Kevin McHale has established an illustrious acting career securing key roles in landmark television shows like Glee and When We Rise. Growing up, Kevin was persistent in pursuing his passion for both music and acting. At a young age, he began building his vocals at a local singing class in Texas alongside notable artists like Demi Lovato, Ryan Cabrera, and Ashlee Simpson. By 2007, he made his music industry debut as part of the pop group NLT before transitioning to acting full-time. As an actor, Kevin McHale made a name for himself as Artie Abrams in the EMMY award-winning television show, Glee where he received multiple Teen Choice and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. In addition to Glee, Kevin McHale has also been featured on hit shows like The Office, Zoey 101, True Blood, and Nailed It.
While his acting career continued to take off, Kevin McHale never forgot about his love of music. After countless hours in the studio, Kevin has distanced himself from singing covers as Artie Abrams and is making his debut as a solo musician. With his debut EP, Boy, due out in May via Vydia, Kevin McHale took the time to talk with us about his transition to music, his highly anticipated solo EP, and his new single out now: ‘Help Me Now.’
Here’s what he had to say:
Growing up, you attended the same singing class as other notable artists Demi Lovato, Ryan Cabrera, and Ashlee Simpson. What motivated you to pursue a career in music at such an early age?
I don’t think I ever realized I was pursuing a career. I liked to sing and perform and I did it for that reason alone. It wasn’t until I got a little older than I realized I could try to make a living doing it!
How did this experience influence your decision to pursue music?
It gave me the anger for it. I saw what people were doing. I was surrounded by talented people and nothing’s more inspiring than that.
Before becoming an actor, you emerged on the music scene in 2006 as a member of the boy band NLT. How would you describe your experience in a boy band and what made you decide to venture into a solo career?
I loved it. We had a great time. I made lifelong friends and learned some invaluable things. It was a masterclass in the entertainment industry at a very early age and for that, I’m super thankful for it. A solo career was never in my mind on those days. But I was with NLT as Glee started so in a way I went from one music group to another. It wasn’t until the end of Glee I started to consider doing something on my own.
As an actor, you’ve built a successful career and have been featured on a variety of hit TV shows like The Office, True Blood, and more. What motivated you to transition from acting and pursue a career in music?
I don’t think I’ve transitioned in that way. I’ve always done acting and music simultaneously as opportunities present themselves. I could never just do one. I love both and get a different kind of fulﬁllment out of both.
Most notably, you’re known for your role as Artie Abrams in the hit series Glee. How has this character, in particular, shaped your career and approach to music?
I think more than anything, my real life self inﬂuenced Artie. I got to do soulful songs and rap and things you wouldn’t necessarily attach to a “nerdy” character and that were because they infused so much of Artie with me!
Your debut EP, Boy, is set for release in May. How would you describe this project?
I’d say Boy is a proclamation of who I am. It’s sarcastic, self-deprecating, nostalgic, sentimental and overall positive. I wanted something to reﬂect me and I feel like it truly does.
What was the biggest challenge you faced putting it together and how were you able to overcome it?
I think ﬁguring out what “style” of music I wanted to do was a challenge. However, once I abandoned the idea that I needed to pick one “style,” everything ﬂowed out naturally. Once you stop ﬁghting it and let a song be whatever it’s going to be, you end up with something special. Also, sometimes you end up with garbage, but you gotta see it through either way!
The EP features the new single ‘Help Me Now’ which is available everywhere! What was the inspiration behind this track?
This song is based on a real event and real feelings of self-doubt in a relationship. It’s just about being vulnerable and opening yourself up to analyze your innermost embarrassing thoughts.
How has Vydia empowered you as an independent artist?
Vydia allows the artist and creators to fully realize their vision. They want the artist to lead, which seems obvious, but it’s so rare to ﬁnd that. They’re there to support you and help you execute your ideas.
What advice would you give to aspiring independent creators?
I’d say it’s not easy and it’s a lot of handwork, but ultimately if you have a story to tell or talent to share you need to just put it out. Don’t overthink things, go with your gut and put it out there. There’s an audience for everyone.
Who do you hope to collaborate with in the future?
I’d love to work with Sigrid, Janelle Monae, The 1975, they’re all so talented for so many reasons. Visually and sonically. They’re really pushing things in a positive and creative way.
What is a fun fact no one knows about you?
I’m lactose intolerant!
Can’t get enough Kevin McHale? Mark your calendars because Boy will be available everywhere on May 24th. In the meantime, you can get a taste of what’s to come by streaming his new single ‘Help Me Now.’
Don’t forget to check back to see who will be featured as the next Vydia Spotlight.