So how does a kid from Melbourne end up as one of the world’s leading pop, rock, orchestral, R&B and hip hop recording engineer / producers?
Mitch Kenny has some rather impressive credits and credentials to his name: Beyoncé, Elton John, Zedd, Nicole Scherzinger, Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa, … and that’s just a few of the international ones he’s allowed to tell us about.
Then there’s his work with Australia’s finest: Hermitude, Urthboy, Paul Kelly, Horrorshow, Daniel Johns, One Day, Delta Goodrem, Jones Jnr, Drapht, Josh Pyke, Tom Piper, Marvin Priest, Milan and Spit Syndicate to name but a few.
Even if you’ve never heard the name Mitch Kenny, you will have heard his work, which has appeared on multiple Grammy and ARIA Award winning releases and multiple UK, US, Australian number 1 albums and songs.
“I understand it’s not about me,” says the Melbourne-born, now Sydney-based producer/engineer. “People don’t buy records because Mitch Kenny engineered or produced them. I’m a 100 per cent ego-free zone with this stuff.”
Long before Mitch ever sat behind a console, he started out with visions of being a professional cellist studying classical performance Melbourne’s esteemed Victorian College of the Arts. It was during his second year at VCA that one of his lecturers pointed out the obvious – Mitch didn’t really have the chops to make it as a professional cellist
The next few years were all about Mitch paying his dues as a live and studio engineer around Melbourne and the rest of Victoria. He studied engineering, worked with a live PA company for a while, did some teaching, spent a few of years as the house engineer at Melbourne’s relentless Studio 52.
With no fear, all that amassed experience (including a speciality in analogue), and a dash of the “fake it to you make it” spirit, Mitch headed for Los Angeles and quickly worked it out.
Four years as a house engineer working out of Hollywood’s famed and infamous Record Plant studios has given Mitch a unique insight and work experience down in the deep end of the global music making business. Two days after he started, his first gig was recording the string section for a Mary J Blige record. Over the following weeks, months and years, he worked alongside some of the most successful musicians and producers in the business, such as Pharell Williams, Ron Fair, Quincy Jones and Zedd, to name a few.
In addition to all the engineering and producing work Mitch did in his time at Record Plant, he was also involved in a whole host of writing sessions, including working with the legendary Billy Steinberg (Cindi Lauper, Madonna, Pat Benatar, the Divinyls) the one and only top liner Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry, Brittany Spears, Taio Cruz) and writer/producer extraordinaire Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson, Lily Allen, P!nk, Ladyhawke, Sia).
Mitch certainly made a name for himself in LA, but decided to come home at the start of 2012 and has set himself up with a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the Sydney. Most recently, Mitch was head hunted by Universal Music Publishing Australia and signed a major publishing deal in his own right. “I would like to think that one of the reasons my phone rings is because my records are internationally competitive,” says Mitch. “I’m a problem solver”.
Now settled back in Australia, Mitch hopes his unique skill set will play its part in helping keep new Australian music on the international stage.