To say that Kevin Sullivan’s career has been ‘interesting’ would be a criminal understatement. A retired police officer, he spent 10 years working as a forensic crime scene investigator and was involved in both the Thredbo and Waterfall Train disasters while also leading a bomb squad during the Sydney Olympics. Sullivan’s policing career has provided enough anecdotes for several lifetimes, but his new single, ‘Against the Tide’, focuses on a different kind of story.
‘One day I woke up and I realised that I had played my whole life in the Safe Zone,’ says Sullivan. ‘Sure, I’d done some exciting things and pushed a few boundaries, but I didn’t rock the boat. I went with the flow. This song is about having the courage to embrace who you truly are and what you value while finding your voice to stand up for what you believe in. For me, that meant embracing my age, my sound and my appearance. It meant putting everything on the line for my music, even if I have to swim against the tide to get there.’
The single was produced, recorded and engineered by the legendary Matt Fell at Love HZ Studios in Sydney. ‘Making this single made me realise that I have to have the right team around me and embrace my sound and who I am,’ says Sullivan, who considers travelling to Nashville with Fell as ‘a turning point in my musical career. He’s an amazing producer to work with and has really understood the diversity of my songwriting and music.’
Despite the restrictive reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan is hitting the road and putting everything into his music. ‘I’m packing my family up, renting out my house, selling my car and going on the road for seven months,’ says Sullivan. ‘I don’t want to die thinking “what if”, so I’m going for this with the help of a fantastic team.’
Given Sullivan’s history, it’s not hard to imagine his investment paying off. His first album Belonging debuted at #2 on the iTunes Country Albums chart while his first ever single, ‘Outback Australia’ debuted at #5. More recently, his single ‘Pilgrimage’, which was written about ANZAC Day and released in April 2020, was #1 for three consecutive weeks on the Australian Country Tracks chart. Add in an award for ‘Best Male Single’ at the 2RRR Radio Awards in 2019 and recognition as a finalist in the International Acoustic Music Awards, both for the single ‘Belonging’, and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a bright future.
Friday 9th April – The Man from Snowy River Festival – Corryong, VIC
Friday 7th May 2021 – Big Country Festival – Berry, NSW
*Further show dates to be announced