppose, a big Christmas show and support someone as amazing as Dave Gleeson, was a huge honour, hopefully get another opportunity to do it again. I actually did it a few years ago as well, for an Australia Day function going back quite a few years now. So, it’s the second time I’ve actually had the pleasure of supporting Dave Gleeson.
John Murch: Let’s talk about something that you hate. You applied for Australian Idol, you went up to the third auditions, what you did or did not get from that experience, and more importantly, why you’ve been quoted saying “I hate it.”
Kyan Burns: I just didn’t particularly like the whole process, I mean, this is early days, I don’t know if they still do it the same now, I think it’s all by video now. But back then, we were in lines for 12 hours, so by the time you get in there, you’ve absolutely exhausted. By the third audition, I suppose they’re not even airing the first two auditions, so they’re letting a lot of people get through that are more for laughs than anything and a lot of talented vocalists are getting booted for these people. And by the time you get to the audition room, you’re just so exhausted and you’re not… They’ve got something they’re looking for, to me they’re not looking for, sort of, authentic… Look my opinion, I feel they’re looking for someone that they can mould or… I don’t think you really get to express yourself as an artist in shows like that. But in saying that, that’s my experience.
John Murch: Kyan, can we just spend a little bit of time talking about this and the idea of the importance of covers. Through HartBurn, which is the acoustics that you do with Tristan Hart, you’ve done a number of cover gigs in your time, what is it for you that cover gig brings?
Kyan Burns: It’s just a reason to be able to play regularly. I mean, obviously there’s not a lot of opportunities to play original music, especially in Adelaide or whatnot, but it’s just a way to keep playing, and it’s really a great way to entertain people, I get enjoyment out of people singing along and having a good time, dancing one day eventually, again, maybe, but… Honestly, it’s just a way to keep it going. I love performing, and if that’s an opportunity that we get to, then I suppose, covers it is.
John Murch: And what about the musical form as well? Your chance to, I guess, do a little bit of interpretation of some of the classics.
Kyan Burns: Yeah, absolutely. It’s about, I suppose, making these songs our own, we do get to express ourselves by singing songs that the public still know, so they get to sing along, but we also get to do the HartBurn version of it as well.
John Murch: And there’s a plugged in version called Chronic HartBurn.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. So, the five-piece extension of HartBurn, we see we’re a joy and then we wanted to, sort of, make it bigger to cater for other bigger events as well, so, we came up with Chronic HartBurn.
John Murch: It is that sense of familiarity, I get that.
Kyan Burns: For sure. Yeah.
John Murch: But there’s also that sense of singing along.
Kyan Burns: I think it brings people together too, because they’re singing songs that they love, they know. There’s such a thing to be said about the atmosphere of people singing along to stuff that they know, and I think it’s much better than listening to it on a CD played on a stereo. So, it sort of gets people involved, and it’s really nice to see them enjoying themselves with that. And I mean, I do, when you hear a song that you know, playing at a pub, you sing along, it makes you happy.
John Murch: What is your favourite karaoke song?
Kyan Burns: Pretty well known for the Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine, I got to say, so, I do love belting that out. But I do love a good girly ballad, something by Jewel as well, You Were Meant For Me or Foolish Games. I don’t get an opportunity to play things like Foolish Games and stuff, because it’s a little bit too sad and sappy to be playing at a gig, so it’s nice to belt that out.
John Murch: Kyan burns is our special guest on this episode of radionotes. And we’re going to talk acting, with you now. I’ve got very excited because I… I tried to do some research, I don’t want to up myself and embarrass myself too much here. Out guest Kyan Burns played Luisa Barrington in Rain Shadow.
Kyan Burns: Yes. That was a little while ago.
John Murch: 2007, I think, because I watched it when it went on air on the ABC. It’s currently available on iView for those that like to track it on down in Australia. This, by the way, featured Rachel Ward, Gary Sweet, but also the amazing, and a former guest of radionotes, Victoria Thaine who played Jill Blake, the lead vet in it.
Kyan Burns: Dabbled into acting there for a while. I remember that shoot, and it was a long, hot day and-
John Murch: No, we’re not talking about Australian Idol, we’re talking about a premium Australian TV series about a vet in the country, or rural Australia I should say.
Kyan Burns: Look, it was great, it was all great experience for me when I sort of dabbled into acting, that was something that I was really interested in doing at the time. Now, with these film clips and things that I’ve done, it’s given me that sort of fire again to maybe get back into it, so I guess we’ll see where that heads.
John Murch: Was it same crew for both film clips.
Kyan Burns: Yes. So, the director Gareth Wilkes is a really good friend of mine, he’s my brother’s partner. He’s brilliant. So, he sort of came up with, I suppose, a storyline to a point and just… Yeah, he created some magic.
John Murch: As someone who’s, I’m not talking out of school here and I’m not saying it in a negative way, but someone who’s a little bit more mature in years, how are you finding that whole branding thing?
Kyan Burns: Look, it’s tough. Part of me wishes I had have done it years ago, because it is a little bit tough to try and start something when you’re sort of a little bit behind the eight ball, all these young kids on Instagram and all of that seem to be out to just smash it-
John Murch: I think they are on TikTok or something.
Kyan Burns: Yeah.
John Murch: I don’t know. Let me just check my MySpace to see –
Kyan Burns: It does feel like that a little bit. So, honestly it’s-
John Murch: Hang on I’ve got a message on my ICQ, on my Netscape.
Kyan Burns: It’s a massive learning curve for me. Just trying to figure it all out with all the social media side of things and everything is just… It’s kicking me in the butt, but I’m working it out.
John Murch: It’s a good time to bring up the musical talents of your nana. I regularly check out Landline, but I missed this story and I had to revisit it a little later, Pip Courtney’s done a story about your grandma.
Kyan Burns: My nana, Zeta Burns, she’s a country music singer, she has been for, well, forever. She’s now 93. Still performing, I think she’s just recorded her last ever album, I think, she’s been brilliant. She’s sort of travelled the country, singing country music forever with her partner, Ian Hands, so they’ve been working together for a long, long time. So, she’s just a phenomenal human being. Just loves her country music-
John Murch: Particularly that of the yodelling as well.
Kyan Burns: Yes.
John Murch: Ever been tempted?
Kyan Burns: Look, I’ve given it a crack. When we were kids, she tried to sort of teach us every now and again when she’d come down, but. Look, it’s probably not something I’ve tried seriously, maybe one day I’ll give it a shot. But look, I honestly don’t know whether or not I can do it.
John Murch: Being one of six growing up in Gawler, what was the pecking order like?
Kyan Burns: It was great. There was always that fight to survive kind of mentality, and always trying to, I suppose, outdo each other or compete, we were very competitive as a family.
John Murch: And how did music play into that?
Kyan Burns: Obviously my nana being a singer, but my dad was a huge music lover, so he recorded all the Rages, all the Countdowns, everything as we were growing up, and put them all on music tapes, and even had a little index book so we could search for what song was on each tape. And then when I was younger I thought I could sing, so my parents sort of tried to, I suppose, get me into that as time went on. But I didn’t actually start singing properly until I was 15, I think.
John Murch: Amazing musical partnership with Tristan. Is there any stories from the road or any interesting things about how that all started for you two?
Kyan Burns: Oh God, I don’t know if I should tell this story, how we met. We both sort of were living in Gawler at the time, he played in another band, which he still does, called Transit. I actually had, I don’t know whether to talk about this, lost my licence, drink driving.
John Murch: Did you do the time?
Kyan Burns: I did the time.
John Murch: You’re not endorsing it?
Kyan Burns: No, absolutely not. And had to get a breathometer installed in my car, and he happened to be auto electrician that was installing it so… And then we spoke because we knew each other as musicians, and I said that-
John Murch: You live in Gawler.
Kyan Burns: So, I needed another guitarist and he was happy to step in, so… At that point I was sort of playing with several different guitarists, but nothing was solid, so I just wanted a solid duo partner.
John Murch: And that was many years ago, obviously, as well?
Kyan Burns: Yes. It’s going back about nine years ago now.
John Murch: What is it about his musical talents that you most enjoy? Since he’s not here you can talk him up.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. Look, he is a brilliant guitarist, I’ve worked with lots of guitarists and he’s right up there, he just plays beautifully. And he’s also a great harmoniser as well, so voices just worked great together, I believe. It’s always just been really pleasant working with him. We just clicked from the start.
John Murch: And I think also doing covers you’d need to have the same sort of repertoire, understanding as well, because there’ll be no good you knowing 10 songs, him knowing 10 songs, but neither of you knowing both.
