Lindsey Kappa is a graduate from the Audio Production and Engineering program and is currently an audio engineer, producer, musician and songwriter. Fresh off her “You Don’t Own Me” EP release, we sat down with Lindsey to chat about what it is like to be a woman in the music industry and how her education has helped shape her career as an entrepreneur.
Kappa is an Illinois native and is currently living in Austin, Texas where she is an Assistant Audio Engineer at Chicken Run Studios and operates mobile recording services.
Tell us about current projects that you are working on? What are you most excited about?
I released my EP “You Don’t Own Me” in May, and am currently advertising the album online, so that’s been great. I also am an assistant engineer at an establishment called Chicken Run Studios and I work as a freelance contractor with Rock N Roll Rentals for live sound/concerts.
What are some projects that you have worked on?
I had another EP released before this one called “Worlds Collide” which received great reviews. At the studio, we’ve recorded a number of bands (can’t release their music yet because of timelines for each band). I have also done a lot of gigs with Rock N Roll Rental’s Event Production team. My first job with the company was working SXSW where I helped out with live sound, stage operations and side assistance.
What were some lessons you had to learn for yourself after graduating IPR?
Honestly, one of the biggest personal lessons revolved around communicating with people in the industry. When you’re in college you get to know your teachers and the other students pretty well and you get comfortable with each other. You are in a very contained and comfortable environment. When you’re out in the real world you have to present a level of confidence you may not necessarily have at the time, because you’re interacting with people who may be more experienced than you. Although there is a level of intimidation and pressure in these situations, you have to learn how to interact with strangers and prove your worth.
How important is networking in this industry? How have you kept in touch with IPR instructors, as well as branch out in Texas?
IMPORTANT. How do you make friends? How do you find partners? Meeting people. Same goes for everything else, including the business world. Luckily, we have social media! I’ve been able to stay in contact with instructors through Facebook and have even gotten clients by contacting them through Facebook messenger. I also encourage people to go out into your town, look up shows that are happening be willing to talk to strangers. You’ll be amazed to find out how many people you can connect with knowing that music is your common passion.
Are there any specific parts of your education at IPR that you feel are very important for your current role?
If there’s one thing that I’ve kept with me since attending IPR its fake it ‘til you make it. Kevin Bowe taught me this early in my program and it has helped me so much in my professional experiences. I have said “yes” to so many gigs that I didn’t entirely know but I ended up learning the duties on the spot. I went with the flow, kept a calm face, and ended up gaining experience that allowed me to accept other jobs later. I think it’s a lesson that everybody could learn from, no matter what field they’re in.
Which classes or teachers inspired you the most?
Kevin Bowe was one of my favorite teachers. Not only did he teach me a lot about working in the studio, but also helped me to understand how to interact with other artists. (Plus, he’s just an awesome human to be around!) Mary Jane Alm was another teacher I loved because she really took my vocal abilities to another level.
Justin DeLeon told me to never be afraid to ask questions because you’ll never learn if you hold back. I used to wait until all my other classmates left the room to ask him things that I was too embarrassed to ask in front of the other students but helped me see that others had the same struggles. You can’t be afraid to ask questions because it is better to learn now than to make a mistake with a client. There were so many instructors that left an impression on me… Scooter Nelson, Steve Price, Dik Shopteau, Colt Leeb, Walter Chancellor, Steve Hodge, Eddie Ciletti… the list goes on. I am grateful for them all.
What advice do you have for young women starting their career in audio?
Don’t let people push you around. I’ve had plenty of guys act rude and make me feel like I’m incapable of doing my job in the studio. You have to keep calm and don’t let them upset you. Keep your head up, be confident, and use that anger to fuel your desire to get the job done. Enduring this will allow you to display a hard-working and professional attitude that these people will eventually recognize.
I’ve even had men come up to me after a job and thank me for my work and say that they’re proud to see a woman in the field. As you progress in the industry, you find the people that truly respect you and want to help you succeed. I’m lucky enough to have found a group of people who fall into this category who I consider dear friends of mine.
What do you think that it means to be successful in the industry? What advice would you give to students who are getting ready to graduate or are wondering how to find their place in the industry?
It takes time. I used to get overwhelmed and discouraged because I created an unrealistic timeline for myself. I felt like if I didn’t reach my goals at 21 years old, I wasn’t going to make it at all. This is so false. Everyone does things at their own pace. Our goals are all different. The music industry is a marathon that requires patience, determination, and perseverance. There are plenty of musicians who weren’t successful until their 30s, such as Wayne Coyne, Michael Fitzpatrick, and Debbie Harry–just to name a few. Things happen at their time for a reason.
Where do you imagine your career going in the future?
Right now I feel unstoppable. I’ve had moments of success and failure, but I don’t let the failing points discourage me anymore. I learn from them and apply those changes to the next event. I’m also willing to improve or change things because nobody ever sustains success when they do the same thing over and over. Just maintaining a positive attitude and an open mind can seriously get you a long way.
For more information on Lindsey’s career, including her impressive list of clients please visit her website.