Jon K.T. Entrepreneur Steps Outside of His Comfort Zone
Martone: Jon, thank you so much for joining me today for the interview on IRMIXRadio.net. Please tell me and our readers how you got your start in the music business.
Jon K.T.: I have been composing, writing, and arranging music since the very young age of 12yrs old. My Grandfather and my mother got me hooked on Jazz and Motown and I spent most of my free time trying to copy what I was hearing. I got my feet wet performing by playing the Drums in church and worked my way through different instruments until settling on keyboards as my main instrument, this led me to study music and the industry around it.
Martone: You have an awesome background in music, from teaching, being a singer-songwriter, business owner, you have also been nominated and became a finalist in some international awards. You have accomplished some amazing things in your career. Do you ever just sit and think about what you have done over the years and realized how much you accomplished?
Jon K.T.: Thank you! I never really sit back and reflect, I’m a bit of a workaholic. The awards and nominations are nice, but they don’t drive my passion. Teaching and working with others to achieve their goals is what drives me.
Martone: I know that you have more to do and that one of your goals is to become a professor in music. How do you find the balance in having a recording career alongside the various projects that you are involved with producing, not to mention being a business owner with your own production company, and Project Manager at the audio/visual company The Geo Group, where do you find the time?
Jon K.T.: After completing my Masters Degree in Entertainment business I thought becoming a music business professor would have been the next best move, however, things have taken a different direction as far as that goal. If I’m honest I don’t know how I find the time to do everything you just mentioned but I do manage to balance my obligations! Time Management and good memory help.
Martone: Now, onto your music, your latest release The Real Cover Up, released just last month. Reading over the production info, I read that you arranged, produced, performed every single track on that album. I know that it was a labor of love. How long did it take you to complete the project from start to finish?
Jon K.T.: Yes! This project was a coming out of the shadows kind of project. People know me for my music production, Engineering, mixing & mastering, but I started out as a musician. Composing came first, then songwriting. The one thing I always avoided was singing, This project was about pushing my insecurities and just going for it. I started the project by accident, I recorded a hymn for a charity I have been working with to raise funds, it went over well so I decided to keep going with songs that meant something to me personally. I started in March 2020 picking out songs, some didn’t make the album though. I finally wrapped up the finished project at the end of September.
Martone: I read that your wife pushed you to get in front of the mic and sing. How important was it for you to have that type of support for someone that close to you?
Jon K.T.: My wife has been pushing me for years to sing, this time I listened and I’m glad I did. My wife will not sugar coat when asked her opinion on my work, which is awesome. I actually went back and re-recorded some of my vocals before the album was final because of her honest opinion. That’s one of the many traits I love about her. I’m very fortunate to have her in my corner.
Martone: Being an artist myself, I know that I am hard to please when it comes to completing a song, or an album. What did you learn about yourself when you were putting this project together?
Jon K.T.: One thing I had to learn on this project was, not to be so hard on myself. It is hard to mix your own voice, I had to come to the realization that I may not like the sound of my voice, but others do.
Martone: Do you have a favorite track off from The Real Cover Up project, if so, what is it and why?
Jon K.T.: Yes I do! ‘Remember Me’!!
I knew the Dean Martin version originally but sang it more like the Jimmy Dean version. This song is a song I sing to my Grandkids. The reason it is my favorite is, it simply tells the listener that no matter what someone out there Loves them.
Martone: Who would you say that you were inspired by musically when you put The Real Cover Up project together?
Jon K.T.: As the album is a collection of Cover Songs, the voices and the writers behind these songs have had the biggest influence on my musical journey over the years. I always say if you look up the word cool in the dictionary Dean Martin’s face will appear! Eddy Arnold was an amazing artist and knew how to tell a story. Sam Cooke was an innovator. I just love listening to the classics.
Martone: I know that COVID has kind of put a damper on getting out there promoting it by performing. Have you considered streaming live shows from your living room?
Jon K.T.: This is not something I have thought about. I get stage fright so performing for me has never been something I have considered. Maybe if the right opportunity presents itself, and there’s enough Alcohol involved 🙂
Martone: You are currently selling physical copies of your album from your website ktproductions.net/new-album-2020 in addition to it being available on iTunes and Spotify. So, you are doing your own physical distribution – what type of responses or feedback have you received about your project?
Jon K.T.: Yes! I decided to offer physical copies because there were a lot of people asking for them. I will admit I was a little hesitant at first, but sold half of them in the first week. One tip I will give on this topic though, Make sure you add the shipping to the price of the CD, especially if you have an international following.
Martone: I ask this question to every artist and professional that I interview. Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up? If so, how did you overcome it?
Jon K.T.: Yes, and I did for several years.
When I first met my wife she didn’t even know I could play the piano for about the first couple years together. Someone gave a piano to our daughter to learn and practice on, when it arrived I sat down and started playing. T say they were shocked is an understatement. I overcame the drought by realizing I didn’t choose music it chose me. It’s part of me.
Martone: What advice would you give to anyone who is seeking a career in either production or becoming a singer-songwriter, musician?
Jon K.T.: Study, There are a lot of different avenues in the music industry, study your craft no matter what it may be. Then when the opportunities come you are prepared.
Martone: When looking to 2021, are there any plans to start performing songs from The Real Cover Up publicly?
Jon K.T.: Lots of plans, but performing is not one of them yet! Not going to rule it out if the opportunity presents itself.
Martone: Where can our readers and music lovers find out more about you and your projects?
Jon K.T.: My music can be found on all the major streaming platforms.
I use a site named FlowPage, which allows me to put all my links in one place so people do not have to go looking for my pages.
Martone: In this season of being thankful and reflections is there anything that you would like to share about what it is that you are thankful for?
Jon K.T.: Yes! I’m thankful for Life, My Family, and being able to share my talents with others.
Martone: Jon, thank you so much for joining me today for this interview. I wish you so much success with everything that you do.
Jon K.T.: Thank you for the opportunity! Really appreciate what you do for independent artists, helping get their stories out during this time. All the best, Thanks.