Hyperbits Masterclass Student Spotlight
"Your worth is not in your ability to produce, yet it’s in the fact that you're created as a creative, on purpose for a purpose."
— Kirk Cosier (AKA VNDL)
We continue our Hyperbits Masterclass student spotlight series by introducing Kirk Cosier, or VNDL as he's often referred to on stage.
Kirk is an American producer whose music is inspired by the music he loves and the faith that he follows. Mixing everything from metal and hardcore to Contemporary Christian music, his tracks have been supported by some of the biggest names in the industry – including Party Favor, Jack U, Skrillex, and Adventure Club.
Since graduating from the Hyperbits Masterclass just a few years ago, Kirk's sound has continued to develop as he has transitioned from trap and bass-driven music into songs with a heavy emphasis on personal connection. His most recent accomplishment has been being brought on as the go-to guy for post-production at the largest sample distributor in the world: Splice.
Kirk opened up about where he started, what he's learned from his mentors, and how the Masterclass helped him get to where he is today.
Collaborations have brought VNDL hundreds of thousands of plays
Tell me a bit about your journey as a producer. How long have you been producing and what are you trying to achieve with your current sound?
I’ve been producing for about 14 years now. I started out as a young teenager with an iMac and GarageBand. My gateway into music was a black Ibanez bass (my cousin actually traded in a guitar pedal to get me one).
But now, I’m crossing over into a pop sort of sound. My music is heavily influenced by my faith and the music I’m into. I think I really found success through the years making some trap and more melodic EDM tracks.
As I’ve become a bit more seasoned as a producer, I have started exploring songwriting and singing – which is very exciting. The music I am making now is much different than what I was making before. Now I am focusing on creating songs that people can connect with and relate to on a much deeper level. At least that's the hope...
And if I can be honest, I think I'm off to a great start. My latest music has really been something special, and I'm loving the reception.
What were your goals with music when you first started? How have your goals and visions as your project changed over time?
When I first started producing I was just so intrigued. I was blown away that I didn’t need a band to make music. The fact that we could make a full song with just a computer blew my mind.
When I started I initially wanted to be a hip-hop producer. Ultimately I just wanted to be successful and be the best music producer I could be. That hasn’t changed, and the only thing I ever had in my mind was, “Ok, I finished that song now, how can I make the next one better.”
I’d say the goal hasn’t changed as much as the focus has. With over a decade of production experience under my belt, I've been trying to make this dream a reality. I’ve learned what to focus on and what to prioritize.
What qualities do you think separate amateur producers from professional ones?
I’m learning that a lot of the top producers actually have a few things that separate them.
The first is that they work extremely well with people, so their network is strong and they have a ton of talented friends. Next, they work hard and practice their craft when no one looking simply out of sheer enjoyment of it. Lastly, they approach their music as a business and can balance the emotion of creating music and the business of releasing music well.
Obviously, skill level and know-how play a big factor. But bigger picture, those three mindsets set a professional apart from an amateur in my opinion.
Was there a single defining moment that really took your career to the next level? I would love to hear of the best "Aha!" moment you have had that helped move you from amateur to professional-level productions.
I can think of two moments that put some weight behind my brand. The first is when I released my single “Slipping away” with Ben Hall and Cheney Parsons (listed above) back in the day. It was the first decent size label release I’ve ever had and now it has over 1 million streams.
The second was when I had my remix played out by Skrillex, Jack U, Adventure Club, and Party Favor.
These two moments, more than anything, fed my confidence and reminded me that as long as I continue to work hard and keep growing, I will have little wins along the way. The big thing for me was none of these became my source of confidence. But it felt nice to know my stuff was good enough.
What does your workflow usually look like? Did you change or adapt your processes after taking the Hyperbits Masterclass back in 2016?
My workflow has definitely has adapted since I took the Hyperbits Masterclass. I went from writing using only software instruments to now mostly using guitar and vocals to start an idea.
The workflow changed after I learned how to play guitar from a buddy at my church. I also started singing during quarantine. So my focus has shifted to songwriting before all the heavy lifting of production starts.