Kyan Burns: The joy is that we’re both pretty quick at learning things anyway, so if there’s a song that one of us wants to do, then we can pick it up pretty quickly and bash it out in the next gig. But both got quite similar music tastes, and he really appreciates good music too so, I mean, it’s just worked really well.
John Murch: That’s HartBurn, H-A-R-T-B-U-R-N, that is the duo. And then we said there’s also a band version of that. But joining us today, Kyan Burns, to talk about her solo work. How important has travel been in your life?
Kyan Burns: Massive. I’ve travelled a lot, I think it’s been about 32 countries or something. Travelling is what keeps me sane, it’s a massive way to sort of refresh and get time away from the stress of everything else. So, it’s been a pretty crazy couple of years not being able to do that, cancelled everything, for holidays in the last two years or whatever it is. So it is hard, it definitely contributes to my, I suppose, mental wellbeing. Not having that has been quite a struggle to be honest.
John Murch: Have you been using hikes and mountain walks as the substitute for that?
Kyan Burns: Definitely. Huge hiker, hiking is-
John Murch: So, normally you’d hike, nevertheless?
Kyan Burns: Look, I loved hiking before COVID, but not to the point that I do now, I suppose. Now, it’s, sort of, taking the place of everything else that I was able to do, so I’m definitely hiking a lot more than I would have if travelling was still an option, I think. Been a great opportunity to check out a lot of cool places in South Australia that I probably would not have done otherwise.
John Murch: What’s one of the fav spots?
Kyan Burns: I love going up to the Flinders, to be honest. I was actually at Quorn, just a week ago, and there were some pretty amazing spots up there like Devil’s Peak and whatnot, and also Alligator Gorge.
John Murch: Let’s get back to that world travel when it was a thing and you were doing a lot of it. What were some of the places that were inspiring you, that you are in awe of even?
Kyan Burns: There’s so many. I love… I mean, Malta and Croatia, just the absolute beauty of those places is amazing. For some reason, I feel Croatia kind of had this scary sound to it, I don’t know, but it’s just this beautiful, beautiful place that I would love to go back again. But then there’s also places like your Barcelona where there’s just everything there, you’ve got the old Gothic district, and you’ve got the waterfront, and you’ve got… There’s just a little bit of everything, that’s a really phenomenal place.
John Murch: Malta has actually left a mark on you as well, literally. In 2014, you got a tattoo on your left shoulder blade.
Kyan Burns: I got the tattoo, it says “These two shall pass.”. I’ve had a lot of, I suppose, difficult times in my life, so I do, sort of, go by a few of these sayings. Malta was a really, really special place, we actually went there while we were in Europe and my husband had just been hit by a car in Greece, so, we actually went there and it’s crazy, crazy experience, and then to have that and, sort of, recuperate in Malta, it was “Okay, let’s just get this done now.”
John Murch: So, fond memories?
Kyan Burns: Yeah. All of my tattoos have meant something. So, I have a tattoo on my stomach, which is actually got my brother’s name in it, my brother passed away on his 18th birthday. That was a pretty significant moment for me, and just, I suppose, symbolising that on my body forever, kind of. And I have “Que sera, sera” written on my arm because I’m just of the motto, “What will be, will be.” I suppose. So, there’s been a lot, I suppose, in my life over the years that you just, kind of, want to memorialise. I lost a daughter, and my daughter passed… She passed away at two weeks old, so I have a tattoo on my foot of her, it’s infinity symbol with a beautiful angel baby and whatnot. So, there’s been a lot in my life that I suppose I’ve just… And I guess that’s my way of coping.
John Murch: Apart from that, are there other ways that help you cope as well?
Kyan Burns: My way of coping with anything is just keeping busy and thriving for more, I suppose, is constantly trying to achieve something all the time. So, I suppose it’s just a massive drive to stay busy and keep myself occupied.
John Murch: What kind of songs have you been writing over the years? Or are you more of a poet waiting to be a song writer?
Kyan Burns: I used to write poetry a lot when I was younger. And then I kind of just once… I, sort of, got into the cover scene and whatnot, I just kind of stopped, because I was, I don’t know, working all the time and… So, there are, sort of, poems that I’ll be turning into songs going forward, but they are, I mean, kind of, heartbreak, girl power kind of sort of stuff, I suppose. Yeah.
John Murch: Jewel is a particular singer songwriter, who is of a particular era of a particular type, what is it for Jewel and Kyan? What is that connection of the two?
