At the end of last Friday’s livestream, Mike Shinoda made the decision to be a little more ambitious with this week’s production sessions. Instead of working on two tracks this week, Shinoda will be attempting to produce three tracks this week, each from a different artist, starting with a track titled “Known Like This” by artist Ben Kessler.
so so excited to announce @mikeshinoda will be producing a version of my song “known like this” live on his twitch channel tmrw at 10am PT / 1pm ET 🥲
— BEN KESSLER (@benkesslermusic) January 24, 2021
Since beginning his production sessions, Shinoda has been working on two tracks a week. The first week, Shinoda produced Chris Kelly’s “Bittersweet” and Alex McMillian’s “Bones”, and last week, Shinoda produced Cam Archer’s “Voltage” and Wax//Wane’s “The Way Down”. He spends about two days worth of streams on each track, so trying to fit in three tracks in one week may be a bit of a stretch. However, if anyone could do it, it would be Mike Shinoda, especially with the kind of talent being brought to him by his #AnRMY—although he was the first to admit he might not be able to finish them all in such a short amount of time.
“I really have an appreciation this year more than ever, like if you start with good bones of a song—if you have a good vocal and one instrument—it [a track] gets far, really fast.”
Starting this week’s production off by playing the final product of Wax//Wane’s “The Way Down”, Shinoda then immediately jumps into discussing Ben Kessler’s track, titled “Known Like This”. While all the tracks produced by Shinoda so far on Twitch have been comprised of one instrument and vocal, “Known Like This” was actually a track Kessler had already produced and released. Despite this fact, Shinoda was willing to take Kessler’s original demo and reproduce it into a new demo, leaving it up to the artist which version they like better. This provides a unique opportunity for artists to get their music produced if they do not know how to do it themselves, as well as an opportunity for artists to get a different demo of a song they love, but whose initial production they did not love.
Taking Kessler’s vocal and guitar tracks, Shinoda set off to work, first by speeding the song up to increase its beats per minute (bpm), in order to change the feel of the song from more of a ballad into something you could dance to. Shinoda then added various instruments and effects, such as bass, drums, vinyl crackle, and more. He even got his Twitch viewers involved by allowing them to vote in a poll for which kind of bass they thought would sound best, with viewers selecting live bass rather than serum bass or zapp bass. He then added a hook to the track, giving it a unique sound and signature, and placed it at beginning of the song to help spark listeners memory to recognize the song the moment it starts playing.
“I got into contact with Ben a few months ago and told him, ‘you got to send something’. I used him as an example of what I want…like send a piano and a vocal…don’t hide behind your production, I want a good song.”
Ben Kessler is a 22 year old singer, songwriter, producer, and recent college graduate currently based in Nashville, TN. Starting small, he first started making music while attending high school in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA, working in his parents’ basement to create his first songs and EPs and playing local shows. While he has been releasing music throughout his high school and college career, he recently announced that he would be coming out with a brand new EP sometime this year. Kessler released the EP’s first single, titled “Cruise Control”, on Thursday, January 21, which is available on various platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and more.
If you weren’t able to catch the live production of Kessler’s “Known Like This” by Mike Shinoda, you can watch the Twitch stream again in the video below! Make sure to check out Kessler’s music and new single “Cruise Control”, and Mike Shinoda’s previous production sessions. Stay tuned to see Shinoda finish production on Kessler’s track live on his Twitch channel on Tuesday, January 26, around 10 a.m. PT, and begin production on the next track “I Can’t Feel A Thing” by Junison on Wednesday, January 27!