CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "What music means to me is life existence, understanding, and compassion. It inspires you. It is who we are. Without music, we could not survive. I believe that."
For local music producer Kick Lee, his love affair with music began at an early age.
"It started with film scores. I would go to movies and I would just fall in love with the theatrical sounds. I was like - yeah, that sounds really cool. I wish I could make that, not knowing that later in life, I would be making that."
After starting out making beats and arranging tracks on his computer, Kick's talent is now highly regarded in the marketing world. His music has been featured in ads for Toyota, Samsung, Puma, and Disney.
"I create what I create based on the people around me, and the people I see and hear in the world." says Lee. "Music is somewhat witchcraft. You can change someone's emotion, immediately."
In addition to changing emotions with his music, Kick is also changing lives.
He was awarded the People's Liberty Grant, which allowed him to start Cincinnati Music Accelerator, where he helps other artists with talent and drive, learn the business side of the music industry.
"The most valuable thing i took away from the accelerator was the relationships." Says former accelerator pupil Roberto Parker. "There's honestly been times that I've seen music almost taken away from me, and without some of the people that I've met from the accelerator, I wouldn't be able to still be here."
Kick's advice to other young aspiring musicians is simple - take the leap, and don't look back.
"If you can go full throttle, go full throttle. Feel it. Love it. Because the more you love it, the more you want it. The more it becomes something, it becomes you, and you created a good mission out of that, too."