KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A University of Missouri - Kansas City music conservatory student has something on his resume that most students don't -- he was a producer for a hip hop group that is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Kerwin Young just got back from Los Angeles. where he celebrated with his old friends, Public Enemy. Young was just 17 years old when he hooked up with the Bomb Squad, the production team behind Public Enemy. You might remember Public Enemy was known for it's hard hitting lyrics and controversial topics, and Young says it was thrilling to be apart of it.
"Having participated in the success of this group, it's a once in a lifetime thing," says Young.
Young celebrated with Chuck D, Flava Flav and the rest of the group in L.A. last week.
"A lot of people I haven't seen in a long time," he said, "great experience and the performances were phenomenal."
Young was part of the Bomb Squad, the production team behind Public Enemy and multiple solo albums, but that isn't Young's sound anymore. Nowadays, he's writing symphonies and concertos, and he says it's not that different from what he did for Public Enemy.
"I've been applying the same technique of instrumentation, stacking sounds, the same process," he said, "but instead of programming it I was able to transfer the process to live instruments. But I had to learn how to write for instruments and the ranges of instruments."
Young first came to UMKC in 2008 to study with musician Chen Yi, and he was only going to stay a couple months. But he stayed, graduated, and is now getting his masters degree. But his background with Public Enemy does come out in his new music.
"I like dissonance, Public Enemy's music is noisy and irritant, and i have a lot of that in my music," he said.
Young has also produced some music for movies and tv, Sister Act 2 and Street Fighter, but he hopes his degree will open new doors for him to score movies. He plans to graduate with his masters by 2015.
Official Kerwin Young Website: