For many people, music is just a fun hobby. They’ll listen to motivational songs while running on a treadmill, pump up soothing country music while traveling across the country, and dance to passionate hip hop at a nightclub. There are only a select few individuals out there who view music as a beautiful way to express themselves. For them, music opens up a portal to an entirely new universe. It is their safe space and heaven on earth. One such person weaving magical symphonies with his pen is music composer, songwriter, and producer Kitt Wakeley.
On July 3rd, 1979, Wakeley was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Holdenville, Oklahoma. By the time he turned 8, he was adopted by two angelic souls Jack and Linda Wakeley. From an early age, Wakeley found solace in music. It provided him a medium to channel his deepest thoughts and find out what he truly wanted from his life. Wakeley started with trumpet but later transitioned to keyboards as he grew older.
Throughout his academic journey at high school, Wakeley played in several bands and further developed his interest in a wide range of music genres. After finishing high school, he was offered several music scholarships at prestigious music schools. Instead of enrolling in music school, Wakeley decided to attend college at East Central University, obtaining a bachelor’s in Pre-Law and Sociology. Later on, he also enrolled in the University of Oklahoma and earned a Master’s in Public Administration. Though Wakeley had adopted a starkly different academic path, his heart was still in music. During college, he honed his skills in writing, producing, and recording music. His most notable musical venture was Mydion, a progressive rock band in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In 1998, Wakeley entered the professional business world and started Medicorp with his partner John P. Jiles. His company specialized in Medicare Billing, Consulting, and Cost Reporting services. Medicorp later transformed into an umbrella company, Valir Health, which has operated more than 40 business ventures. The ventures include nursing facilities, home health, hospice, durable medical equipment, urgent care, outpatient physical clinics, rehabilitation facilities, drug abuse correction centers, and real estate.
A Music Maestro in the MakingAs his entrepreneurial ventures began to prosper, Wakeley had the opportunity to step away and finally focus on his passion full time. He released his first solo album under the pseudo-name of AudioKaoz, called “Cinematic Chaos.” His debut work was a hybrid of rock and Electronic Dance Music and cemented the spirit of his subsequent albums. This project granted Wakeley the honor to become a member of the National Academy of Recordings and Sciences (NARAS) and Grammy Voter.
After establishing his credibility in the music industry, Wakeley released his second album, called “Midnight in Macedonia. This time, he was confident to use his real name. His second album was even a bigger hit than his previous one and marked his entry into the Orchestral Rock genre, a hybrid of orchestra, piano, rock, and EDM. Recorded in 2015 in the dreamy landscapes of Macedonia, this ground-breaking project included several notable musicians, including Kenny Aronoff, Daniel Uribe, Tre Nagella, and Kevin Lively.
Wakeley’s masterpiece became part of the first round of Grammy ballots in four different categories. The nominations included “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album,” “Best Arrangement Instrumental Acapella” Best Instrumental Composition,” and “Best Rock Performance.”Wakeley’s third solo studio release was “Symphony of Sinners and Saints.” This project was carried out at the esteemed Abbey Road Studios, London, and collaborated with the Royal Philharmonic and London Voices.
Cliff Masterson was the conductor for the philharmonic during the recording. The album also featured famous guitarists, including Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, Neil Taylor, Daniel Uribe, and Paige Harwell. Rounding out the lineup was Ryan Miller on bass guitar and Brent Berry on drums. Once again, Tre Nagella’s talent was used in the co-production and mixing of the project while Kevin Lively mastered the album.
Wakeley’s musical magic continues to inspire aspiring musicians worldwide. His journey tells them that there is no shortcut to success. If they want to make a name for themselves in the music industry, they must work hard and diversify their portfolio.