AUSTIN, Texas - It’s safe to say 2020 has been one of the hardest years our world has faced, but there’s no denying, it’s helped many of us grow as humans.
Austin musician and music producer, Kris Keyz, is using his experience as a way to change the music scene here in Austin with the help of a set of keys and his computer.
As we look back on what music was like pre-pandemic, it’s easy to see, it’s much different these days.
"I am a full-time musician in the music industry, so Covid and in this pandemic, I'm just like everybody else," Keyz says. "I took a hit financially, emotionally. It was tough, it is tough transitioning. We still are transitioning to be honest."
But like transitioning between notes in a song, this music producer is on a mission and is taking his talents online to teach others his craft.
"It was born out of necessity at first. I was just trying to figure out ways to connect. I used to connect with my fans and people through live shows, so that was completely cut out for I don't know eight or nine months already so I started just figuring out how can I connect with people by doing videos online," Keyz says.
Now his pivot is using his life’s work to help people and fellow musicians heal from 2020 through music.
"And that's transitioned into ATX Music Academy where I'm partnering with other musicians around the community and this is going to actually be another stream of income and a resource for them so in case we do go through another pandemic," Keyz says explaining his new venture. "I want to have some type of platform to propel inspiring artists and musicians to just grow, a lot of them didn't make it because their gig was their only source of income."
So far, ATX music Academy has piano lessons with Keyz and voice lessons coming and even a chance for people to learn music producing with Grammy award winning artists.
"It's more than me just teaching people how to play the piano, this course is actually 35 years of my life. When I was going through my traumatic experience I went through depression that became angry you know," Keyz shares referring to a gunpoint police encounter of mistaken identity.
"The piano, man, the piano was one of the few things that I had in my life. I was able to sit down at the piano, I just played three or four chords, it wasn't a certain song or anything like that but it was the opportunity to just sit down and flow at the piano and that was the one thing I was able to calm me down," Keyz remembers.
He says it’s a way to be present and pause during the year 2020 has given us.
"We're taking the bull by the horns. it's tough for all of us, but we're going to hit and keep fighting and keep bringing value to our community and music is not dead if we can't play it live, we're going online!" Keyz says.
If you’re interested in more information you can check out the ATX Music Academy website.