David Kershenbaum: This amazing record producer and his work, have sold an astounding 75 million copies internationally. He has produced such notable artists as Janet Jackson, Duran Duran and Tracy Chapman. He is internationally recognized in the world of established record producers as one of the best. He has been rewarded with several accolades including Grammys, Billboard Awards, American Music Awards, BMI and ASCAP awards and many others. We are proud to present him with this years Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music Production.
Grammy award-winning music producer David Kershenbaum was born in Springfield, Missouri. He has worked with the most reputable artists in the industry including Joe Jackson, Duran Duran, Tracy Chapman, Supertramp, Bryan Adams and others. This multi-Grammy winning and Oscar nominated individual has released some of the most loved albums and singles of all time, such as Hungry like the wolf by Duran Duran, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman and Everything I do, I do it for you by Bryan Adams. Many don’t know, but Kershenbaum himself actually started his career as a musician. He was even signed to labels such as Capitol and Bell. He realized later that his calling was in the production bussiness. His career kick-started when he was still working at an Advertising agency in Chicago. He was able to convince the agency to build a recording studio for their own commercials. At this time, it was essential to have a recording studio if you needed or wanted to produce music due to the fact that there were no existent home studios let alone digital production. During the day, he would assist clients who needed to record jingles and at night Kershenbaum was an artist producer. His big break occured when he worked with a group of musicians who allowed him to take their music to LA in order to find an opportunity with a record deal. And he did.
Said to be a fun-loving individual, David Kershembaum states that one of the most important aspects of producing music is “the emotion and presentation of the sound matching the emotion of the song and the performance, and hopefully matching the lyrical content of what the song is saying”. The producer is a humble and insightful professional who affirms that at times little maneuver is needed to capture the essence of the music: “Sometimes the best production is no production”.
In a 2009 interview, Kershenbaum states that there are many ways to approach the production of music. He told Jomar Reyes that his flexible work method also includes a true focus on the artist’s vocals, in this case Tracy Chapman’s. Kershenbaum was also fundamental in the rising of Bryan Adam’s career. Bryan had already started an engineering career in New York when David signed him up with producer Bob Clearmountain. He also produced the major hit Everything I do, I do it for you for the movie soundtrack of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which he worked on with Mat Lang.
During his career, the producer has marked his presence in three immense companies. His first album at A&M records was Diamonds and Rust (1975) by artist Juan Baez. At A&M David Kershenbaum also signed British musician Joe Jackson and made way for his albums Night and Day (1982) which received two Grammy nominations and a worldwide Top 5 Single. His work with Tracy Chapman, at Elektra Records, included the production of her first two albums: Tracy Chapman (1988) and Crossroads (1989). Tracy Chapman sold over 17 million copies and received three Grammys and six nominations for her debut album. It was highly recognized by the Academy of Recording Arts and the six nominations included “Best Producer Of The Year”, “Best Song Of The Year”, “Best New Artist” and “Best Album Of The Year. The single “Fast Car” was number one for weeks, in over 17 countries.
Working with Duran Duran at Capitol records was also a highlight for the producer’s career. In 1982 Duran Duran released their album Rio and attained four UK 20 Top Singles. Before Kershenbaum’s involvement, the sales of Rio were not necessarily booming in the United States, and Capitol Records (EMI’s American branch) was at a loss about how to sell the band. However, after an EP of Kershenbaum’s dance remixes of songs from Rio became popular with DJs during the autumn of 1982, the band agreed to have most of the album remixed by Kershenbaum. Consequently, the album became extremely successful and featured in American charts. The song Hungry like the Wolf was a major hit, remaining on the charts for 129 weeks and the album became gold and platinum in 1983 and eventually double platinum
David Kershenbaum is also extremely well-known as an entrepreneur. Kershenbaum established his own group of companies encompassing 5 recording studios, a film music supervision division, and a music publishing company. Back in 2013 David states, in an interview with Daniel Novick, that even though labels no longer invest in artist development due to monetary issues, his projects and the company he works with wants to break away from this tendency.