Whether you’ve heard their name in passing or you stay up to date with their latest performances, the four-piece student band Kids That Fly has already made their mark on campus with their music. In a short amount of time the band, consisting of Nick Smigs, Braden Frandino, Blake Henry and Jacob Stockman, has gone from playing house shows to HuskyTHON to even being an opener at UCONNIC.
Kids That Fly released their first EP, titled “Lovesick,” on April 5. The six track EP features fan-favorites like “Lovesick” and “Too Young” that are commonly played at their shows. The creation of the EP was a long process, Stockman said. Smigs initially wrote the framework for “Again” last summer and Stockman would add drums and continue to build upon the song. On top of that, the band struggled with writing music during the fall semester with little to no space to rehearse or record.
“We got some studio time for about three and half days and just grinded out all six songs. So overall, it took us about nine months to write and record everything,” Stockman, fourth-semester marketing major and the band’s drummer, said.
While the band had played a couple off-campus house shows, their first “big” gig was at HuskyTHON in February. Not many people knew who they were at the time, but this was the first time the band had played their original songs for strangers and it definitely garnered lots of attention and new fans.
“Being able to bring energy and contribute to such an incredible and meaningful event meant a lot to me and the band. We went from performing in front of roughly 30 people to over 300-500 in a matter of months; It was both a scary yet maturing experience for everyone,” Frandino, sixth-semester music major and the band’s bassist, said.
When asked about the band’s favorite original song to perform, Stockman and Frandino said that it is definitely “Too Young,” the last track off the EP, because of the power and energy behind it.
“The song is a progression of momentum that builds and builds until the last chorus where we give it our all. The band connects really well with one another on this and the audience also has a great reaction,” Frandino said.
Back in April, Kids That Fly performed as an opener at the UCONNIC Music Festival. Despite knowing that the most of the audience wasn’t there to see them perform, the band worked harder than ever to prepare for their performance, according to Stockman.
“... We went into it wanting to bring energy and … Up until that point, we had never really performed, jumped around or got as excited as we were on that stage,” Stockman said.
When they take to the stage, Kids That Fly knows how to show the audience a good time while having fun themselves. Stockman mentioned how his favorite memory is “literally anytime I make eye contact with Braden before the chorus hits or before there’s a big drop,” and Frandino adds “... When Jacob and I lock eyes and groove with one another...that is a magical moment.”
Whether you’re headed to class or driving down the highway, the band’s music is always a great listen. Stockman describes the band’s music “as just ‘sad bangers,’ or ‘crying in the club.’ But if you had to attribute a real genre I’d say we are alternative pop.” In regards to their musical influences, Frandino cites classic rock artists such as the Eagles, Chicago and The Allman Brothers as well as newer groups like Hippo Campus and Tame Impala.
Stockman and Smigs, being friends since middle school, had their own band throughout high school and wanted to continue music when they entered UConn. Later on, Stockman met Henry and Frandino through the jazz combo program and eventually the group formed the band after playing together.
The group has been a band since November 2018 and, according to Stockman, when the band was brainstorming names, “Kids That Fly” came up by chance and it simply stuck.
With new music and merchandise already in the works, make sure to keep an eye out for Kids That Fly’s next leap.
“Ultimately we’d love to get as big as possible but we’re just grateful for the opportunity to play, and for people to enjoy us,” Stockman said. “No matter what happens in the future we will always cherish that.”
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.