We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Echizen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenny, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Learning that luck arrives is when opportunity meets preparation.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe I stand out from others because I express what I truly feel and deliver it the way I want, but never in an arrogant, selfish way. It takes a certain skillset (mentally and musically) to really be true, which took years of hard work and setbacks. I am proud and excited of every past, present and future project I am involved in and always will. I truly believe that my time crafting my art and the opportunities brought me to where I am now, which was never easy because I never knew when that might come. But believing that it will come, without any ego or selfishness in the way and trust the universe, is the key to success. My ‘brand’ is my sound that I acquired after years of involving all sorts of jobs. I don’t have a specific genre that I am strong in per se, but I have a distinct sound and ‘vibe’ that can be universal.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to all the beautiful beaches and eateries in Southern California where I grew up. The place I will definitely take them will be the Santa Barbara Fish Market for some fresh sashimi fish. San Diego would definitely be a place to go, especially for some fish tacos. For live music, The Baked Potato in Studio City is a must for anyone who wants to see top level, world class musicians at their best. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost my parents for giving me the gift of life and the trust to chose my career path. My wife and son for the unconditional love, motivation and support (and the occasional headache, because, let’s be honest here). My first guitar instructor, Eddy Lieberman and Makoto Miyashita for leading me the right way since day 1. All my teachers at Musicians Institute, especially Masaki Toraiwa, Dale Turner, Allen Hinds and the late Ross Bolton. David Keif for mentoring me throughout my early years as a professional musician and an adult. Andy Lund at Taylor Guitars for getting my foot in the door to the Musical Manufacturing Industry. Toshio Horiba and Kiyoshi Sasaki at Xotic Guitars & Effects for allowing me to understand the deep and complex world of guitar and everything around it. Brian Piccolo, Loren Molinare, Ian Pritchard and everyone at KORG USA, for welcoming me as part of the family. And to ALL my colleagues that I’ve shared the stage, studio, road and coffee with (the list is way too long).
Taro Yoshida, Michael “Smidi” Smith, Davis Chitlik