Alumni Profile: Ken Gao

Ken Gao, a former Waterloo C.I student now attends Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology in London. He first started off with his Youtube channel which now has a count of 10k subs and his music is now available on music platforms like Apple, Spotify etc. Ken was very involved in Waterloo C.I’s Arts & Music community, performing and helping out with multiple shows and events.

We caught up with Ken to ask him a few questions that WCI students have been eager for him to answer.

We wanted to know how he first found his interest in music, he responded saying, “Before getting into music production, the only experience I had with music was taking piano lessons. But then, I was introduced to Electronic music. I was immediately attracted to the sonic freedom of the genre, and the fact that the only limit to the sounds that could be created was one’s imagination. So around 5 years ago, I became inspired to create my own music. I uploaded them to YouTube and of course, my first works were insanely bad (they’re unlisted now) but through practise, I developed my skills. I now have a following of 10,000+ subscribers. My most viewed video, with 141,000+ views, is a remix I made from a song by Korean band, EXO. In the past year, I’ve shifted my focus to original songs rather than remixes. Writing originals made music my favourite medium to share a message.”

We asked him about some of the collabs he’s had with WCI students. He said. “I’ve collaborated with singers, producers and writers who I’ve met online as well as at WCI. Thanks to the internet, I’ve been able to work with incredibly talented people around the world, from San Jose to New York to Hong Kong. It all starts with something as simple as one of us sending a message to the other, asking if they’d wanna collab, and if we’re down, we would work on a project by messaging ideas and files back and forth.

But there’s also so much talent right at WCI. Students that I’ve worked with include Kate Schneider, Dang Tian, Bailey Johnston, Jacquelyn Morley, Ben Dobson, Rebecca Perrault, Chloe McDonald, Tanya Rivero and Brittany Anonthysene 😉

I love collabs because of the fact that it’s two (or more) artistic perspectives creating one awesome thing that we wouldn’t have been able to create individually. A lot of people like to keep their art to themselves and I understand that, but for me, it was so great to just approach people that I wanted to work with, and immerse myself in the music community, even if that meant getting out of my comfort zone.” We both found it especially interesting how much WCI talent is that he’s already discovered.

Up next we inquired about his personal music. Firstly when asked about the song he’s the most proud of he answered, “Whenever I hear a song that I completed in the past, I’m always noticing stuff I would do differently now. But at the same time, I’m still proud of all them. If I had to pick one, I’d say “City Lights” because the melody is simple, yet so effective. Plus, Kate’s performance was really amazing. Although I wish I had turned that bass down just a tiny bit!” It just happens to be one of our personal favourites of his as well. We also wanted to know what was next for him; “I have 2 upcoming songs, both featuring fantastic singers from WCI. They’re called “Out of Time” featuring Sarah Alemany and “Eyes” featuring Jenna Rowbotham. I think I have refined my production skills though each new release, so I hoping that can be heard with these songs too.” We’re very excited to hear them both.

We asked Ken what’s next, he stated “I just started studying at OIART in London, Ontario. Being a music producer would be my dream career, but there are so many different opportunities in the audio industry (live sound, radio, film & TV, digital media & games) so I’m leaving my options open. Music and the music community has been my support for such a long time, and I look forward to where it’ll continue to take me.”

We wish Ken the best of luck in his future endeavours and we expect to hear his name much more in the near future with the promising career he has ahead of him.