Kyan Burns: Jewel has just some beautiful, beautiful lyrics, and she’s very relatable. I like to think somewhat that… So I’m Telling You has a little bit of a Jewel feel. Her lyrics are always sort of emotional and meaningful and relatable for me, so it was something… Back when my brother died many years ago, her album was something that I just absolutely destroyed constantly because it was just playing over and over and over again. So, every time I listen to her songs, it sort of takes me back to that place, it really pulls at the heartstrings, just about everything that she releases.
John Murch: There’s also the issue of self questioning as well, beyond the why me and-
Kyan Burns: We’re always, sort of, full of self doubt, and I’ve had a lot of, sort of, I suppose, bad experiences and whatever in my time, but at the same time, I feel it’s made me sort of stronger, constantly thriving for more, I guess.
John Murch: Let’s talk about Guess in the frame of this, the strength to actually present yourself as this, that, and this.
Kyan Burns: Definitely. I think it’s a huge, sort of, breakout song for me, finding myself, showing who I truly am, I guess. It’s been such a journey, I think Guess is sort of the next step in my journey to sort of just pull down the walls, show people who I am, sort of express myself, definitely fitting in where I’m sitting with life right now.
John Murch: And that’s the great thing, is we’re not getting some sort of la-di-da kind of singer, songwriter kind of thing, we’re actually getting some guts in the music.
Kyan Burns: Yes. Definitely. Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t want to release anything that didn’t mean anything, it’s got to have a meaning behind it, it’s got to be expressing myself in some sort of way. So, I like to think releasing things that people can really get some sort of message from opposed to just a cool pop song.
John Murch: Food and drink, particularly in terms of world travel, where is it for you?
Kyan Burns: Probably Italy, I think. Well, I went to Reggio Emilia in Italy, which is this little country town. It was the most phenomenal food I’ve ever eaten in my life, it was a truffle pasta dish that I honestly would kill to go back there and eat that again. And just the service of everything, and the meats and… Just some phenomenal food there, everything we ate in Reggio Emilia was amazing, and they have all the markets and… One of my favourite all time places, that’s probably the best food I’ve eaten.
John Murch: And in terms of the beverage, is there a particular beverage over the years of that travel that grabs you? For some it’s a Guinness in Ireland.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. Look, I did have a Guinness in Ireland and, look… I’m trying to think of a beverage as such. It was really nice actually going to an Irish pub and sitting at an Irish pub and drinking beers with the locals singing songs. That was, kind of, such a great experience.
John Murch: You’ve probably done the German beers as well?
Kyan Burns: Oh, yeah, Octoberfest. I’ve been to Octoberfest three times, so yeah.
John Murch: Like the real one?
Kyan Burns: The real one, yes. That’s one of the most amazing experiences ever, that is such a positive, fun, incredible experience. You get sat on a table with people from all over the world and by the end of the night, you’re best friends. And it’s sharing the beers and drinking the Liechtenstein, singing the German songs, there is just nothing like it.
John Murch: What’s been that cultural experience that’s changed you?
Kyan Burns: Going to Morocco was a pretty amazing experience for me. We went to the Sidi Ifni and Taghazout. So Sidi Ifni is a really small, sort of, place, it’s not big touristy place at all. And just hanging out with some of the locals there, like Amad and… Amad is a good friend of mine now, we still talk over, over social media. It was just a whole different lifestyle there. And there’s this big stigma on certain nationalities and whatnot as well, and it was really nice to sort of see another side and sort of spend some time with these people, sort of hang out, go surfing and-
John Murch: And be in there home, I guess.
Kyan Burns: Yes. Absolutely. Sitting in their home, having dinner with their families, it was a beautiful experience.
John Murch: Surfing.
Kyan Burns: Mm-hmm (affirmative) .
John Murch: You grew up in Gawler, where did surfing come into the picture?
Kyan Burns: Look, I’m not a good surfer, I would just put that out there-
John Murch: But Gawler and surf, I don’t connect the two.
Kyan Burns: No, I didn’t do any surfing when I was younger. When I met my husband, he was a big surfer, so he grew up in your peninsula. It was his plan to go back to Morocco, he spent quite a bit of time in Morocco before we met. He wanted to get me surfing basically. So, I did surf in Morocco, look, I’m not very good at it.
John Murch: You’re not, water baby, as they say?
