I started Kick Me Records to embrace, embolden, and elevate artists who don't fit the mold — and don't want to.
KMR began as recording service, honing my craft as an audio engineer and producer by adapting to the needs of every project I took on. No matter the location, budget, or skill level, I found there was something to be taken from every experience — a punk band in a shed will teach you things you'll never learn from a jazz musician in a commercial studio, and vice versa.
Years later (now operating full-time out of my own home studio, the Poole House), I started noticing an unfortunate pattern. I would spend days, weeks, and sometimes months working on records, only to have them fall flat from a lack of marketing.
In 2020 I stepped away from audio work, using it as an opportunity to reassess the direction I wanted to take Kick Me. I spent months reading as much as I could and attending webinars, taking notes from both industry professionals and music consumers, cross-referencing them with my own opinions and experiences until I felt I had a foundation to start building on. Then I spent the next two years implementing what I'd learned with my own project, The Desert Island Big Band, until I found what worked for me and what didn't.
So what is Kick Me Records now?
I have expanded my services to be a “one stop shop” for artists, working alongside some incredible people I've met over the years making music from both sides of the glass. Recording, branding/marketing, music video production, design, promotional photography, and styling are all available under KMR 2.0.
I have also introduced the "KMR Artist" — artists who align creatively with my vision for the label. These artists are dedicated, driven, and prioritize making great art above all else. Unlike your traditional label, I don’t ask for points or percentages, meaning I have no incentive to work with artists based on their potential for commercial success. My intention here is to build a trusted name for both artists and consumers. The gnome logo on the cover is my seal of approval: this is good, and you’re going to like it.
Sound weird? Good. I like weird.
“We came to Kick Me Records with an album we felt might never get done. We had a few false starts and a few bad experiences in the past, but Stefan managed to get us past all of that. The experience was professional, within our budget, and the end result was exceptional. Stefan was able to coax great takes out of everyone with patience and tact, even when we struggled. There was a quick turnaround in mixing, and he made any changes requested to create an album we are proud of and sounds decisively our own. We would recommend Kick Me Records to anyone looking step up their game and create something special.”
“I first approached Stefan to record me because of how great the debut Onionface single sounded. My band was fortunate to find out that he's also a voice you can trust throughout your journey in the studio, not to mention a fun hang. Since then I've recommended him to a friend or two, and now I'm recommending him to you.”
“Professional, fun, affordable. Has innovative suggestions for accommodating your recording sessions and comfort. Also has an amazing ear for the construction of songs and implementing the final result.”
“Not only is Lord Stef a Lord amongst modern men, he is a lord of space and time and rules over the planet with an ear for detail and fantastic wiggly woogly flinging flying digits that communicate to you exactly what flows directly from his heart. Lord Stef. Hear hear! Also he smells amazing and is extremely well groomed. Lord Stef. Hear hear!”