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Meet Stephen Kaye of SunKing Studios in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen Kaye.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been a music nerd since I started singing into my Dad’s walkman when I was 5. I bought my 1st Casio at 6. Both of my musician grandpa’s had a lot to do with my early passion for music. I played guitar and violin starting at 11 and later cello in high school and college. I dropped out of music school to go write and record in London with an artist I was collaborating with at the time. It was a dream and I soon realized my growing love for recording and production. I then took some engineering, production and songwriting classes from some people I really look up to (like producer Matt Wallace) via UCLA. While taking these classes, I recorded an LP for my friend’s band and I was off to the races.

I started tracking and mixing some artists like The Pharcyde and Tone Loc. Then I got a gig writing/playing string arrangements for a bunch of Pop and R&B records like Alicia Keys & Cee-Lo. When that gig was winding down, I happened to get an engineering gig working for one of my idols, Mike Andrews. I worked as his engineer for five years, recording and mixing records and film scores (Inara George, Bridesmaids). I learned SO much about translating feelings into music with Mike. What a master he is!! I’ve transitioned into mainly mixing scores and records in the last six years. I’ve been working on many Kris Bowers scores lately (When They See Us, Black Monday, Green Book) and have had the great opportunity to work with artists who challenge and inspire me (The Growlers, Ziggy Marley, Fitz and the Tantrums, Lucius, Mike Krol). I feel so lucky to listen to and work with music and musicians everyday!

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?
Rent is high in LA!! Definitely had to say yes to more gigs than I should have in the past! Luckily, things have gotten easier as I’ve done more work over the years. But, there’s always a challenging gig that will pop up every year that pushes me to grow!

Please tell us about SunKing Studios.
SunKing Studios is the place where I mix every day. I also track a good bit there as well, despite it being a one-room situation. I super-enjoy working with artists that have different backgrounds and different styles of music. Working with a variety of artists keeps it fresh and inspiring for me!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was 5 my Dad told me that one day, I was going to want to run away from home. I never ran away! He totally reverse psych’d me!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Rebecca Schiffman (headshot), Stephen Kaye (Studio iPhone Pics)

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