We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Kanan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeff, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe the willingness to take a risk is maybe the most important part to achieving your dreams. For people to go be creative and follow their hearts takes a great amount of risk in our society. Often those are not the careers that provide stability or what many consider the standard version of success but the hard work and risk taking can pay off. I think happiness that can be gained from taking risk is much more rewarding than being unhappy but perhaps more financially secure. When I was young I completely left everything I knew to go to a new city and try to achieve my dreams. I’m not sure most people have the mental strength to take a risk like that. I sold everything I owned except my car and my clothes and packed up and left town! Didn’t know anyone, had no phone and stayed in a pay by the week motel! It was incredibly freeing and the beginning of my journey to where I am now!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a music mixer and producer. I started as a staff engineer at the legendary Westlake Audio Recording Studios. I was lucky to get a break to get into a place like than and I spent all my time working as hard as I could to learn the craft so I could be successful when opportunities came my way. During my time there I had the privilege to spend my days working with the most talented musicians, producers, engineers and record people in the history of the business. I got where I am today by learning all I could from those types and being around them everyday! I think what I am most excited about and proud of is that after 20 years I still get the opportunity to do this everyday and use all the knowledge I have learned along the way to help musicians and you kids go achieve the things they want do go out and do! I have never met anyone in this career that didn’t learn the craft from someone else and I think understanding that and the ability to continually learn as the most important lessons people can take away from the music business. I enjoy helping musicians try to make the art they want to and its my job to help them do the best art they can! I guess I just want musicians to understand that I am here to help them create the art they want to create in the best way I know how!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Favorite spots in Denver….If we had a week, I would say we’d probably have to spend time up in the mountains. I have spend tons of time in Northern Colorado in the Poudre Canyon area and it really is beautiful! Just a wonderful not too crowded part of the state. Probably also have to visit downtown and take in a Ball game at Coors Field. A great place to catch a game! East and drink are not quite as high on my list since I’m not all that particular about those things. Maybe a visit to Benny’s for some mexican food would be good! Perhaps a concert at Red Rocks!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As I have said in previous interviews, I think I owe a great deal of credit to my family for being supportive and to my first boss Steve Burdick (who own’s Westlake Recording Studios) for taking a chance on a young kid from Denver!