Kyan Burns: Look, not hugely, no. I’m not a great swimmer. I love the ocean, I love the water, but I do struggle a little bit with going out in the heavy waves. I think Morocco felt a little bit safer because there’s no sharks, and going out in big, crazy water, I did in Hawaii as well and I was… Yeah, a bit scary for me.
John Murch: We mentioned your nana before, she’s a yodelling, hillbilly queen.
Kyan Burns: Yes. Queensland’s yodelling cowgirl was her name actually. She was always living in country Queensland and we’ve always lived in South Australia, so when she came down, and she’d always drive down with Ian, regardless of her age or whatever, and they’d come down and stay with us for a while-
John Murch: And drive the whole kit and Kaboodle.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. They’d bring their little combi van… Or not really a combi van, it was a purple station waggon thing. And even when they came and stayed with us, they’d sleep in their van, just fully loving that lifestyle. But she’s always dressed in her outfits, which were always so bright and happy, and then we’d all get together and just have a little bit of a concert and they would sit there… Her and Ian would sit and perform for us as kids when we… It was amazing, it was always so much fun.
John Murch: Such level of positivity as well.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. And even now, I mean, she’s played at all my brothers and sister’s weddings, and even… My brother only got married, I think, two years ago and she still got up and sang at his wedding, and everyone just loves her, she’s beautiful.
John Murch: 91 years of age, dancing in a wedding.
Kyan Burns: Yeah. She’s an absolute legend.
John Murch: What is the plan from here? So the two singles are out, is the focus now to get the four-track out? Is music now it? Have you thrown all other jobs away?
Kyan Burns: Ah, not yet. So, I’d love music to be it, but unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills, got quite a few different things on the go at the moment, so, hopefully something comes of that. These two songs are out, I’ve got also some that I’ve written myself, which might go down a completely different avenue genre wise. I’m also, sort of, doing a vocal track on a progressive metal track for another band over the next week, which is kind of cool. So, there’s a lot of different things happening. So, I’m just going to ride the wave and see where it takes me.
John Murch: So you’re willing to lend yourself out to other performers?
Kyan Burns: Yeah, absolutely, if they think my voice will suit so, and that was the case with these guys.
John Murch: I want to know about the originals that you’ve done for yourself, so we’re talking about the originals, this is kind of now putting on your songwriter hat, where do you write those songs?
Kyan Burns: They’ve been written years ago, to be honest, so, they’ve sort of been sitting there waiting for something to happen. So, as a teenager, when I was going through a lot of stuff to be honest, and so now it’s a matter of changing them to suit where I am now, to make them more fitting.
John Murch: How do you keep the honesty of the original thought or does that not matter for you?
Kyan Burns: Definitely matters, because it meant something at the time. So, now I suppose it’s just sort of trying to take that young teenager in me and sort of putting it to a however old adult person that I am now, so making it relatable. I think a lot of what I’ve written back then is still really relatable now, just a matter of making it more suitable to where I am now.
John Murch: Who’s your sounding board for those songs?
Kyan Burns: Family members. I speak to them. My dad is a huge support to me, so anything musically, I go to him first and he’s always been a huge support. With these songs that I’ve written as well, he is just been waiting for something to happen with them. He plays a huge role in everything music for me. My dad has been a huge reason why I keep pushing through, so every time something exciting comes up musically, he’s the first person I get on the phone to. He’s pushed me the whole way. There was a few years ago, going back more than a few years ago now, but I was kind of done with it and I wanted a break, and he just, “No, you got to keep doing it. You got to keep doing it.”, and I’m glad he did, absolutely no regrets.
John Murch: Talk to me about that freedom you now have a sense of.
Kyan Burns: I’ve hit a point in my life where I’m at an age where you got to just be yourself now. I think you spend your whole life trying to be something for everyone else and be this person that maybe you’re not, and I think I’ve sort of just come to terms with the fact that I’ve just got to own who I am now, and I’m comfortable with that. It’s brought on some pretty massive life changes over the last few months, but it’s made me realise how tough I can be in just about any situation. Life’s throwing some curve balls at me lately, and there’s a lot of changes happening, so I’m just trying to comprehend that
John Murch: I came in this interview thinking I’d be speaking with a Kyan Burns who’s gutsy, maybe a little bit older than some, a female who is ready to rock it out as well as sharing their heart, and you definitely are that. Kyan Burns thanks for your time.
Kyan Burns: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.