Courtesy of Frank Kilpatrick
Songwriter Frank Kilpatrick admits that his connection to music when he was young was “limited.” He took “mandatory clarinet” lessons in the sixth grade, was in a rock cover band in college and would listen to the symphony records his father brought home from work at the local radio station. And he recounted in a recent interview, “I was fortunate to fall into a basic music theory class in high school; it gave me just enough knowledge about sevenths and diminished chords to be dangerous.”
Plus he had acquired some other handy skills as the founder of marketing agency. “I had written ads (and shot video) at the agency, so I knew something about the power of words,” he explained.
And yet he admittedly had a lot to learn. “Song lyrics are different. There’s a fairly consistent format for songs that is expected by listeners; it requires a sparse narrative and strict discipline as to format – while endeavoring to make a piece universally appealing.”
Kilpatrick is passionate about making music that has a message and is doing just that through a collaboration with the artist #Rayko — who describes her style as being “from ABBA to Zappa.” Kilpatrick remarked, “Together our motivation is always to create music and messages that are memorable and connect with listeners emotionally — to encourage them to think about a topic from a new perspective, if only for a moment. I always aim to achieve some level of ‘social contribution.’”
He described their collaboration saying, “Rayko frequently contributes top line melodies, vocal performance and arrangements — and often more stylistic diversity that I might have ever imagined! – to my songs. In collaborating, Rayko and I typically meld the themes of our varied personal observational narratives to come up with diverse and unexpected material.
Kilpatrick added, “Describing herself an ‘emotional conduit’ (she does not use musical notation), Rayko continues to amaze me in that, upon reading the words I have written, she immediately ‘sees and hears’ the melody, arrangement and other parts to a song: Wow!”
According to Kilpatrick, their material covers a wide range of topics. “We also explore dark themes that connect with alienated audiences — as in ‘Agony Flows with the Beating of My Heart.’ At the other end of the spectrum, is ‘Love Is,’ a beautiful memorial to a young woman lost to us too soon, performed by Lolita Dark.
The duo is also interested in exploring “romantic songs with a philosophical twist in songs like “You Gave Me Nothing” and “Broken (Open).” As Kilpatrick revealed, “Both songs subtly trace the path of inner personal disclosure and exploration. Though seemingly ‘bitter’ from their titles, the irony is that their redemptive themes turn out to be just the opposite.
The team also penned the track “Gender Genocide” to highlight the issues of women’s abuse. “Based on her personal observation, the experiences she had seen with ‘mighty moguls’ in the music and entertainment business [the song] came pouring out,” Kilpatrick recalled, “I worked to refine ‘Gender Genocide’s words; Rayko added the attitude and melodies; she and her husband Rain put together the pissed-off rap section; the ‘f*3k you’ in the middle was their idea. Then Rayko’s band, Lolita Dark, recorded it.”
Kilpatrick and Rayko have also teamed with Grammy winner Alex Wand to produce a seven-part Gratitude YouTube series, which “will consist of inspirational words and melodies coupled with video images to provide a positive Meditative Journey of daily inspiration for listeners.”
They are also reaching out to the “‘at risk’ Anime and Cosplay communities” with their song and video message "Staying Alive," which is aimed “at preventing suicide through expressing compassion and understanding to those individuals with deep pain who may be considering this drastic step.”
The project will include a video featuring an nationally-known psychiatrist and suicide expert speaking to specific at-risk communities. As Kilpatrick noted, this will be part of a bigger initiative. “We envision potential future series supporting mental health in other populations as well.”
To stay in tune with all of Frank Kilpatrick’s projects visit his website. And learn more about “Gender Genocide” at www.GenderGenocide.com.