It has been said that those who can't do, teach. That is very true in the case of Ken Matthiesen, or KenM as he likes to go by. His musical skills are oddly lacking, and any ability to learn or even comprehend music theory at any level is just not in his definition, and he knows it and accepts it. He's tone deaf, his hearing level of noise far dominates over his range of tone. But he writes, and he writes with passion undeterred by his inability to comprehend melody. He shares his writing passion with others and loves to help others to excel to the best of their abilities.
"Music just gets in the way of the words" he quotes Frank Sinatra when asked about being an old school pure writer in a world where everyone is writing and singing their own songs.
"True, but I've been very fortunate to have found several very capable musicians to work with for melodies, and have some terrific Nashville connections for musicians and vocalists. I'm able to concentrate on my strength, which is lyric writing. I bang around some on my guitars, and a piano occasionally, but only enough to come up with a couple of bars of very ruff melody. These guys in Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York are good, and I leave them to do what they do best. There are talented melodies guys around here and in others parts of the country I co-write with all the time. Anything they come up with I concede will be better than mine, so be it, I don't fight it. But what's funny is that I can then make suggestions to improve on the melody once its something I can hear. There is a point in the process where I do have to hear it before I can finish it."
Ken has no subject or genre preference, you are as likely to hear a classic rock number as you are to hear a folky/mountain song straight out of the hills of Arkansas from his catalog of songs he has had produced and is pitching. He loves to write songs, blogs, magazine articles, novels and screen plays. He estimates he has written close to three hundred songs, about fifty of which have been produced, and of those eight have been signed to single song publishing contracts for music catalogs of publishers pitching to the TV and film industry. One has been used and the others have been selected and are in the mix being presented to music supervisors of networks.
Ken credits NSAI with elevating his writing skills as well as opening up many connections with Nashville.
"Networking is the single most important ingredient when it comes to getting things rolling once a song has been produced. Anybody can write a song, but that is only the first step of a long journey a song must take to 'make it somewhere, and NSAI provides many doors along that trip'.