Maddox Kennerson - California Interview by Olivia Bush Photography by Shanna Kreza Photography (above) and Laura Kennerson (below) Issue 30 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Maddox Kennerson @rockstarmadman is inspiring because he is ok with being himself and being different. He always has been the kind of kid who beat to his own drum. He is serious about his music and is humble and kind.
At what age did you start playing guitar and why did you start playing? I started playing guitar as a toddler in my dad's lap if you count that! I would sit in his lap and reach over the guitar and just play noise. I was always drawn to music and the guitar. I learned how to play songs at the age of 5 with my dad and then started formal lessons at around 7 years old.
Who or what inspired you to start playing guitar? My Dad. My dad played guitar at home just for fun. It is a hobby of his. I have always looked up to my Dad. He's a great role model. He is patient and kind and I think there is nothing he doesn't know or can't do. My guitar teacher Ray Kidd (when I was 8) is another person who inspires me. He believed in me when no one else (other than my parents) did. He made me feel good about who I am and how different I was. And a famous musician that I find inspiring is Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. He doesn't care what anyone else thinks. He does his own thing! If someone tells him NO... he will do it just to prove them wrong! I find that he has helped me to strive to feel the same way!
What genre of music do you like to play the most? why? I love to play Rock or Metal Music because it's what I love to listen to! I have just started to branch out to other genres and I love to add a little rock vibe to pop songs or songs that don't have any guitar in them at all!
What do you like most about playing your music? Music is an escape. It brings back memories, and it takes you places. Being on stage performing my music is my happy place because it feels amazing! Music is a way to express yourself when you can't find any other way to express yourself.
If you were to pursue a career in music what specifically would you like to do? I want to be a performing musician. My mom used to ask me this question every year on the first day of school and on the last day of school. My answer has NEVER changed. (well maybe a tiny bit...) I used to say a Rockstar and now I just say a Musician. Why? Because Music is my passion, and everyone always says to find your passion and make it your job. If you love what you do it won't feel like work at all.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished, and how did you do it? The hardest thing I think I have accomplished is not letting the haters get to me and not allowing myself to get caught up in the negativity.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? BE YOURSELF! The world has too many copycats and too many people trying to be other people. Just be YOU! and of course PRACTICE! If you can't do it now.... you will be able to soon!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? In 5 years I will be a senior in High School! I do plan to go to college too. I see myself doing more of what I love and performing with my band at least 2 times a month! I would LOVE to get paid to do what I love, so hopefully I am getting paid to perform then!
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? I love to ride my mountain bike around my home with friends and my dirt bike with my Dad in the desert. I also love to build and experiment with making things.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I'm double-jointed? Does that count? Ok, I have one for you. I am full of information about cars! I can tell you the year of a car by its physical features. I am obsessed with cars and technology!
How do you keep yourself organized with everything you have on your plate? My mother is an organization queen! She makes lists and breaks everything down for me so that it doesn't get overwhelming. I also set reminders on my phone a lot!
3 Things on your bucket list 1. Buy a Tesla 2. Go to the Carribean 3. Headline a sold-out show
Who do you find inspiring? The people I constantly feel inspired by are: Nikki Sixx (bassist of Motley Crue). DJ Ashba (guitarist of Sixx Am, former guitarist of Guns N Roses). Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) and Steve Jobs (CEO/co-founder of Apple)
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I found my passion very young. I was in a kindergarten fashion show where we dressed up like what we wanted to be when we grew up (for me a Rockstar) and walked the runway. I played smoke on the water by deep purple on stage. It was my first performance! I have always been a bit different. No one else my age had a clue who the musicians were that I listened to. But I didn't care! I just stayed true to me. It is hard to do sometimes when you don't fit in with the others your age. The thing is, what makes someone inspiring to one, may not be inspiring to another. I had someone tell me I inspired them to start an Instagram page to share their music. I have had people tell me I inspire them to stay positive. I have had others who have similar passions for music who have said I inspire them to keep pushing. I even have had some grown-ups who have started playing or learning guitar because of my influence. One of my favorites is a friend who said if I could get out and do what I loved than he could too! And he created a band and performs all the time now!
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I have had some amazing opportunities. I played in an opening band for LA Guns at the legendary Whiskey a-go-go! I go to an Arts school and get to play music I love and hang out with people who share the same passions! I guest regularly in a band called Heavy Revel with professional musicians, many of whom have toured with some of the greats! I have played on stages from House of Blues to tiny small-town bars. I have been able to lay down tracks in a recording studio with an Instagram musician friend for her upcoming album, and I have recorded my own original music too! I know this is only the beginning of what is to come, and I feel very fortunate!
I truly appreciate this opportunity. It is humbling and inspiring to me, to think that I could possibly inspire someone else the way people inspire me!
Maddox will be featured in Issue 30 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!