Producer KloudNine is Thriving Through Music Education and Connection Building
There are very few independent music producers who are dominating the beat-selling game like KloudNine.
If you've ever sat in on a BeatStars live stream, listened to a BeatStars Twitter Spaces session, or attended a BeatStars Webinar, there's high chance you've seen KloudNine in the chat dropping vital music entrepreneurship gems or uplifting a fellow creator. KloudNine is deeply immersed in the BeatStars Community and the world of music production - two of the many reasons why success continues to follow him. He's the textbook definition of being a "dedicated and near-perfect online beat-seller", and has come a long way through persistence, drive, and curiosity.
We connected with KloudNine to learn more about being an authentic creator, his come up, and his thirst for music education.
Nothing comes easy, but if you're passionate about something you love, it doesn't become a job...it just becomes another piece of life. As effortless as waking up.
How did you become interested in the music industry?
I became interested in the music industry at a very young age. I would always wonder how songs were made and how record labels were formed. Growing up we didn't have much, so I would go to libraries to learn as much as I could about the music industry as well as involve myself in the school choir and related activities. Eventually I saved up money to buy equipment.
Do you have any creative inspiration? We'd love to know who and why.
Let's see I have a lot...hahaha. Quincy Jones for genre diversity - he's done everything from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. Sean Combs and DJ Khaled for understanding collaboration in terms of not producing everything but knowing what is needed in order to make a hit. Timbaland for innovative sounds and reinvention. He showed me it's okay to switch your beats up and evolve with the times all while keeping your own sound. Prince, Pharrell, Ryan Tedder, and Trent Reznor all play a huge role in my life because I produce, write songs, make hooks and make full reference vocals to a huge amount of my catalogue. All four of them have been able to do this for years - not just for themselves but for other artists and their bands.
I'm constantly listening back to songs produced by these artists and reading articles about them. I would also say Kanye West for his use of urgency and vocals in his production. Many people don't know this, but Kanye has said that vocals are his favorite instrument when producing. Lastly, I'd say I'm inspired by any pop piano ballads like Demi Lovato's or Adele's music. I pull on a lot of people and genres for production ideas and inspiration.
How important is entrepreneurship to the vision of your career? Do you like having full control over your business?
Entrepreneurship has always played a big role in my life. My first mentor was a business attorney, and my family was huge on entrepreneurship. For me, music business saved my life. Music kept me out of trouble and the more I immersed myself in it, the more I wanted to know. Eventually I worked jobs to so I could buy equipment, and even saved to go to college to learn more about music. I like having full control over my business and brand because at the end of the day, you can control how much you want to grow and make. It can get difficult, but the best advice I can give is to educate yourself in music business. Understand concepts of owning a company. Utilize libraries, read books, attend seminars and conferences, google information, and YouTube tutorials to help your knowledge grow. The BeatStars 30 Day Challenge is like a whole semester of music business college courses in one. The sky is limitless!
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a producer?
The most rewarding thing is getting an email from an artist on how a beat has helped them to express really serious subject matter. I've had artists reach out and tell me my beats helped them through depression, give them confidence, defeat writers block, or has given them the opportunity to make a song for a loved one that's passed away. For me that's a really powerful thing because as a music producer you're essentially creating a picture with your production that evokes something out of the artists to create a finished masterpiece. The fact that I'm doing something I love while putting food on the table for my family and building generational wealth is incredibly rewarding for me.
How has your life changed since gaining success as a producer?
Nothing too much has changed except for maybe more opportunities and new levels of learning. I never aimed for getting placements or fame; all I wanted was to create a business doing something I love, supporting my family and friends, and giving back knowledge. My motivation comes from people that believed in me when I was growing up. I believe that God has given you a gift and purpose, and when you live in that truth those hard times become a lot softer. Nothing comes easy, but if you're passionate about something you love, it doesn't become a job...it just becomes another piece of life. As effortless as waking up.
Is there any moment in your career thus far that you've felt like you "made it"? What part of your music career are you most proud of?
I felt like I made it when I was able to earn a living producing full time. That was always the goal. One of the milestones I'm proud of is when I got a 10k placement for a piece of music that was 30 seconds long. I received that placement because I used everything I had learned up to that point in order to receive that placement. I beat out a lot of talented competition because I had established core values over time as I grew up. Those core values reminded me that I can play with the "big dogs" and win if I work hard, but I also had an understanding that this won't happen every time, so it's important to keep pushing and learning! I'm truly grateful for everything that's occurred in my life, but I also always try to be mindful about giving back when I can.
What equipment do you consider essential to your set up?
A macbook, headphones, monitors. #AppleGang #LogicGang
How has BeatStars played a role in your production and beat-selling business?
BeatStars has played a huge role in my production! I listen to my peers and research the market of genres in the top charts so it keeps me on my toes in terms of what artists are looking for. I love competition, so listening to other dope beats makes me want to step up my game. BeatStars plays a huge role in my beat-selling business by having so many time-saving features like the Pro Page, automatization, and marketing integrations. It's given me new revenue for my beats that I didn't have before like BeatStars Distribution and offering services. It's all really great stuff.
Advice From KoudNine
What advice do you have for up-and-coming producers?
The best advice I have for up-and-coming producers is to learn the business of music. I've seen so many talented people give up or quit because they refused to learn the business side of things. Your talent can only take you so far. Learn how to be a great communicator and networker rather than a consumer in the industry. Don't chase placements - chase wealth and relationships. Know that you don't need the most expensive equipment in the world- your DAW will do. Consume every single piece of content that BeatStars has! Start with BeatStars Tutorials, then make time for their Instagram content. Reach out to your peers and talk to them in the BeatStars Twitch live shows. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help. Mental and physical health is real, so make sure you're taking the time to breath and stay grounded.