We all have bad days, months, and years. Especially as someone in the LGBTQ+ community. But the beauty in the bad is the good that comes from it. Singer, songwriter, broadway performer Kyle Motsinger has take taken the concept of "Bad Years," and turned it into song to help people battle through and preserve regardless of their challenges. This is queer life, his queer story, and how he is living his life (un)closeted.
In “Bad Years”, singer/songwriter Kyle Motsinger reflects on the long, arduous, road he has travelled in the pursuit of his rock star dreams. “It’s been challenging with daily obstacles like waking up to find my bank account overdrawn and having to call mom and dad for grocery money,” he admits. “Or promoting a show at the venue I always dreamed of playing to only have one friend show up. It can be pretty humiliating and soul-crushing. You start to wonder if anyone cares or if you are even talented.” Produced by Motsinger and engineered, mixed, and mastered by MP Kuo, the alternative rock anthem is a theatrical song that features talents from the New York theatre stage including Broadway pit musicians Janey Choi, Conrad Harris, Mark Kosmala, and Joel Lambdin. Broadway’s Trisha Jeffrey (Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, All Shook Up, and Motown the Musical) and NYC actor Jason Pintar provide the background vocals. NY Drama Desk nominee Mark Hartman plays piano.
“The message of ‘Bad Years’ is a hopeful and encouraging one,” Motsinger continues from his Manhattan home. “It is about how things can and will get better if you hold on. One day, you will look back from a better place.”
Kyle Motsinger was born and raised in a small, conservative town of five hundred people near Peoria, Illinois. “I grew up singing Broadway tunes in the middle of cornfields,” he remembers.
He participated in school productions and community theatre as a youth and in college, he earned a BFA in musical theatre at Western Illinois University. He then moved to NYC where he performed in several Off-Broadway productions including Fancy Nancy The Musical, a show based off the popular children’s books. Motsinger originated the rapping shark role and can be heard on the show’s cast album. “I am the OG baby shark,” he laughs.
While performing, he continued writing his own music and it eventually took the focus of his creativity. Kyle Motsinger has released two full-length albums, Far Away and Any Way I Want It To. He’s also released six singles including “Dark Shadows”, based on the gothic sixties’ series and film by Tim Burton. The music video for the song starred Kathryn Leigh Scott from the series and it premiered to much fan acclaim at the Dark Shadows convention in Los Angeles.
As Kyle Motsinger approached his mid-thirties’, he began to feel that he wasn’t where he wanted to be in life. He channeled that frustration into a batch of new songs that appear on his upcoming album. Like “Bad Years”, much of the material muses on life’s struggles and finding joy in conflict.
“The life I have chosen hasn’t been an easy one but I wouldn’t change it,” Kyle Motsinger explains. He says he has matured through trial, both as a person and an artist, and believes that it shows in his music. “I think ‘Bad Years’ is the best piece I’ve written so far. I’m proud of it and I really believe in it.”
He credits the engineering wizardry of MP Kuo, best known for her work on Trixie Mattel’s first two EPs, with the quality of the recording. Also, the incredible artistry of Zachary Eldridge on drums, Chris Bonner on bass, and Adam Stoler on guitars.
“The song is inspirational and the first of several stories I will be sharing that will hopefully encourage people to battle through and persevere. I, for one, am ever the dreamer!”
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