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What I Know - Kevin Pallot

Features | Published:

Kevin Pallot (45) is head of music at De La Salle College and a part-time artist. He lives in St Peter with his wife Tracy and daughter Fearne (7)

Kevin Pallot (45) is head of music at De La Salle College and a part-time artist.
  • When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist – I never thought I’d be a teacher.
  • Aside from my parents, the people who have inspired me most are Mark Blanchard, the head of art at De La Salle College, and Amy Luce. Mark was my art teacher at De La Salle and he really encouraged me. Next year I’m taking over from him to be head of art when he retires. Amy was my singing teacher up until I was 13 and I’ve sung ever since because she gave me confidence to do it.
  • I started to get into music when I joined a band at Coventry University called Sofa.
  • The instruments I play include guitar, bass, drums, piano and harmonica, although I consider my voice to be my strongest instrument.
  • Growing up, my favourite bands were Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Coldplay.
  • One of the first big concerts I went to was The Smashing Pumpkins at the Birmingham NEC Arena in 1995. When Jersey Live started in the Noughties I remember how excited I was to have other big bands like The Levellers on our doorstep.
  • One of my favourite genres is folk music – the songs by Foy Vance and the Irish band, The Frames. I play a lot of acoustic guitar so my songs are similarly very story-led. Recently I wrote a song called Beacon of Hope. It’s about how the Channel Islands can be an example to the rest of the world in terms of how to live in a tolerant and forgiving society.
  • New Zealand has to be one of the best countries to visit. After graduating I went travelling and worked as a photographer at Milford Sound, a fjord in New Zealand’s South Island, where the mountains are perfectly reflected in the sea. My job was to take photographs and sell them to the Japanese tourists. I would take the photos of the fjord, run back to the lab to develop them and race out in a speedboat to meet the tourists’ ferry, so I could pass on the bag of photos to be sold to the tourists.
  • As an artist in Jersey, the largest amount of money I made in a year was £20,000. After returning from travelling I used to sell portrait paintings in St Aubin and I also painted a lot of surfing and beach pictures. I’ve been teaching at De La Salle for the past eight years.
  • As a teacher, the most important thing is that the children enjoy the lessons and have fun learning.
  • One of the things I love is surfing and I recently became a qualified International Surfing Association judge for the Channel Islands Surfing Federation.
  • At the moment I’m playing music alongside Naomi West. She plays the flute and we’ve done every festival there is in the Channel Islands.
  • The coolest venues I’ve played in London are the Spiritual Bar in Camden and The Troubadour in Brixton.
  • The one piece of advice I would give to someone who wants to start out in the music industry is perform like no one’s listening and be humble.
  • Among the most memorable pictures I’ve painted was a portrait of Chelsea Pensioner Frank Mouqué – who served in the Royal Engineers – for a Second World War exhibition at the Harbour Gallery. I created the portrait from a photograph of Frank I found on Google. I wrote a song about him and was fortunate to meet him at the Harbour Gallery for the unveiling. I called the painting Look Through His Eyes and the first line of the song was ‘Look through his eyes to understand what makes him a soldier, what makes him a man’.
  • The thing that makes me laugh the most is my little girl when she pulls faces at me when I’m being serious – and the best noise in the world is hearing your child laugh.
  • The thing I fear most is heights, but I did a tandem skydive when I was travelling through Australia, from 14,000 ft. Your instructor says ‘we are going to go on three’ but you actually get pushed out with him on two! You’re so high up it feels like you are floating.
  • My favourite word is ‘cathartic’ – which music is.
  • The thing that makes me happiest in life is my family.

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