Rob (Kalin) Hayes graduated in 2009 from The Los Angeles Recording School, after finishing his enlistment at 29 Palms in the Marine Corps. Rob worked on campus for a brief period and then obtained an internship at Warner Bros. From there, he interned at Rampage Publishing (publishing company for Colby O’Donis) and moved to assisting producer Jared Gossling on projects for artists Macy Gray, Ashanti, Ray J and Mario. He currently works at LiveNation thanks to a recommendation from the school’s Career Development Department. As production assistant to two Senior VP’s in the Global Touring division, Rob has been working on world tours for the likes of Rihanna, Barbara Streisand, Neil Young, Lady Gaga, Madonna and many more.
An interesting tie-in from his MOS: Rob deployed to Iraq in 2006 and was head of radio operations, which required extreme focus and attention. “If I didn’t fully pay attention for even a second, it’s a possibility that someone could have died.” He was also able to learn the basics of sound and radio transmission – a staple for audio engineering.
Transitioning out of the military was not that easy, however and Rob struggled occasionally with common post-deployment issues. His advice for those in the military preparing for school and a career in the industry: “Have a plan. Once you’re six months to a year toward the end of your service, start planning, start saving, stop partying!” A major differentiating factor from many others in Hollywood was staying focused on his professional life and his family life, “While everyone else clubbed, I studied…I kept my eye on the prize.”
Once he became proficient on ProTools software and gained experience on the SSL boards, Rob’s ear for music changed. Crediting his instructors and military background for attention to detail, Rob confesses to being a perfectionist in mixing. The debut of his first single, “We Won’t Forget” (co-produced with Dirty Plastic Hits) is a story of ingenuity and resourcefulness. Premiering to 10 million people on Season 7 of America’s Got Talent, Rob fearlessly pursued an “in” and undeniably commanded the attention most independent artists desire toward his music and showmanship.
After studying industry sales and realizing the profitability of fusing Electronic Dance Music (EDM) with hip hop, Rob abandoned his original idea of a career strictly based in rap and hip hop. Now, his music is bridging genres in order to reach a larger audience. “The music industry is in a catch-22 right now,” Rob explains,
“Record companies are afraid since album sales are low that the industry is crumbling. But for an artist it’s a beautiful thing; there’s a new way to channel your creativity and get the word out via social media. You can spread your message and work to so many people and build your own fan base. Record companies want you to already be developed so this is the chance to do it. Plus it’s a way to express yourself and show who you are. People will like you for being you.”
When asked where he sees himself five years from now:
“Five years from now I’m going to be where Puff is – using my talent to make music but also ushering in new and extraordinary talent. It’s important to reach back and bring up others once you’ve established yourself.”
Rob’s advice for current students looking to get into the music industry:
“Have an undying belief in yourself. So many people will shoot you down, tell you no, use you. You have to grow thick skin and not let it get to you. Don’t look to anyone else to tell you who you are. I believe in God, pray often and have a good family so that all keeps me grounded. Do what you can to stay grounded.”
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Watch his on-camera interview on our YouTube Page.