My name is Kenzie Smith and I was born in Portland, Oregon on March 31, 1995. I am the middle child of five siblings. 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. 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 other various knobs 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 explaining to the Bishop of my worries, I sat at the organ anyway not knowing a single thing about this complex instrument. At the time, I had no idea what to do, so I pressed random switches.
Little did I know however, these switches I pressed were the stops of the organ. As you can imagine, a pipe organ with all of its stops engaged creates a very powerful sound, which under the proper circumstances, can be beautiful. However in a reverent congregation of about fifty to sixty people can be a bit obnoxious. This went on for the full hour of Sunday services.
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 was a bit surprised. I assumed that I would never be asked to play the organ ever again after that experience. Nonetheless, he asked if I’d be willing to continue to play the organ every Sunday and I agreed to do so. The following week, 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, I set up my phone and recorded myself playing Ichiban no Takaramono (from “Angel Beats!”) on the piano an uploaded the video on YouTube. Not realizing it at the time, this is when my music career began. I grew a fanbase on YouTube and continued to upload various arrangements of songs from different anime and visual novels.
After a few years of continual uploading to YouTube, I began making albums and uploading them to most music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, etc. As of now, I continue to arrange covers of songs in anime, but I also on occasion arrange covers from various Disney movies and video games.
I now currently reside near Oregon City, OR with my wife.
– Kenzie Smith