Hi, I'm a Vocal and Guitar Session musician based in the UK. Working across Rock, Alt Rock, Americana, Country and Folk genres - you can rely on me to deliver for your project! With over 20 year experience, I pay close attention to every detail, of every project, in order to deliver exactly what 'You', the client, is looking for.
Vocal Sessions - I will record lead vocals and/or harmonies; and provide vocal tuning and comping, if required. I always provide two versions of the finalised audio files for my vocal sessions - one 'dry' and one 'treated' to give the client/mixer more options.
My warm and powerful vocals, combined with their rich and crisp high end encompass many qualities mixers like in a vocal. My wide range, vocal agility and a versatility allows me to work, and fit into, nearly any style or genre.
Guitar Sessions - my natural melodic style allows me to play across many styles - from Hard-Rock to Country to Folk. Twin-Lead guitars and guitar harmonies are one of my favourite guitar styles - the blend of the instruments is magical. Many years of playing live and working on studio sessions, have taught me versatility, humility and the importance of having a good ear for the song...and never 'over-play'. I'm happy to play anything you require to help your songs be the best!
I'd love to work on your songs as a Vocalist or a Guitarist - or both.
Singer-Songwriter - as a songwriter I am writing all the time. My songwriting style spans a lot of genres, but mainly fits into Rock/Alt-Rock/Americana/Country. I will write a song for any of your requirements; and produce, mix & master a 'full-demo' or 'final-song' if you wish.
I look forward to working with you on your music!
Contact me through the blue button above and lets get to work.
Reviews (4)Endorse Kian Sparkes
I keep going back to Kian because he does QUALITY work. His skills and his professionalism and advice are GREATLY needed since I am learning. When I or you need real talk, great advice AND talent this is the guy!
Excellent as always. Can change genres playing the guitar with the best of them.
Excellent as always.
Kian's guitar work has really took our songs to the next level. Sounds cliche but he's skilled and easy to work with, rare in today's industry. We use him for all our guitar and other instrument work.
Interview with Kian Sparkes
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on many, many project at this time... but I'm always open for business! I'm finalising my debut album as well as working with artists across the globe on vocal sessions and guitar sessions. I'm also mixing and mastering some great artists too... I just love what I do...
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital - much more cost effective and efficient. As a purist, yes Analog, but in today's technological word, the music you can produce at a very low cost is amazing... and this is perfect for all those mega-talented musicians and songwriters who have been priced out of the market for so long! It really is a musical revolution.... and a positive one in my eye.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always listen to what you want your music to sound like and strive to achieve your goals. I am honest, a good communicator and empathetic to all my clients. If I'm not the right session player for your songs, after we have discussed your needs, I will tell you. I'm not into just taking peoples money!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Everything! I love sing and playing guitar - I really enjoy working with different artists and exploring different songs. I love the challenges of session work and I love to improve on my skills set everyday.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: It's easy! Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and it's the best job in the world when a client is clear about their goals. But, it is extremely hard to help people who aren't clear in what they wanted at the start of a project. I have worked on open-ended projects, and these can be some of the most rewarding session jobs, but they can become very expensive. I like to give people value for money, and the best way for me to do that is to have a clear vision of requirements.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who are your influences and what vision do you have for your sound? How committed are you to your project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve - then we can get there!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Gibson Hummingbird, pen & paper, brass & glass slides, a copy of Lord Of The Rings.... and some water!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been a home recording enthusiast for nearly 30 years - starting off with tape recorders and old-Fostex 4 tracks (back in the day!). Today, my equipment has progressed significantly! I have been recording, mixing and mastering for clients, on a part-time/spare-time basis, for over 10 years now and I love what I do. I love the buzz of working with artistes and musicians and helping them create their art. My many years of treading the boards and playing in all the band that I could, as well as working on countless sessions have only made me love what I do everyday. I hope I'm playing and singing for at least another 30 years....
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My working style is said to be laid-back but truly focussed and professional - I am a good communicator and a good time keeper. Musically, my style is open and powerful - but it always has the song at the centre of things. Vocally, I can sing in a hard and 'gritty' style or in a soft and mellow way. It all depends on the song. Guitar session work is all about getting the sound the client needs - my natural melodic style lends itself to guitar lead work, but I like to adjust my playing to match the song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I like working with all artists - I just love what I do and I like to help artists realise their dreams. Today's technology and computers are amazing and can really help songwriters and artists produce great recordings at home and at very lost costs; but getting a great idea/recording to be a great sounding song isn't always as easy as it looks. If I can help in anyway, that's what I like to do!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Take the time to get the best arrangement you can for your music; critically listen to and shape your song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I'm really a rocker at heart so anything guitar orientated and rock based. However, I love country and folk music, too. Recently, I have been working on a few jazz projects which have been fun and a good learning experience as well as a heavy Rock-Rap record, that was great. I have also been part of a 80's Prog-Goth project that has taken me out of my comfort zone; it was a great experience and I actually loved being part of the project.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ability to listen to a song and let it find it's natural path. Another of my major strengths is my empathy with the clients - I'm here to do whatever it takes to make your song be the best!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to hear the inner parts of a song and help create a journey from beginning to end. My own songwriting skills help me to produce radio-ready mixes. I'm happy to play what I'm told to play or I'm happy to put forward suggestions - it all depends on the clients needs.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: After detailed discussions with my clients, about what are their requirements, I like to listen to a new song in isolation first, to get a feel for it. Then I will reference the song to the tracks that the client has provided as their major influences. Following this I will take a few run-through takes to get vibe for the song. After I am conformable with the song I'll record it until it's right. I can work quickly, but I like to take some time for reflection. One of my strengths is communicating with my clients and keeping them up to speed on the process. I like to send audio files to encourage discussions and tweaks as wee go through the process of a vocal or guitar session - so that there's no problems at the end of a session. Finally, once everything has been finalised and agreed I would send 'dry' and 'treated' audio files to my client.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small tracking, mixing & mastering studio set-up. I mainly track, mix and master within-the-box - I have high quality equipment and industry standard computer plugins... I'm a firm believer in it's how you use it, not just what you've got!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Wow! Tough question.... way too many to list, but here goes.... The Beatles, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Carol King, Joni Mitchell, Joe Walsh, Queen, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Duane Allman, Billy Joel, Lionel Ritchie, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Joe Perry, Aerosmith, The Band, Slash, GnR, The Carpenters, Angus Young, Albert Lee, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Felice and Boudreaux Bryant... .... the list goes on... ...
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Vocally, the most common work I undertake in sessions is laying down lead vocal lines and harmony vocals for my clinets' songs. Guitar sessions I play electric rhythm parts and lead sections as required. I also play a lot of acoustic guitar parts for clients' songs.