A lot of what I learned in the Hyperbits Masterclass is still being used today! I have adapted some of the methods to help me be more efficient!
What did you find to be most frustrating about music production when you were just starting out? Did the Hyperbits Masterclass help you deal with any of these?
I didn’t know how people were getting such clean mixes. I was never able to really separate things out and get clarity in my mixes.
The Masterclass definitely helped me set up my signal chain in a way that I’d get cleaner mixes. I noticed a huge jump in clarity and punch in the song we worked on during the Masterclass!
Tell me what success in the music industry means to you? What are you currently doing in life within the world of music production that you are most proud of?
When people define the climb to success they often use a ladder as a description. I don’t think that’s an apt description of it. It’s more like scaling a mountain, where nothing is uniform about the climb up. I think success looks like creating from a completely honest place and being able to create freely without limits.
From a practical standpoint, making a living doing it would be great. But I’ve honestly come to a point where I’ll make music if I have money and I’ll make music if I don't. If I can make music, go on a world tour and become super successful in that, then of course I’d love that. But whether I go on a world tour or not doesn’t affect the fact that I'll always make music.
The dream would be to be able to write with super talented people who are way better than me, regularly. Then have the music we write reach as many people as possible! I am currently able to help people who are trying to learn how to do the same thing I've been able to do whether it’s feedback or writing with them. The most rewarding thing for me is passing on what I’ve learned to others.
NO JOKE, OUR ALUMNI ARE CRUSHING IT
AND IF YOU WANT SIMILAR RESULTS, LET'S HOP ON A CALL SO WE CAN
✌️ Provide IN-DEPTH analysis of your current production approach
✌️ Spot KEY problems that are holding you back from your goals
✌️ Create a CUSTOM PLAN for you to make music as good as this alumni's
How did the Hyperbits Masterclass help you succeed within your career?
I came into the Hyperbits Masterclass at a perfect point in my journey. I was decent, had a bit of small success behind me, and just needed mentor-like guidance.
Serik was able to give me that and show me a few things that would take my music to the next level. The Masterclass helped me approach my music with more understanding of how to get the professional sound I want.
Share your favorite bit of wisdom you learned from one of your mentors that you will never forget?
If you want to be the best then you have to become a servant of others.
This was one of the most impactful things I’ve learned over the years. It seems so counter to what everyone else teaches but it makes the most sense. If I want to be great I need to help more people become great.
Share your favorite bit of wisdom you learned from one of your mentors that you will never forget?
My first dream was to play in the NBA. I trained so hard and though I never got far (I’m 5’6”) I was super close to dunking. I’m trying to get back there.
Also, I think pineapples on pizza is an abomination!!!
"I came into the Hyperbits Masterclass at a perfect point in my journey. I was decent, had a bit of small success behind me, and just needed mentor-like guidance...
...Serik was able to give me that and show me things that would take my music to the next level."
Kirk found much of his success in the Hyperbits Masterclass because it was designed for producers exactly like him; those looking for a holistic and comprehensive approach to producing all genres of music. For Kirk, it took commitment, passion, and a drive to be something new – that is his recipe for success.
Kirk admits that, before taking the class, he wasn't sure how to bring all of his ideas together. Modern music production allows producers to be their own one-person band, but that takes connecting A LOT of dots. If you relate, whether it's mixing, sound design, or anything in-between, the Hyperbits Masterclass will give you the tools you need to crush your music production goals.
We want to shout out Kirk for taking the time to sit down and chat with us. Check out more of his phenomenal productions and keep track of what the future has in store by following him on all popular social channels:
If you'd like to learn more about the program that helped Kirk Cosier perfect his sound and garner support from Skrillex, Jack U, and Party Favor, check out The Hyperbits Masterclass.
We help music producers conquer advanced music production with a proven framework and supportive community that helps thousands of producers achieve professional results every year.
You can also scope out 20+ epic Hyperbits Masterclass alumni to see what's possible after taking our flagship program.