I had the pleasure of interviewing international superstar RUNAGROUND. He is an electronic pop producer and singer/songwriter and has become known worldwide for his radio-friendly vocals and infectious pop hooks, leading him to his first US #1 Dance Radio Record, “Chase You Down.”
With independent and label success under his belt, his popular YouTube channel now boasts over one hundred million combined views. In 2017, he reached the #1 spot on the Dance Airplay Chart climbing over the likes of Halsey and The Chainsmoker’s “Closer” to reach the top of the chart. He starred on the AXS Television music show “Breaking Band,” with Moby as a mentor and was the featured vocalist on the self-written, “Coffee Can Money“ with collaborator Borgeous, racking up over 10 million streams. His self-produced original “We Are One,” became the anthem of the live World Compassion Summit and 80th birthday celebration for the Dalai Lama, which featured Kirk in a celebrity-laden music video tribute and live performance for His Holiness. 2019 has him set to release the anticipated radio single “Better Anyway” followed by new originals and custom film/tv productions. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rov
What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in Maryville, TN playing drums in local bands throughout high school and found myself singing and writing songs by 16. My roots were in gospel music and I naturally used the only musical outlet I knew, to hone my craft and tour, playing live shows around the country. A few record deals later, I created the artist moniker RUNAGROUND and built a following via YouTube with originals and covers. Since 2012, I’ve produced hundreds of music videos, and written and produced songs for many artists around the globe.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Working with the Dalai Lama for his World Compassion Summit was likely the most interesting and rewarding experience I’ve had yet. A very humbling and thrilling experience to be a part of something so meaningful.
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?
Honestly, I feel like I’m the collection of a thousand second chances and opportunities from many different folks. I’m probably the product of little bits of hope and generosity as a whole. I’ve had many people come and go in my life, but without those small bits of grace and empowerment they’ve shown me, I wouldn’t be here making music in 2019. I’m grateful that the world is still full of generous people who take the time to help strangers and loved ones out.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
I’ve just released “Better Anyway” with my collaborator Borgeous, and I have a series of new original records, and some covers suited to the Film/TV realm that I’m very excited about.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my career” and why?
1. There’s no magic trick for success, outside of time and pressure.
2. The way to finish something is to never be afraid to start; at the beginning, the middle, and the end.
3. At the end of the day, you can only rely on yourself to get the job done, so learn how to take the ball to the end zone alone.
4. Lucky people work very hard.
5. Comparison kills the energy and inspiration that you’re going to need to put into your next idea.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. 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?
I know I’m switching the question up a bit, but I might like to say Jeff Bezos, BEFORE Amazon took off. I’d like to learn from his posture and tenacity towards a dream of that magnitude before it’s time, and how some of the small everyday decisions he made led him to where he is now. But yes, I’d take lunch with him today as well!