My name is Kenzie Smith and I was born in Portland, Oregon on March 31, 1995. I am the middle child of five siblings, all of whom I love dearly. At the age of 12, I was introduced to the piano by my parents on Christmas morning when I was given a small keyboard. Shortly after, I began to take music lessons from a family friend with my two older brothers.
Over the course of two years, I was taught basic music theory and eventually stopped taking piano lessons. From the age of 14 to present day, I taught myself how to play the piano.
Over the years, my local church leaders began to discover my ability to play the piano and was asked to provide the music for Sunday services. I remember being excited and honored to do so, but at the same time I felt extremely nervous. I wasn’t that good at the piano and I never played for a group of people before; I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of a crowd, but I agreed to do so anyway.
The following Sunday, the Bishop asked me if I would be willing to play the organ. At this point, I literally thought my heart stopped beating. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the pipe organ, it’s an entirely different instrument than a piano in which the organ has foot pedals, stops, and switches. I was already nervous when I was asked to play music for Sunday services assuming I would be playing the piano only. But instead of telling the Bishop of my worries, I played the organ anyway not knowing a single thing about this complex instrument. Let me just say that once I started playing, it made the most obnoxious sound ever to be played during a church service.
Even after that experience, I was greeted by my Bishop after the meeting and with a smile he asked me if I felt comfortable continuing to provide the music every Sunday. I wanted do my best and to keep trying so I agreed. After that embarrassing experience, I was instructed by the previous organist on how to properly play the organ. And after years of continual practice, I’ve been able to play the organ much more effectively and continue to do so to this day.
As it came time for me to decide what I wanted to do after high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. I could play music fairly well at this point, but I never really considered playing music as a career. I eventually decided to study business administration as there are many jobs that support that degree. I did have somewhat of an interest in studying abroad in Japan so I began studying Japanese as a minor.
During my time in college and out of pure boredom, I set up my phone and recorded myself playing a song on the piano that many of you are aware of, “Ichiban no Takaramono” (from “Angel Beats!”). This is what started my fanbase on YouTube and where my music career began. And, fun fact, to celebrate that first YouTube video I uploaded, I arrange a cover of Ichiban no Takaramono every year.
After I reached a significant fanbase across the internet, I now create piano solo music as a career. I currently upload my music to most music platforms including Spotify, iTunes, etc. As many of you know, I create albums of covers from different anime series, but I also on occasion arrange covers from various video games and Disney movies.
I now currently reside near Oregon City, OR with my dearest wife.
– Kenzie Smith, April 10, 2020