Keyboardist and producer Ron Avant is a musician on the rise. This past weekend he appeared with Anderson. Paak and the Free Nationals on the coveted Saturday Night Live stage, and he continues to tour and record with a myriad of major artists. Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the week!
NAME: Ron Avant
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, Ohio
MUSICAL TRAINING: My first training was the church I grew up in, Rescue Temple COGIC. I learned a lot from my father and relatives there. I went to school for creative and performing arts from the sixth until the 12th grade, where I studied music theory, piano and I majored in the jazz program. Immediately after, I studied at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.
FIRST GIGS: Since being in Los Angeles, I’ve gotten the opportunity to tour with Brother Ali, The Pharcyde, Snoop Doog, and Willow and Jaden Smith.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Oscar Peterson, Zapp and Roger Troutman, Jimmy Smith, Snoop Dogg, James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Pharrell, Timbaland.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Stevie Wonder, Trippie Redd, Maxo Kream, Bennie Sing, Tekashi69, Brandon Coleman, Kodak Black, Gucci Mane, Prince, The Gap Band, Anderson. Paak.
MY BIG BREAK: I’d say my biggest break so far has been touring, recording and being and artist with my brothers Anderson. Paak and the Free Nationals. We've been rocking together since day one and we’re still here!
LATEST PROJECTS: Anderson. Paak's new album Oxnard (I produced Track number 2 “Headlow”). Also the Free nationals new single "Beauty & Essex" (featuring Daniel Ceaser). The full album is dropping soon, and I’m also working on a Solo “Tnava" project.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I really like the Nord Stage 3 - classic piano, Rhodes, organ, and clav sounds are my favorite and sound so close to the real thing. Modifying your sounds on there is clutch too. I also love the synths they have in the Stage 3. The Roland VP-550 is one of my favorites, It’s a rare find nowadays, but to me it’s one the best ones ever made. It has a really clean, classic sound, and I like to use it to write a lot. It helps me get a lot of ideas out when recording. I also love the classic Moog sound on the Minimoog Voyager and Model D. And I Always gotta have my Korg Kronos. I’ve always loved Korg sounds. My first keyboard was a Korg Triton Le. I think Korg really outdid themselves with the Kronos.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Touring With Anderson. Paak and the Free Nationals for half the year. Also dropping the Free Nationals debut album, plus releasing my album, and making new music.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Keep practicing and staying relevant with every generation and culture after you, Always make sure you've got your OWN sh#t poppin', 'cause your gig will never go away! Don’t just be a “musician,” be an artist and write music, create beats, etc.