What If I told you that one of the most listened to musicians in history was someone you never heard of? In this new documentary currently in production, I attempt to examine how this happened and to investigate the mystery of the king of royalty free music Kevin MacLeod.
A short documentary about musician Kevin MacLeod. If I asked you who the most listened to musician was in history you might say Beethoven, the Beatles or Beyonce but what if I told you it might be Kevin MacLeod? Who is Kevin MacLeod you ask? Kevin has made over 2,000 songs. He has offered these as royalty free compositions to the public and so in result people have been using his songs on YouTube, in films, video games, podcasts and applications for nearly two decades. Considering that one song can be used in a single video that has 50 million views, it is easy to see how billions and billions of people have heard his music.
As an example there was one time in 2008 where 20 of the top 25 videos on YouTube had his music in it. The strange thing is that Kevin is probably the only person who could know that. Kevin has a story about how one of his songs ended up in the Martin Scorsese film Hugo. They had put one of his songs in as a temp track and accidently left it in and the film was going out that way! The studio called Kevin to negotiate a fee and he had offered the song for 30 dollars if they wanted him to sign a specific license. The studio lawyer replied “No, Kevin we actually have to pay a certain scale here.” All this to say Kevin is a mysterious person who doesn’t seem to have much of an ego, the only people who know who he is are people like me, content creators who have been using his music for years. I plan to interview Kevin, some industry folks and create some montages of how his music has been used. The film may be 20-30 minutes in length.
But who is Kevin?
Not much is really known about him. Formerly a Brooklynite who moved to the middle of Wisconsin some years back to be able to record his music in relative peace and quiet. A master of music he really can create music in any style. He makes his living composing music for films but still offers over 2,000 songs to the public for free. If a person can be defined by their actions. He seems to be going “good work” improving people’s videos by the millions.