Mercer alumnus Ryan Kirkconnell, is an innovative musician and an unmistakable presence. Kirkconnell graduated from Mercer in spring 2013 with a degree in music education.
His distinctive deep and booming voice coupled with his ability to turn a brilliant phrase make for a promising product in his newest musical endeavour.
On April 14, Kirkconnell will be releasing his first EP titled “Cakewalk.” The EP consists of seven tracks of original rap songs. Kirkconnell compares his writing style to the parody and satire found in the creations of Weird Al Yankovic and The Lonely Island.
“Overall, my goal as a rapper has been to create humorous works by combining elements of gangster rap with non-gangster source material,” said Kirkconnell.
Catering to a wide audience, he said, “I’ve done my best to make sure that my work … won’t go ‘stale’ in the near future, a problem I see with parody music involving current trends or politics, etc.”
The main aspect of his music that sets it apart from other similar songs is the influence of classical music history, which is evident in two of the tracks on the EP.
“Those who have no background knowledge of that sort may find those tracks a bit esoteric, but I’m hoping that they’ll find them somewhat informative and nonetheless enjoyable,” said Kirkconnell. His favorite track from the album, “I’ll be Bach,” alludes to the famous 17th century composer Johann Sebastian Bach while simultaneously making a pun on a “Terminator” quote.
The creation of the EP was a result of collaboration with a small number of people. One track, about writing a term paper, features two of his friends. All the lyrics were written by Kirkconnell, with the exception of a few interjections. The title track, “Cakewalk,” features current Mercer senior and percussion performance major, Andrew Bennett, playing bongo drums.
The rest of the music was composed solely by Kirkconnell or as a collaboration between him and Joey Stuckey, owner of Shadow Sound Studio in downtown Macon. Stuckey was a key player in the production of the EP.
Kirkconnell is open-minded about the possibility of a second album, but otherwise he encourages interested listeners to find and subscribe to his YouTube channel.
There will be a release party for “Cakewalk” on April 14 from 6-8 p.m. at Shadow Sound Studio, 473 3rd St. It is open to the public and will feature free studio tours, free food, and a live performance from Kirkconnell. iTunes download codes will be sold with CD sized album art stickers for $8. 10 percent of those sales will go to Mercer’s chapter of the music fraternity, Mu Phi Epsilon.