Hi! I'm Kris Bradley.
Here's my story 👇🏻
1998 (age 15)
Fast forward to 15 years old, when tension between my mother and I, which had been steadily building, finally escalated to an unbearable, living situation, I was kicked out of the house, and I found myself needing to figure out how to make it in the world on my own is a creative, multi, passionate, wild child.
Many give me wide-eyed, pitying looks when I share this. But don't fret! It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Shortly after, I turned 16 and started working. Fortunately, I'd taken several classes in high school that equipped me with skills for the adult world. I could type over 100 wpm (thank you piano lessons for giving me dexterity!) and had even enrolled in a "Legal Secretary'' class, which primed me for an early dive into the corporate sphere.
My mom and I managed to bridge our differences, albeit temporarily. She even co-signed for my first apartment a year after I left home. So, rest assured, things panned out well in the end. ;)
1998 to 2007 (ages 15-24)
At age 15 I started to play the guitar, and worked various odd jobs ranging from being a legal secretary, to a receptionist at a hair salon, to a security guard at a mall (yep, I was a mall cop!) to selling cars at the ripe young age of 18 years old!
I started bartending and cocktail waitressing around age 19 with the help of my fake ID, and eventually jumped into bartending full time at age 21.
On top of juggling these various jobs, I also started playing in various cover bands and bar bands, and even became a regular at live band karaoke. Yep, that’s right, I honed my front man skills belting out the rock and roll greats like Janis and Zeppelin in dive bars.
At age 24, I attended the Musician's Institute in Hollywood and studied guitar for a year.
My favorite memory from those music school days is being a part of a band called “The Sweet Spot”. People often described our sound as a fusion of Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Though we didn't stay together as a band, I'll always cherish those days.
2008 to 2012 (ages 25-29)
When I was 25, I read a book called “Creative Visualization” which talked about how you could manifest your desires through your intention and focus. I gave it a go, and asked the Universe to put me on tour - even though I didn’t have a record or a fanbase. And - talk about pure MAGIC - shortly after I manifested an opportunity to join an all-girl tribute to Led Zeppelin and do a 3 month tour across the United States, and even a one off show in India! This was a dream come true as Led Zeppelin was my favorite band of all time! Not only that, this band was established and had a following, so it was like I skipped the “van” days and went straight to the tour bus/ryder phase of gigging. I felt like such a rockstar.
Once the tour was finished, I was invited to relocate to NY and join the band full time, but something inside me knew that if I did that, I would never pursue my own music. As much as I loved Led Zeppelin, and this band, I wanted to make my own music, (not just covers), so I declined the offer and decided it was time to start writing my own stuff.
While I had been performing for years at this point, I had never really learned how to write good songs (in fact it was discouraged in my household growing up - I was always just taught to “play the greats”).
I remember one day sitting down to meditate in my apartment and asking Spirit, “How do I write good songs? Cuz it ain’t happening naturally!” And like magic, the books started to fall off the shelves, and the mentors started to appear. (It’s amazing what happens when you ask for guidance from Source.)
I spent the next couple of years diving deep into the craft of songwriting and honing my skills as a songwriter, until eventually, my mentors became my peers and collaborators. I realized that the songs flowing from me spanned multiple genres – which made perfect sense given the eclectic mix of music I grew up on!
Whenever I tried to do the artist thing, it felt like I was being put in a box, or I was told to “pick a lane”. I found it much easier to write for others as I struggled to be so vulnerable with the world, so it seemed an obvious choice to take the path of a songwriter instead.
Finally, my vision was crystal clear: I wanted to become a pro songwriter and get my songs cut by other artists, and placed in Film/TV.
But now I ran into a new problem. Every time I wrote a song, if I wanted to be able to pitch it, I needed a demo. And that meant I had to shell out a minimum of $500 to get one produced. (and that was on the low end!)
The issue is, not only was I not rolling in the dough, but even when I did cough up the money, the demo never really sounded like I had envisioned, and oftentimes I’d have to wait eons for a producer to even finish it.
Frustrated, and fed up, I decided to learn how to produce myself. Not only to save money, but so that I could actually make the music the way I heard it in my head.
2012 (age 29)
I remember asking myself at age 29, “Are you really going to do this? Try and learn how to produce at age 29?! You’re so late to the game!”
But something inside of me just said to go for it, and ignored my screeching inner (and rather ageist) critic.
So I bought a used laptop, Logic Pro X, a used condenser mic and preamp, and started asking anybody I knew for pointers on how to produce. (btw, if YouTube was an option for this at the time, I wouldn’t have even known! This is how not “computer savvy” I was!)
I asked friends, hired mentors, and even signed up for a community college class on audio production. The issue was, it felt like everybody was speaking in another language.
Every teacher seemed to start with the “science of sound”, wanting me to “eat the entire elephant” and learn everything my DAW did, as well as every definition of every audio term, before I could make music – and I just wanted to learn how to make the music I was hearing in my head without needing to listen to an hour long lecture on what a sample rate was. 🤦🏻♀️ 🥴
(I mean, could you imagine if before you bought a car the dealer told you everything you needed to know how to take apart the engine? That’s how I felt!)
