A Dream Come True for a Village School Senior
For most students, high school can be difficult – balancing stressful coursework and participating in extracurriculars, all while trying to maintain a social life.
However, for Kennedy Donovan, a senior at The Village School, she has it all figured out.
On Friday, Jan. 18, at only 17 years old, Donovan released her first EP (extended play record), titled Untold.
“While this EP is only 4 songs long, it represents a lot more to me,” Donovan said. “It’s a dream come true because I have been thinking about this for so long... I’m over the moon proud of what we have created, and I just can’t wait to share it with people.”
For Donovan, music has always been a part of her. At age three, she started playing the piano, and at nine, she started playing the French horn. She later picked up the alto sax at 11. When she turned 14, she started playing the tenor sax, and recently, Donovan has also taught herself how to play the drums and bass guitar.
“If you ask my parents, I have been humming since I could talk,” Donovan said. “I wrote my first song on the piano - no lyrics, just messing around with the chords- when I was around 8. And just from there, music has been a huge part of my life …and it kind of developed into a self-expression thing in the 8thgrade when I wrote my first song that had actual lyrics.”
Donovan’s EP took nearly nine months in the making, and she credits her producer, Village School senior Gabe Perez, for helping her put everything together.
“It is such an amazing opportunity to be able to work with somebody whose…theoretical knowledge of music is insane,” Donovan said. “On the flip side, I have more of the creative side of things. I can pop out a song like that. But I have to go to him. I can hear it in my head, but because I don’t have his extent of theoretical knowledge, I couldn’t implement it the way he does. So working with him is honestly a blessing. It is so much fun. We complement each other very well.”
Perez, who plans on attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, played a crucial role in structurally helping Donovan’s demos and audio clips transform into songs.
“This is really the first time I have taken the producer role on a project,” Perez said. “I think production, in the way that Kennedy and I interact, is a lot more hands-on …. [Kennedy] has a very natural talent for songwriting, in a way that makes our process very easy. Not only is she songwriting, but she also comes with an idea of instrumental or of how it grooves or how she wants it to go. It makes it very easy for me because I’m sort of tasked with taking what’s in her head and making it real.”
In addition to writing and releasing her own music, Donovan is Vice President of The Village School’s student body and plays Varsity volleyball and basketball, serving as the senior basketball captain. Her goal is to attend University of Texas, majoring in mechanical engineering.
“I’m going to continue pursuing music in college,” Donovan said. “I’m going to keep writing songs [and] keep working with people to release it…All of my time outside of [college] will be spent writing music and working on songs now that I have more experience than ever.”
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