Living in the hills, American bison, and a microphone hooked up to a laptop. Our sister site AudioJungle is a royalty-free stock audio site that helps musicians earn money. In this interview series you’ll learn about those musicians, their gear, and their AudioJungle experiences. Today we meet Klepato Design.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
I grew up in the hills of Southwest Wisconsin, United States, 45 minutes from the closest McDonald's (which around here is a true testament to how "backwoods" that area was). After college, I moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, in the central part of the state, and have been here for 4 years now.
You'll usually find me doing any number of different jobs in this town from painting, building houses, volunteering at some local non-profits, videography, as well as singing at weddings. I will also be going back to school soon for a Master's Degree, but I haven't decided on a business degree, archeology, or "circus clown"... if only.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I belong to the AudioJungle marketplace where I write and sell music. I originally sold instrumentals, but after purchasing a somewhat decent microphone, I started playing around with vocals. That became my niche, and you'll notice that the vocal songs have predominantly dominated any other dominating songs in my dominant portfolio. :)
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
I originally joined AudioJungle out of pure desperation. (That is intended to be a compliment.) I have a Bachelor's degree in Construction Management, and held on to a construction job for two years after college, but due to the recession that my country is going through, I lost my job just a few months before my wedding day. Needless to say, I felt absolutely lost.
To this day, there aren't any construction jobs in the area, and that forced me to get creative. Music was always a passion of mine that I kept locked away. After I lost my job, I decided that I had to try new things, and while Stumbling through cyberspace one day, I found AudioJungle.
Formal training? High school, I suppose. I don't like it when people tell me how to sing (stubborn maybe?), and that's one reason I never sought vocal training. I train myself. I constantly sing in the house, or in the car, trying new genres: Blues, classical, everything.
Describe your home workspace.
My home workspace is (don't laugh) meager, at best. More or less, it is a microphone hooked up to a laptop. I'm just going to leave it at that.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I sing in the shower. I sing in the car. I am constantly humming and trying to come up with new, catchy tunes. If I do have one that stands out, I go immediately to the computer, and start recording.
Only about one third of these songs actually come to fruition, and perhaps only half of those songs do I consider for AudioJungle. I am hard on myself, but I know that people are looking for the best of the best.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
You need to find that perfect combination of:
- Creating the types of music that you love and
- Creating the types of music that everyone else is looking for.
I have had some amazing feedback from people, good and bad. Listen to the advice carefully, and learn from it. Because of this, I have had a few of my songs used in documentaries, which made joining AudioJungle completely worthwhile.
What do you do to market your files?
Twitter (even though I can't stand it). Also word of mouth. You'd be surprised at how many of your friends will pass the word on. There is also Facebook, personal websites, sometimes even Craigslist is worthwhile every so often.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
I love the sound that comes from this song. To me it is sweet, and it evokes a positive message. Someday, I may sing this to my own child, and it will be my way of saying, "Don't worry kid, I will always be there for you."
One night, I wrote and recorded this song in thirty minutes. It evokes everything that I believe, in as simple a way as possible. This day and age, we are all so incredibly interconnected, and we are so much alike, despite our cultural differences. It always aggravates me when I hear about hate crimes. I don't understand how some people can be so blind. There truly is no place or need for war.
This song is a mutation of my earlier "Dramatic Vocal Introduction." 12-part harmony at its best. To me, it has a very medieval sound, like the old Gregorian chants. I don't know how else to explain it. I just love, love, love the sound. It's dramatic. It builds, and it falls, and then it builds again.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
There really aren't any other authors who use vocals as extensively as I do, but after thinking about this for awhile, I'd have to say it is Michael Kakhiani. We both joined AudioJungle at the same time, and I noticed the high quality of his music right away. He also went out of his way to find me on Twitter, which I was impressed with. :) Aside from that, he knows what he's doing. Almost 1,000 sales. That's incredible, and I wish I was at the same point where he is.
What do you do in your spare time?
I make beer and wine. As we speak, I have two cases of Oktoberfest aging in the basement, and an IPA that is brewing and bubbling next to my desk. The smell of the hops is incredible.
I also enjoy doing out-of-the-ordinary things, which is why I have auditioned at "American Idol", and "America's Got Talent." It always makes for an interesting story, whether you make it or not.
I also volunteer at various non-profit organizations in my area. I donate 25% of my sales to them, which could potentially be substantial. I help out any way I can.
Last, but not least, I obsess about owning a farm. I want to raise American bison, hence the reason for my logo. It is a constant reminder to keep pushing myself. I love the idea of raising these giant, wild animals, and being a little more self-sufficient.
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