TUNING IN WITH KERSTEN GRAHAM

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Date of Birth: 15th July 1993

Location: Buġibba

Status: In a Relationship

Star Sign: Cancer

Main occupation: Accounts administrator

Media-related occupation: Guitarist and session musician

Kersten Graham was raised in Qormi and is now living with his girlfriend in Buġibba. He had always wanted to play guitar from a very young age. For his Holy Confirmation, his parents gave him an acoustic guitar. After a month of lessons, he quit and didn’t think of taking it up again until he heard Guns N’ Roses’ album, Appetite for Destruction, for the first time at the age of 14.

“I’ve played alongside some amazing artists in the local music scene. I started taking it seriously around 2011/2012, when I was part of the group Negative Spaces. We released 3 tracks, with two of them receiving great airplay by local radio stations in Malta. After we disbanded, I worked as a session musician, playing alongside various talented musicians. Some nice opportunities have come along, and I can humbly say that with the help of music, I got to know lots of down-to-earth musicians and singers with whom I’ve had the opportunity to share the stage. Some of the events I’ve played are Xirka Rock and the 90s Afterdark Concert at Hard Rock, Freddie for a Day, Rockestra 2014, 50 Years of Malta Independent Concert, Amber in Concert, RockAstra 2015 and many more. I released a new single this year as part of working on a different EP which I am currently writing,” states Kersten in this interview.

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From all the musical instruments, why the guitar?

From when I was still very young, I used to take a broom and hold it as if it were my guitar. I guess it was always in me. That cool image of Slash playing with Guns N’ Roses had sealed the deal for me – that cool top hat, those jumps and running across the stage… I also believe that a guitar riff or a solo can literally explain the feelings of any song that you are listening to. All instruments are important, but in my opinion, a guitar is the one that satisfies me the most.

How many guitars do you own?

At the moment, I have 7 guitars – 5 electric and 2 acoustic. Of course, there’s still a long way to go!

Aside from music, what other things do you cherish in life?

Music is a top priority, together with love. I believe a musician who is loved and experiences true love can always put his emotions better into a song, be it in a recording or live. I have the most amazing partner supporting me in whatever I do in music, and I publicly wish to thank her for all of her support and patience. She goes through a lot because of me. Aside from music and love, I believe I’m in love with animals, true friendship, meeting new people, nature and travel.

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What role does technology play in your life?

In the world we’re living in, we must be a bit up-to-date with technology. I use it everyday just by playing the guitar, through a guitar interface, from the iPad. There’s a lot to experiment with on such programs. It’s funny how nowadays you can have a very decent set of sounds from just a mobile device which you can easily take anywhere, instead of having to take lots of amps and pedals with you for rehearsals or small gigs. The thing with technology, in my opinion, is to simply know exactly where and when it’s best to use it. If you use it in the right way then I guess it definitely helps you in whatever you’re searching or trying to do.

What percentage of your life do you spend shopping?

I’m not that much of a buyer when it comes to keeping up to date with fashion. I don’t really buy a lot of materialistic stuff, either. I do feel the need though, to spend a good amount of money every year in updating or increasing guitars, amplifiers, or different gear such as pedals and such. It certainly helps a musician to grow, and gives you a better understanding of the sound you want to produce.

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