Singing, composing songs, writing lyrics, mastering... I've been quite an all-rounder ever since my debut as a Japanese-pop singer in 2012.
Music composition and singing are definitely my main focus, as I've been fully immersed in them for over 10 years. I've taken vocal and music theory lessons as a choir member, and I'm a self-taught composer working on a wide variety of genres. My first experiences when it comes to lyrics, arrangements and mastering took place around 2012, when I was self-producing my debut as a Japanese-pop singer, and I've been working as a lyricist and arranger too ever since.
During my adventure as a singer focusing on a Japanese audience I got to experience lots of different parts of the music industry, such rehearsal studios, live events, artist management, promotion, etc., and even though I decided to put an end my activities in Japan in order to approach an English-language music career, I keep putting all that experience to good use while working tirelessly on my new songs.
· Vocals → let me sing your melody and lyrics (soft voice most suitable for EDM and pop, can rap)
· Music → a music-only track that could become your next hit song
· Vocal melody → show me your track and I'll come up with a catchy vocal melody
· Full demo → including music, lyrics and vocals (prices might vary depending on how you plan to use it)
· Other music-related stuff → ask me!
Get in touch with me to discuss your ideas in depth, so I can work hard to create top-notch content for you!
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Kevin Coem
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Composing tracks is definitely the most common type of work I do, although singing happens quite often as well. Creating vocal melodies, both with my lyrics or with someone else's, and creating full demo tracks have also been something I've worked on from time to time.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by those who lose track of time when they work in their music, those who can't ever feel satisfied enough with their own work, those who come up with ideas for vocal melodies and record themselves on their phone no matter where they are so they won't forget about that idea... I'm inspired by those who understand music as a passion, like I do.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a home studio set up in my own living room, including my fully-equipped computer and a Samson C01 studio condenser microphone.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I mostly come up with an idea in my head, and I work on it composing that melody first, and then accompanying melodies, beats and chords. Sometimes I start songs by producing the beat first and then melodies come up by listening to the rhythm, it all depends on the kind of song I want to work on. Then I listen to the full track and come up with a vocal melody by singing random words, and I write the lyrics following the concept that suits the song best. Recording takes some hours, and so does arranging the track, and then mastering comes last.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The way I compose tracks is quite personal, so I don't hold back if I want to try something new or work on a new genre just because I don't know much about it, instead I go all in and explore my own creativity. As a singer, my vocals have been deemed as soft and sultry, which suit vocal tuning effects such as autotune really well, and I can rap and deliver whispering vocals as well, so I can bring a really cool atmosphere to certain types of songs.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Music composition is definitely my main skill. I love singing and, as I said, my vocals can deliver quite an interesting feel to specific music genres, but composing is what I've always loved after all.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: It all depends on the kind of music I'm into, so I might go through different music phases. For example, while this month I might be into making latin-influenced songs with a reggaeton beat inspired by Spanish singer Lola Índigo, last month I made some pretty dark pop numbers that sounded straight out of Melanie Martinez's discography.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Let yourself get carried away by music.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd like to work with K-pop groups, as producing songs for a full group sounds exciting.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Pop. Even though it's different types of pop depending on which one of my songs you listen to, most times it's always within a pop zone.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My initial plan was to become a Japanese-pop singer in Japan, and I worked hard towards that goal performing live tours in Japan 2 years in a row and applying to several auditions. I even prepared homemade CDs and visited dozens of Japanese record companies personally to hand them in, and one of those companies actually offered me a contract to debut the following year as a singer, but one of the requirements was that I should move to Japan on my own and pay for my own expenses initially for the first couple of months, and as I couldn't afford that I had to pass on the opportunity and eventually gave up on that goal. Nowadays I make my own music at home, without actually focusing on any specific audience or country.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Sadly, if it's a desert island there won't be any electricity, so as hard as it would be I'd give up on any music-related items and gear, and take stuff I can use without electricity instead.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Let's talk about your ideas and how you want me to approach them so we can make the most out of the project, that's definitely the best advice I could give, as all the details and factors can be discussed after all.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do they plan to do with my work, that's a key question, as some people might not be quite clear about it at first. The services I offer might be the same whether the client plans to sell my work or not, but the results can be drastically different for the client if my work ends up being sold and succeeds, so I have to know in advance in order to decide whether an agreement is required to discuss royalties and profit share, or whether the fee should be higher depending on how the client might use my work.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Some people think creating music using software and VSTs requires a couple of clicks here and there and bam, a song is born... But it's much more work than that. Some friends have even asked me to create songs for them saying "I can't pay you, I know it won't take you long so please, do it as a favor", and it feels lowkey insulting because, no matter if it takes me long or if I can make a song in 30 minutes, it's still hard work that deserves a compensation. Music is often seen as a hobby that doesn't deserve that kind of compensation, but it does.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Most past clients asked me to create songs based on actual songs by popular artists, and even though it's true composers can use such songs as inspiration to achieve a specific kind of genre or sound, it's just not possible to rip off a hit song and come up with a track that sounds the same. So when people have asked me to create a track that sounds like certain song, I always ask them to keep an open mind towards the results because, while the atmosphere of the song might be similar, the song itself might not sound similar at all as I don't want to copy anyone else's work.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Composing songs that make me think "wow, this is good" even halfway through the composition process itself.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I don't really think there's anything to promise, if they hire you it's because they liked what they hear and what they know about you, and they should expect that level of quality in their projects if they count with me.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital, mostly because it's how I work on music.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I don't really know anyone on SoundBetter, but I'm open to meeting new people anytime!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm always working on my own projects, as I like to manage my own music career and come up with exciting ideas for upcoming albums.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I created a few demo tracks for a girl group called 4TE, and they loved one of the songs and even recorded a few rough takes that sounded amazing, even though their album was eventually scrapped and my song couldn't be released after all. I liked working with a girl group and I'd love being able to produce my own girl group in the future, as I think some of my songs really suite female vocalists even way better than they suit my own vocals!