The Scotsman Sessions #331: Studio Kind of Green with Maya Walton

Welcome to the Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts sector still impacted by the pandemic, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Linlithgow-based New Zealander Carey Walton, aka Studio Kind of Green, performs his song Forevermore with his daughter Maya Walton

Studio Kind of Green is the musical alias of Linlithgow-based New Zealander Carey Walton, a semi-awkward moniker (referencing his label Kind of Green Records) for a multi-instrumentalist who doesn’t play it easy. “I like to merge stuff that doesn’t naturally sit together,” he says of the SKOG sound which encompasses rock, reggae, jazz, funk, soul and electronica. “I like full sounding arrangements which to many ears is weird, confusing, piebald and hard to listen to. There’s usually a lot going on and that’s how I like it. Melody and groove are the most important aspects for me, irrespective of genre or style.”

As the name suggests, Studio Kind of Green has to date been a recording project. The six-track EP A Virtual Soul was Walton’s lockdown production and, this summer alone, he has released a three-song EP, Sojourn, inspired by Mediterranean travels, plus two additional singles, Time Ticking and Diamonds. He plans to keep up a regular schedule of self-produced, self-released tracks with a view to eventually making Studio Kind of Green a gigging kind of thing.

“I am always looking for vocalists and like-minded folk who can compliment what I do,” he says. “This makes it hard to perform any material live without pulling together a bunch of other musicians but it’s something I’d love to do if I ever generate enough interest in the music.”

Studio Kind of Green with Maya Walton

His Scotsman Sessions selection, Forevermore, was, he says, “a pragmatic choice based on availability of vocal talent. My daughter Maya studies in Glasgow and has periodically returned home, so couldn’t say no. A sing for your supper scenario, and the prospect of me singing is just not going to be good for anyone...”

Father and daughter perform in Walton’s conservatory, “a place of warmth, sunshine, contemplation and where I get some of my best ideas, at least for the months when it's inhabitable. It's also reasonably sound isolated from sleeping family, a place for late night escapades and raucous singalongs.”

Walton first cut his teeth in bands back in New Zealand but has lived on and off in Scotland for over 20 years. “I originally came here chasing the British pound to extend my backpacking adventures after spending six months in India and south east Asia in 2001,” he says. “Tried London for a couple of days then fled north.”

Walton initially settled in Edinburgh, where he met his wife, raised a family and hung up the backpack. Then he moved back to New Zealand with his family, living in Auckland for almost a decade before returning to Scotland in 2016.

“The lure of European travel was a big factor,” says Walton, “but mainly we returned to be near family. I’ve lived here almost 13 years in total now – still a long way from tipping point without giving away my age. Suffice to say Scotland is hame noo, and hopefully one day I can fully embrace the winters.”