Kelan Gilbert #mymusicstory
#mymusicstory #creativeminds #growwithus
We’re sharing the music stories of industry veterans, aspiring young musicians, and entrepreneurs to help others make informed decisions when it comes to their own story.
Kelan Gilbert shares his musical story and answers questions about his musical journey on how to be successful in the music industry:
A product of Akron, OH growing up in the rust-belt instilled an inclination for creativity and imagination. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend to be somewhere other than where you really are or to be someone you’re really not. For Kelan Gilbert, music would provide that escape. Although his first instrument was the trumpet, he quickly traded in the brass for strings and started to study guitar and bass at a very young age. All at once he studied various styles and approaches to a broad range of instruments. He eventually went on to study music theory and jazz studies at The University of Akron and then at MiraCosta College in San Diego where he also studied Recording Arts. It was around this time that he began to immerse himself not only into music but into some of the other more undesirable aspects of the industry. After a long fought battle with drug addiction, Kelan returned to his native Ohio and triumphantly reemerged into the music scene.
Now in Columbus, he was fortunate enough to connect with some amazingly talented and like-minded musicians and artists who helped shape his evolution as a song writer and creative being. Kelan Gilbert now play’s and writes music in the Columbus-based band, Fine Animal. He is a member of the Columbus Songwriters Association, teaches guitar and is involved in several other musical projects throughout the city. For him, everything is about music.
Listen to Kelan Gilbert’s music here:
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What are your top three tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term?
First, don’t operate under false assumptions of what you think it means to be a musician. Embrace your own unique identity as an artist and run with it. Don’t pretend to be a rock star.
Second, always trust your first thought. People connect the most with music and art that is real and unadulterated. Remember, the root word of originality is an origin. Embrace your own creative origin that is found within, and you will be original.
Third, you must be willing to fail. A wiser man than myself once said, “An artist’s worth is what he throws away.” For me, I’m lucky if 1 out every 50 ideas can amount of a full-fledged song. The ideas that fall short or that never see the light of day are all corresponding pieces of the puzzle that will lead to completing the bigger picture of your best writing.
What has been one of the toughest music / entertainment related experiences you’ve faced?
Unless you’re strictly a solo act, you often find yourself in a group or band with other people. One of the biggest challenges musicians face is finding reliable, talented and pleasant individuals to trust and depend on. On more than one occasion, I’ve had intrical members of bands up and leave. One time a guy that had been playing drums with us for some time up and moved literally overnight out of the state without cause or warning. So needless to say, finding people that are not only going to just show up to a rehearsal or show but that you can place your absolute trust in and share with on a somewhat intimate creative level can be a challenge.
How did you get through this experience or deal with it?
Embracing that it is the nature of the beast that people come and go. I took comfort in knowing that a person’s words or action’s don’t have power over my individual creative aspirations, as long as I always aspire to create.
What did you learn from this experience?
That much liked song ideas that fall short, so will people. And for better or for worse, they are all part of the journey. For instance, if it wasn’t for the disappearing drummer, our bassist at the time would have never switched to playing drums (an electronic drum kit at that) which really enriched and evolved our sound! To me, “real rock stars” are people who are unwaveringly kind, humble, passionate, reliable and professional.
Which music / entertainment related book, blog, film or documentary would you recommend to inspire someone, and why?
The book, “Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art” by Stephen Nachmanovitch. This was passed down to me by one of my mentors sometime ago and was a game changer for me. It basically said all the things that I’d always felt or had a notion of as a creative person and said it in a way that was both eloquent and inspiring.