October 23, 2015

"On the Come Up" Series: October Edition - Alex Kresovich

Alex Kresovich

Producer, Alex Kresovich, chats with "On the Come Up" about how this is his time in the music industry.

Where are you originally from?

Alex Kresovich: I'm from Ithaca, New York. I've spent about 10 years combined living in Georgia, so I've got big love for the south, but Ithaca will always be home to me.

What was your first introduction to the music industry?

AK: Probably when I won this national producer contest to do the main theme on the NBA 2K12 video game ("Now's My Time" by D.J.I.G.). That was really where everything started moving forward for me and put me on the map for A&Rs and other industry folks.

What inspires you to create music?

AK: The feelings that it gives me and the role it's played in my life on a fan level. I'm a really anxious person by nature and music has really served a therapeutic role in my life. It's what I use almost as a mood regulator. I just really love how music is always there for me and how we can kinda live out our fantasies through music and there's almost no happier moment in life for me than when the music playing matches what's happening that moment in life and it feels like I'm in a music video or something. I really love when that happens, but it's pretty rare.

What differentiates you from other producers?

AK: I don't know. I think there are a lot of incredible producers working,right now, who I'm a fan of and lots of people who really put in work and have earned the success they've achieved. I guess it would be my versatility. I'm comfortable existing in different genres of music and enjoy doing all different kinds of projects. I feel like if I study any musical style enough I can take it on and then bring my own "AK" twist to it.

What are you currently working on?

AK: Lots of projects! I'm super busy now which is great because being busy means that you're not broke. I'm on CeeLo Green's new album Heart Blanche. I produced this record "Thorns" and wrote it with two of my friends that I grew up with in Ithaca-Sam Nelson Harris (of the X Ambassadors) and my other friend Hayden Frank who wrote the bass line. The song is an absolute dream come true and I'm so thankful for them to have lended their talents and I’m so thankful for people like CeeLo, Craig Kallman, Larry Mestel and Justin Shukat for having really believed in it. In the credits, it basically says "Written by CeeLo Green and three dream-chasing kids from Ithaca" and that really means a lot to me. I'm super excited to also be a big part of Hoodie Allen's new project coming up very soon. I've also been working on Max Schneider's new project, Alex de Leon's (singer of "The Cab") upcoming solo project, these new singers Gia and Madilyn Bailey. Lots of stuff. I actually had a session with Kid Ink and had G.O.O.D. Music take a few ideas from me so who knows what'll happen with that.

Who is your musical mentor and why?

AK: I've had a lot of people who certainly deserve credit in helping me along, but I'd say Ken Lewis is definitely my main musical mentor. He really taught me the ropes of the industry and it was inspiring even just watching him work. Like, as a fan, here's a guy who's responsible for probably 5 - 10% of my iTunes between all his work with people like Kanye and Just Blaze and all the other places he pops up. Beyond just musical advice, he taught me the importance of hard work and I'll always remember his advice: "Don't bother having a Plan B, it only distracts from Plan A." The other guy who would have to be my lawyer and co-manager, Adam Zia. The number of snake pits he's helped me avoid are innumerable and I'm absolutely indebted to him. I'm beyond lucky to have a guy like him in my corner.

What advice do you have for up-and-coming producers?

AK: Fail relentlessly. You're going to get told "no" a million times and want to quit a million times, but the people who really succeed are the ones who get rejected and just keep it moving. Or if you're bad at that, you can be like me and use rejections just to fuel the engine and make you work even harder. Just keep working hard to improve and don't stress coming up short; most of the most successful people still swing-and-miss a lot more than you think, it's just the public will only ever hear about the home runs. Keep trying, keep failing and keep improving and be relentless with all three. Constantly study the music you love and work really hard. It's such an incredibly difficult industry to be in and it's so competitive that you really have to sacrifice a lot. I'd definitely recommend moving to LA just because this is where everything "happens" these days. As long as your ability allows it and you understand that you really need to hone your craft, the only thing stopping you is you. Yeah, you'll encounter people who suck and people who haven't really earned the positions they're in, but if you want to make it you gotta turn yourself into this undeniable and unstoppable force. Learn the business and the importance of networking, they're as critical as the music itself. Don't rely on anyone else to help you out, always know you gotta do the work yourself. I got rejected from NYU's Clive Davis School of Music for not being talented enough and now I'm working with artists who's posters I used to have on my wall. Life is just crazy. If you're willing to work hard and dedicate yourself fully to your dream,you can move mountains. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

For more information on Alex Kresovich, follow him on Twitter at @thatproducerak.