Next problem was I just couldn’t learn how to produce! Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with a computer or a smartphone, and I’m not “tech savvy” but for whatever reason, it took years of me banging my head against a wall, not being able to figure out basic things, like how to get my mic to work, or why my tracks sounded SO bad when I’d get in the car. And every time I’d finish a demo, the answer I’d get from the powers that be would be “This doesn’t sound pro”.
At this point, even my producer “friends” were scratching their heads going, “you still haven’t got this by now?!” and I was frustrated too. It just wouldn’t click. Eventually, I put production aside and went back to what I knew, gigging.
At this point, I had also returned to practicing the principles of Law of Attraction to make my dreams come true, delving deep into the works of teachers like Abraham Hicksand Louise Hay.
2013 (age 30)
At this point, live bar gigs became my life. And it wasn’t even about the love of playing live, or connecting with a crowd anymore, it was about surviving.
I’d play 4 hour gigs several nights a week (to make just a couple hundred bucks if I was lucky), and to blow my voice out singing over loud crowds and sports games. I even threw my back out a couple of times carrying my own PA system around.
After playing hundreds of bar gigs I started to burn out, and it got to a point where I didn’t even like playing the “hits” anymore because I was SO tired of playing them.
I remember certain nights saying to myself “If one more person asks me for Sweet Home Alabama I’m gonna lose my shit…”
2015 (age 32)
Eventually, after a few years of trial and error with producing from home (and quitting and starting again) my demos started to not suck.
I moved to Nashville to pursue becoming a “pro songwriter” and I found that simply being able to produce simple demos was a huge value add for me as a newcomer in town, and often got me into writers rooms I otherwise may have not been able to break into.
I also found it extremely helpful and cost effective to no longer have to pay other producers to demo my songs! And living in a town deeply rooted in songcraft and the music business brought me closer to my mission: getting my songs performed by other artists and placed in Film/TV.
I started to get my first paying clients at this time, though the real spike didn’t occur till a couple of years later.
In addition, I've gained a solid understanding of what it takes to build an online brand and succeed as a content creator, having hit over 7 figures in my business. And I’m not just talking about the business/marketing side of things, I’m talking about the alignment and soul it takes to launch a successful brand.
Given the many questions from my community, I've started sharing insights about crafting an online brand that merges both strategy and soul seamlessly.
2017 (age 35)
In 2017, other songwriters started to take notice of my work and started hiring me to produce their demos. This was a game changer! With most of my income previously coming from live gigs, having a new source of income that allowed me to work from the comfort of my home was a blessing. (and a Godsend for my poor vocal chords!) To add to the momentum, I even had a publisher hire me as their in-house producer, doing demos for all of their songwriters!
Soon, my so-called "demos" were being picked up for Film/TV placements, songs were getting picked up by other artists, and indie artists were knocking on my door, wanting me to produce their singles and albums.
All of a sudden, I was a full-time producer living (and chasing) the dream in Nashville.
Not only was I making money doing what I loved working behind the scenes as a writer/producer, I was playing in the Nashville scene weekly, stepping onto the legendary stages of places like the Bluebird Cafe and the Listening Room, and truly immersing myself in the heart of Music City.
At this time, I also deepened my spiritual practice, began doing yoga and meditating daily, and delved further into the teachings of Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill, David Hawkins, and Marianne Williamson.
2018 (age 36)
In 2018 I expanded my network of clients HUGELY by joining the online marketplaces as a session singer, custom songwriter, and music producer. I already had a pretty full roster from my time spent in Nashville and LA, but the online marketplaces took me to a new level completely.
Additionally, the film/tv placements I had been seeking for years eventually started to roll in, and I was starting to see the fruits of my labor bloom!
But 2018 wasn't just about career growth; it was also a year of personal transformation.
After years of turning to alcohol as my go-to companion to ease the nerves of social anxiety and live performances, I took a hard look at my life and asked, "Is this helping me be the best version of myself?"
When the resounding answer was "No," I made the life-altering decision to get sober.
Easily one of the best choices I've ever made for myself.
It felt as if I'd been climbing a mountain with a backpack full of rocks and had just taken it off. Suddenly, my career took off, and my connection to the source and to myself deepened immensely.
2019 (age 37)
By now, my home studio was buzzing with artists coming in and out to work with me almost daily, writing for their albums, and for sync projects. As I worked with them, many started asking questions about how I got my start producing. They also wanted to know how I was pulling in a steady income as a session singer/producer. So I started showing them the ropes, sharing all my tips and tricks!
All of a sudden, within one week, several different people mentioned how good I was at simplifying music production and suggested I build an online course or make tutorial videos. At first, I shrugged it off, but at a certain point, I thought, "This can't be a coincidence... Maybe there's something here."
One thing led to another, and the next you know, Produce Like a Boss was born.
I created my first online course “From Voice Memo 2 Demo” and the results were astonishing! As it turned out, my little production “hacks” were exactly the tools my fellow “non-techy” singer songwriters needed to get them producing their own music!
And as the course took off, I stumbled upon a revelation: teaching wasn't just something I was good at; it was something I absolutely loved!
I had found a new purpose, a new passion, as a teacher.
2020 - present
I have built an entire suite of courses that teach artists everything they need to know about how to produce their own music and get paid for it!
From creating your first demo, to making radio ready tracks, to writing custom songs for clients, to building a business from your home studio, Produce Like a Boss covers my entire journey from struggling singer songwriter to pro producer.