We had the pleasure of sitting down with Cesar, also known as KONTACT, an industry mover and shaker as a music producer through his own company Kontact Records.
Hi Cesar, it's awesome to sit down and talk with you! Can you tell us a bit about how your music career evolved?
Hi, I am excited to do this interview! I really like what you guys at Buzz Music are doing to shed a light on independent artists. That really means a lot to me. I also have heard some great music from browsing the blog.
If someone would have told me that I would end up being a music producer, I would have never believed them...
Music was not a part of my life at all. In fact, I remember one day my dad randomly said to me "Someday music is going to be a big part of your life." I just chuckled and I was thinking to myself how my dad clearly didn't know me. That memory popped into my head one day as I was working on some music. It was so crazy to me to see how he was right...
I have been teaching myself piano, music theory, music production, sound design, mixing/mastering, and the music business. So my career is just starting.
What challenges did you face along the way of switching careers from being a Graphic Designer to working in the music industry?
Leaving my job was literally the scariest thing I ever had to do. Most people talk about how they would love to quit their day jobs but when it comes time to actually do it, most people chicken out. Because that's your livelihood. You start to ask yourself (after reality slaps you across the face) "How am I going to pay my rent, car lease, bills, food, etc..." I had an enjoyable job and I was paid really well, which just made the decision to leave even more difficult. I had a lot of disposable income, so I could buy whatever I wanted. The change in lifestyle was something I had trouble with initially. But you have to make adjustments and adapt to your situation. Something that helped me was realizing that I grew up broke, so being broke again was not a big deal. I've been there before.
Who are your biggest musical influences? How did they shape and inspire you to pursue a career in music?
Now I really appreciate music and I listen to all types of music. Rap, EDM, Pop, Rock, Reggae, Smooth Jazz, New Age, Latin/Reggaeton, Classical and Orchestral music.
The only reason I got into music production was that Dr. Dre decided he wasn't going to make music anymore. I wanted to continue to hear beats like the ones he, Mel-Man, Scott Storch and Mike Elizondo did on the "2001" album. So I just figured that I would make beats like that myself.
Can you tell us about your company Kontact Records?
Kontact Records is a production company that allows me to release my music for commercial use. It's going to be the cream of the crop of music production. I am going to do what Dr.Dre did and raise the standards of beats to a higher level.
When was the last time you heard a beat that was so incredible, that it gave you goosebumps? I want to get that feeling again when I listen to my music.
What types of services do you offer to the music/entertainment industry?
I don't offer any services, that's actually another reason why I left my career as a graphic designer. I didn't want to be in the service industry. I like creating a product and being able to resell it multiple times. However; I have gotten better at recording, filming/editing music videos and mixing/mastering which are services that I wouldn't mind offering to keep the lights on.
For a young entrepreneur trying to pursue a career in the music industry, what advice would you give them?
If you know for a fact that this is something you have to do. Don't let anyone or anything stop you. You really have to be determined to make it work no matter what. Early on I would have people ask me "What are you going to do if it doesn't work out?". I would never ask myself that because I know that I am going to make it work. I don't have any backup plan. All I know is that I am not going to quit.
Know that there is going to be obstacles (from everywhere) and try to prepare for them both financially and mentally. If you get hit just stand up and keep going forward. Use the love and passion that you have for what you do to keep fueling your work.
Success is not reaching your goal. Success is continuously taking small steps every day, which will help you reach your goal.
Never forget that everything in life worth having requires sacrifice. Everything. If you want good health, it requires sacrifice. If you want a happy marriage, it requires sacrifice. If you want to be a master of your craft, it requires sacrifice.
(I can keep going and going with advice that has helped my along my journey but this would end up turning into a book real quick.)
What's next for you and Kontact Records?
The long-term goal is to have a business staff and team of record producers, recording artists, audio engineers that would make it easier for us to create and publish music. Currently, I'm wearing all those hats except for the recording artist.
I dabbled into artist development a little bit. A guy I met online wrote some music to one of my beats. After spending months working on a song together he flew out to California and we recorded the song and shot the music video that same weekend. I wanted to see if I could do everything myself, from recording to directing, filming and finally editing. It was the first time that I experienced going through the process of taking an idea for a song into full completion.
Directing a music video was a cool experience. We also had the police and fire department shut us down, but we got the shots lol. You can see how that turned out here
I really enjoyed talking with you, and I truly wish you guys the best. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share a little of my story on your platform. When I am accepting rewards for producer of the year I promise that I will let everyone know that the first music blog that gave me an interview was the good people at Buzz Music.
Connect with Kontact on social media: