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Meet Ian Kimmel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ian Kimmel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My music background comes 100% from my family. My father, being a 3x Hall of Fame Inductee, immersed me in music from the second I was born. At the age of seven, I started playing onstage with his band and was fronting my own band by the time I was 11 years old.

When I turned 17, I ended up walking away with the SPBGMA “Mandolin Player of the Year Award”, which was such a wake up call for me. It created the voice in my head saying, “People are watching and noticing your work. I could do this for the rest of my life.”

After graduating High School, went to college at East Tennessee State University focusing on bluegrass and country music. During my two years there, I started growing away from bluegrass music and toward pop music. At the same time, I became obsessed with ETSU’s recording studio and spent every second I could in there. By the time I was finishing my sophomore year, I realized I needed a change, so I transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

At Berklee, I decided to follow my love for the recording studio and joined their “Music Production and Engineering” major. This program is abundant with the best professors in the world. I was exposed to an unbelievable amount of knowledge and acquired what I needed to succeed and excel in the real world as a music producer. After graduation, I moved to New York City.

In the beginning of 2020, I had the opportunity to join Invite Only Studio and I have since been a proud and valued member of their team. Invite Only focuses on recording, producing, and developing some of the most talented artists in the world.

Since moving to New York, I’ve been blessed to be a part of so many incredible projects with the artists of my dreams. I’ve also had more time to focus on myself as an artist. As much work I do for other artists, I am also an artist myself and love to write and create the music that I personally want to hear. So yeah, I’m definitely my own #1 fan.

Through my journey, I’ve been blessed all over the world with Platinum records, Billboard #1’s, and now over 100 million digital streams for projects I’ve had the honor to be a part of. For all of this, I feel incredibly lucky to have believed in the process and pushed ahead, even when I was losing faith in my own abilities.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being a piece of the music facet is an incredibly difficult path. It’s packed with horror stories and stop signs telling me that I can’t make it as a music producer. I’ve had mentors tell me that I’m asking for too much, need to work my way up from the bottom, and maybe in a decade I can find success but I probably won’t “make it” anyway. Luckily, I always believed in myself an was able to surround myself with mentors and friends who really had faith in me. Seeking out people who respect me and want me to succeed is what led me to where I am today.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
As a music producer, I have two main areas I focus on. My own artist path and the artists I work with and/or develop.

I’ve been releasing music under my own name (Ian Kimmel) since I was in High School. When I create songs, sometimes they are so personal or fit me so well that I want to put them out myself. My own music has always taken a back seat to the artists I’m working with but that’s about to change. Pending a deal that will soon be announced, I’ll be signing with an incredible company that believes in me as an artist and I’ll be releasing a series of songs. I’m very excited to shift a lot of my focus on my own music!

Beyond my personal project, I produce, write, mix, and engineer for a group of incredibly talented creatives. From trap to country, these artists keep my life very interesting. I absolutely love transforming an artist’s vision into a masterpiece. With an incredible amount of mutual trust, I do my best to turn music into the best imaginable piece of work that could be created. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping others’ visions become reality.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Over my career, I’ve always noticed one quality stands out. Effort. My belief is if an artist does at least one thing for their career per day, they’ll be more successful than all of their competition. In my experience, the music industry is 40% effort, 25% connections, 25% luck, and 10% actual talent.

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Photos taken by: Tanner Zupfer @cameratan_ , Boss Lelanapaparn, Edit by: Rachel Kehren @rachelkehrenphotography

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