Be Patient — Everybody’s timeline is different, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve as fast as you thought. Focus on perfecting your craft and being consistent, and the recognition will come naturally.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kyle Stemberger.
Kyle Stemberger is a 21-year-old music producer born outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently based in Los Angeles. Kyle is credited on releases with artists ranging from Jorja Smith & Burna Boy to Flipp Dinero & Lil Baby, bringing in multiple Platinum Records & Billboard #1’s.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Of course, thanks for wanting to include me! I grew up in this small town in Georgia called Griffin. It’s just a normal historic-looking town and there isn’t a whole lot going on there. I was always drawn to art & music for as long as I can remember. I’m not exactly sure why music became one of the first things I got interested in because my parents were never musical at all. My dad listens to a lot of music but he was never musically inclined, but I knew for a fact I was going to do something with music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I actually vividly remember the first time I ever got interested in learning something to do with music. When I was around 6 years old, my parents took me and my sister to see this house in my hometown, they always had these crazy Christmas lights and would play songs and the lights would sync up with the music. When we got back that night, for whatever reason, I hopped on the piano my family had at our house. I started picking notes out and I managed to play one of the songs I heard that night by ear. This led me to develop what’s called perfect pitch, it’s where I can instantly tell the key of any sound. I ended up learning piano on my own and picked up the guitar a year or two later.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There was this melodic idea that I created, and it ended up being used by Myke Towers, and I was psyched because I had been wanting to work with a Latin artist for a while. That was a cool moment, but eventually, I just kind of forgot about it and was working on new music and out of nowhere, Bad Bunny, one of the biggest Latin artists of all time, ended up doing a freestyle over the track I produced for Myke Towers and put it on his album “Las que no iban a salir” and the album went #1 on the Billboard Latin Albums Chart. The song itself ended up charting too, I can’t remember what number it peaked at. That was a crazy moment because I got two major songs off of one idea I made.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’ve been working on a ton of music recently. I’ve been working with a lot of writers & producers from Prescription Songs, the publishing company where I’m signed. I have a lot of projects in the pipeline, so stay tuned!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Diversity is one of the most important things when it comes to music, and I realize that more and more everyday. I could list hundreds of reasons, but one great example of this would be a song I made with Jorja Smith & Burna Boy called “Be Honest”. Basically, I created the original idea for Be Honest when I was 18, I was just making a bunch of guitar ideas in my bedroom at my parent’s house. When I made the idea for the song, I was originally thinking a more melodic rapper, like Trippie Redd or Juice WRLD (rest in peace) would sound great on it. Long story short, it somehow ended up in the hands of this producer, Cadenza. Cadenza and Jorja are from the UK, and Burna Boy, who featured on the track, is a huge artist from Africa. Every single person that helped create the song has an entirely different story, as far as how they grew up, the culture they grew up around, etc. and we all came together to make this amazing afrobeat-inspired song. Since the time that song came out, I’ve always been trying to work with more diverse artists. I just had a song come out last year with Bad Bunny, and that was super exciting for me. I’ve always been into learning about different cultures. It’s really cool to see all the different types of ways people grow up, even though we are only a country or two away. Latin & African music inspired so much of the music we listen to today and most people don’t realize it. Some of the best music ever created comes from those roots.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Stop overthinking
It’s good to try and push to be the best you can be, but you have to make sure you always keep it simple so you don’t burn yourself out.
2. Be Patient
Everybody’s timeline is different, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve as fast as you thought. Focus on perfecting your craft and being consistent, and the recognition will come naturally.
3. Find a great team
The people that I have around me are the best, and I’m grateful for that. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my manager Pete and my lawyer Elena, they always take care of me and have my best interest in mind, and it takes a lot of stress out of my life so I can fully focus on making music
4. Find out what’s special about you and double down on it
Since I have a history of playing guitar, I noticed how the guitar was becoming super popular in modern hip-hop songs, and I used that as leverage by sending out guitar ideas to producers all the time. If there is something about you that’s unique and beneficial to the industry you’re in, you have to make sure you’re always using whatever is to your advantage.
5. Take care of your mental health
When you’re a producer, it’s easy to do nothing but sit inside the entire day working on tracks, and eventually, that’ll catch up with you mentally. You have to make sure you’re not depriving yourself of relationships and things that fulfill you and make you happy outside of music. I’ve dealt with mental health in the past and when I really started taking care of it and making it a priority, the difference it had on my life was crazy. It’s definitely key, and it’s something that’s easy to ignore when you’re inside working on music all day long.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
If it’s not something that has to be done immediately or you don’t feel like making music, don’t make music. Go do something else and let the drive come back to you. When I just take breaks instead of forcing myself to keep working, the drive comes back to me way faster than it would’ve if I forced myself to work on something when I wasn’t feeling it. It’s never a bad idea to take a break if you are frustrated or just not feeling it.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
That’s a lot of pressure! I honestly have no idea off the top of my head. Like I was saying earlier, mental health is something I’ve gained interest in over time, so I definitely want to do a big project that benefits mental health in some way in the future.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My friend KBeaZy. If it wasn’t for him discovering me in his live stream chat 3 or 4 years ago, I actually would not be where I am today. He introduced me to my manager, who introduced me to my lawyer and then eventually introduced me to Prescription Songs, which led to me signing a publishing deal last year and moving out to LA. He changed my life, for real.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
People may not remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
That quote has always stuck with me, and I always remember that when meeting new people. It doesn’t matter what exactly you say, but if you make them feel any less than you, that’s what will stick with them forever. I always keep that in the back of my head.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Elon Musk, I think some of the stuff he’s done is changing the world, would be cool to pick his brain.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow me on Instagram here:
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!