Sidney KennedyProducer / Songwriter
Sidney Kennedy is a New Zealand born Composer/Songwriter and Producer currently based in LA.
Sidney’s professional music journey all started at 18 when his music was discovered on Instagram and was flown to Tokyo, Japan to write and produce for Universal Music’s newly signed artists. This led Sidney to spend most of 2019 going back and forth to Japan. When returning to New Zealand, he started engineering and writing music for some of New Zealand’s biggest brands. Crafting sounds for the likes of Toyota, BMW, Netflix/Spark.
It didn’t take long for the noise he was making in New Zealand and Asia to make its way to America. In 2022 he moved to LA to work with Human Worldwide, one of the world’s leading music houses renowned for writing music for the biggest brands on TV.
With a very select list of composers, landing a spot in the Human Worldwide roster is not easily done. In just over a year there, Sidney has written for many well-known brands, collaborated with 3 time Grammy-nominated producer Harv (known for producing Justin Bieber’s smash hit “Peaches”) and most importantly Bud Light’s 2023 Super Bowl Commercial featuring Hollywood Actor and mega-star Miles Teller. This placement being the most highly sought-after placement to obtain in the industry. Not only that, the ad became a huge success, with celebrities such as Druski (5.4 million followers) reenacting the ad, dancing to Sidney’s Remix.
With his success at a young age, he’s now being called on to speak about his journey at industry events, his latest being “Sync-Posium” which took place in March. Sidney was on the panel talking about the exciting world of music on screen alongside some big industry names such as Grammy award-winning producer Joel Little and Steve Schnur, President of Music at EA Games.
What or who inspired you to study audio?
Well, growing up, music was always radiating around the house. Even though nobody in my family necessarily worked in the music or sound industry, my dad’s record player could easily be the hardest working one in the Southern Hemisphere. So honestly, It was just a matter of time before I found myself in the world of music and sound. By the time I hit 11, I was writing, producing, and mixing my own music, along with collaborating on projects for friends. I was totally obsessed with not only writing music but the technical skill required to produce something that sounds like what you might hear from a big time artist.
At that time I was living in an Australian beach town called Byron Bay, and I was fortunate enough to have an SAE Institute just down the road. Attending the open days became an annual ritual for me, leaving each time absolutely furious that I, an 11 year old boy was apparently too young to enroll, and instead I had to head back to another year of primary school. At 13, I went to a short summer course at SAE, that experience gave me a taste of how cool it was.
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself in charge of the sound for the musicals at my high school in Auckland (Selwyn College). I was managing over 20 lapel mics, a full band, and SFX cues. A challenge I’d find pretty demanding even today but I absolutely loved it. Looking back, the amount of fun I had and wealth of knowledge I gained while I was working on those shows definitely solidified my decision to study audio.
So naturally as high school came to an end, there was no doubt about it, I was off to SAE. The day had finally arrived!
What did you enjoy most about your time at SAE?
I think the facilities are incredible. To have as much access as you do to those studios at 18 years old is insane really. The gear that SAE has acquired over the years will thoroughly prepare anyone for any studio they might step into. Another significant aspect was being surrounded by numerous like-minded individuals. Learning from my classmates was crucial for my growth and also just a really fun time!
What have the highlights of your career been so far?
I’m lucky enough to have already had some pretty awesome highlights. The main standout moment was crafting a piece of music for this year’s Bud Light Super Bowl ad featuring Miles Teller. A Super Bowl ad is something that lots of people in my industry aim for so its very cool to have achieved that. To be a kiwi involved in such an iconic American event was pretty sick!
Then, there’s the Asia chapter. In 2019, my music caught the right eyes on Instagram, leading me to Japan and Manila to write and produce for major label artists. Japan’s creative scene is something else, and the whole experience was a game-changer.
But there’s lots of everyday highlights too! Meeting new people in the industry I always love – every new person feels like a chance to learn something new. (For better or for worse ha!)
What are a few projects you have been involved in?
Most of my work revolves around crafting music for brands. That means tailoring music to suit the specific tone and mood these brands aim for. I’ve written bespoke music for the likes of Budlight, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Volkswagen, Tubi and more. On the collaborative side, one standout project involved working with Harv, the producer behind Justin Bieber’s “Peaches,” and Poe Leos, an up and coming Hispanic singer based in LA. What made it so cool was that we wrote half the song in Spanish, a language and culture I was just getting acquainted with after my recent move to LA.
What’s next for you?
My main focus is continuing to build my production and songwriting muscle and to always show up with as much enthusiasm as (super) humanly possible.