Kowan May works on Birdman and Dej Loaf Music Video and Recruits artist Tony Port!
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Recording Connection apprentice Kowan May of Atlanta, Georgia, isn’t waiting for good things to happen to him—he’s making them happen every single day! Of course, having a formidable, creative mentor like Ty Harris at Penthouse Studios definitely helps! Since apprenticing with Ty, not only has Kowan had the opportunity to assist on an in-studio music video with hip-hop artists Birdman and Dej Loaf, he’s also making the most of the opportunity by recording his own artist, a young rapper named Tony Port, right at Penthouse where he can get Ty’s input and advice.
Kowan says Ty’s approach to mentorship is vital to his learning experience. “Working with Ty Harris is really cool. He pulls the best out of you, and I like that. He’s not going to just sit there and give you directions. He’s going to give you the directions, and he’s going to make you find out how to do it. And I really appreciate that because that’s how it sticks.”
“I didn’t know how important an audio engineer was to the recording,” Kowan continues. “I’ve seen Ty have clients in there where things didn’t sound all that great but Ty will go in there and literally make people who did not sound good, sound like something. I mean my mouth dropped. I was impressed.”
Recording Connection mentor Ty Harris also had some great things to say about Kowan. “I think a lot of the younger guys want to take the easy route and just want you to give [it to] them. Kowan, on the other hand, knows what he wants to do. His mind is focused and he’s just ready and open to learning.”
Kowan’s can-do attitude is taking him far, even while he’s still working through the curriculum. He recently assisted on a music video shoot for one of hip-hop’s quickly rising artists, Dej Loaf and her single “Blood.” The music video also featured Birdman and Young Thugs. But Kowan isn’t just letting taking the good that comes his way, he’s making it happen by recruiting talent of his own, namely the young, dynamic rapper Tony Port, a native of Atlanta whom Kowan is recording at Penthouse Studios.
Speaking of what led him to Tony, Kowan says, “I chose Tony Port because he reminded me of me when I was his age. He literally showed up at my doorstep. He knew my son, and we shared a lot of the same musical tastes and Prince is both our idol. I built a studio in my garage and Tony started living with us, and we started making music. His song ‘Southside’ has really caught on here in Atlanta. Jermaine Dupri’s artist Rizzy Royce likes it so much he wants to jump in on the remix. Even my mom runs around singing ‘Southside.’”
Looking towards the future, Kowan lets us in on some of what he’s got planned. “I want to own my own studio and maybe parlay that into a record company.” But it doesn’t stop there. Turns out, Kowan wants to have a hand in not only music but film as well. “You know, Atlanta is becoming the new Hollywood. All these movie studios are coming to Atlanta, and they’ll need some place to record, so I’m right here in it,” he says.
So how does he plan on doing it? Well turns out that Kowan’s son Damien May is tapped to shoot videos for Tony Port and guess what? Damien is planning to enroll in the Film Connection!
Kowan knows what he needs to do and where he needs to be to make it happen. “If you’re young and upcoming and you have the skillset, Atlanta’s the place to be. In Atlanta, it’s all about building your relationships. And if you have the skills to match that, you know people want to get at you anyway because they’re looking for people…as long as you’re building up those relationships and everything, you have a firm foot in the door.”
When you combine dedication, a strong work ethic and take an entrepreneurial attitude that’s grounded in reality, there’s no telling what you can accomplish! Kowan May is constantly working to fulfill his goals by building his skills and his connections and using them to develop tomorrow’s talent. Keep on going strong Kowan!
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Learn more about Recording Connection’s, programs for audio engineering, music production, beat making, DJing, live sound, and more!