noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Kenneth Kyrell is a DJ, Creator, Connector, Entrepreneur; in other words: a Modern Day Renaissance Man.
YJ: So let's dive in, has what you're currently doing been a lifelong interest?
KK: Surprisingly it has not, me becoming a DJ kind of just happened. It all began with me being frustrated attending events and parties in the city and hearing the same sounds. I was having a conversation with a close friend of mine about it and he jokingly said, "well, why don't you just start DJing and throw your own parties?!". Within 48 hours I had ordered a small controller via Amazon and starting watching Youtube tutorials. One day I put one of my practice sessions on snapchat and my friend who had recently started a new happy hour/party uptown asked me to come and DJ. The following week I was in a DJ booth with very little knowledge about what I was doing but with a lot of music I knew would get the crowd going. Long story short, it was that night in an uber on my way home when I fell in love with the idea of becoming a DJ. A year and 8 months in, some really cool gigs under my belt and a lot of practicing; I decided to leave my corporate job of 6 years to focus on DJing full time. Life hasn't been the same since (in the best way possible). DJing is like the root of what I do which has provided me the platform to do other things such as media correspondent work, curated events/podcasts, and collaborate with fashion brands.
YJ: What most excites you about pursuing your passion(s) full-time?
KK: The fact that I am my own boss and do what I love every day while being able to financially support myself is one of the best feelings ever. In addition to expressing myself through music, I am able to connect to people on various levels, explore different cities and cultures, and partner with brands and clients that I would have never thought would be possible.
YJ: Where do you find inspiration, when needing it?
KK: One of my favorite things about living in NYC is the fact that there is literally inspiration all around. There is so much beauty in walking around an area of the city that you haven't been to before just to take in the surroundings. In addition to getting "lost" in the city; I often find myself on YouTube looking at old music videos or searching for new documentaries to watch. I'm high key a huge nerd but it's been the source of so much inspiration -- so I've accepted it and super proud of it too lol.
YJ: What do you think is different about your creative process vs. someone in your industry?
KK: Before becoming a full-time DJ, I worked in the Fashion industry for about 8 years. Many of my musical influences and creative process has and is inspired by what I was introduced to by the Fashion Industry. I often watch runway shows on mute and start to think about sounds/music that would create the perfect musical backdrop for what I am seeing. Also, I am learning to let things happen naturally when it comes to creating. I create deadlines for myself however, they often change based on what I am feeling. I can not force myself to produce a mix, plan an unforgettable event, or concept a lucrative idea for a brand if I am not in the mood. There is beauty in taking your time and letting things naturally occur and inspire you.
YJ: What's a common misconception people have about DJing/being an influencer?
KK: Many people underestimate the number of times goes into preparing for a gig, creating a mix, or even downloading and organizing your music library. Often times people see us at events, posting images on social media from photo shoots and at the club, however, there is a lot of preparation that goes into creating that moment and creating the right vibes for whatever crowd/client we are performing for. Many days I am behind my computer working on treatments for new social content, finding inspiration for my next mix, and negotiating contracts; things that people don't typically happen with being a DJ. Its all about preparation, differentiation, technique, and execution.
YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path?
KK: Many of us were taught the concept of going to school to obtain a degree, land a good job to be able to support the family we ideally would one day have, and be okay with just that. Life is too short to live your life on the standards and guidelines of someone else/society. However, no one will believe or respect your gift until you do so yourself -- so be confident, be fearless, and do what the f&*$ you want to do!
YJ: If you could tell your younger self one thing about life, what would it be?
KK: Its okay (and actually quite fun) if your plans in life change. Don't be upset if life presents alternate plans that you didn't write on paper or ever imagine happening. Enjoy the ride!
YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?
KK: I feel like my "new life" just started so there are so many things I am looking forward to. I can't wait to travel more with DJing, explore and learn new techniques, and continue to evolve my personal brand when it comes to the music, fashion, producing, and entrepreneurship. Don't think that DJing is all when it comes to what I do and what I am about; this is just the beginning.
For more of Kenneth, follow him here.