Through the crowded Brown Library filled with last minute papers being printed and coffee orders being brewed, one fresh faced student boldly walks across with a bright, green Gamma Sigma Phi shirt on and a large, black guitar case grasped firmly in his hand.
Kolby Hart is the founder, creator and performer for KHart Studios – a personal, multi-platform company for Hart’s videos. Whether he’s singing covers to famous songs by Coldplay or Ed Sheeran, or creating videos and graphics for his social club, Hart is looking to make a name for himself.
Uploading close to fifty videos onto his YouTube channel, Hart, senior marketing major from Tyler, has seen where his talent lies: singing. With some videos reaching 7.5 thousand views, Hart hopes to continue recording himself and one day, make KHart Studios a real company.
“I’m still trying to figure out where I want to take it specifically,” Hart said. “Ideally, I’d like to perform for a living. Along with that, the more involved I become in the production side of KHart Studios, like helping people create their music too, I think that would be cool.”
Early on, Hart said KHart Studios seemed like a cool hobby to do after school, yet Hart has seen the fruits of his passion – and voice. Gaining popularity during his sophomore year, Hart has begun his trending stage on campus including various wedding gigs from fellow friends, alumni and family.
Hart said his love for singing first began when his first grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson, mentioned his talent for singing to his mom.
“I was in choir, and my music teacher said that she thought I had a good voice, and she told my mom, and I had no idea what she was talking about or meant because I was in first grade,” Hart said. “But my mom made a big deal about it and made me do choir all throughout elementary and even made me do honor choir. It wasn’t until high school that I seriously took it and made my YouTube channel.”
After teaming up with a his buddy Andrew, Hart said they both decided to create KHart Studios. Even though they were only seniors recording cover songs in a little room of Hart’s house, Hart said they really enjoyed the idea of making music and videos with the limited number of resources available.
“Originally, it was kind of a joke,” Hart said. “I was just going to upload a couple of videos every once in a while, and then I later started uploading singing videos, and I just really liked it. I liked editing the audio after I record it. I enjoy doing that. It was just like a hobby on the side.”
And after messing around with a laptop and microphone in a tiny room – also known as Hart’s studio – college began and Hart decided to take KHart Studios a small step forward. Expanding his horizons and talent, Hart began to create videos for various organizations like Glorieta Camps, GSP and other promotional videos. Learning all video equipment and editing programs by trial and error, the blue eyed country boy found his passion.
Three years later, Hart has proven that practice, errors and dreams can come close to perfect. From learning guitar and piano completely ‘on the fly,’ Hart wants to make his brand his persona.
“Growing up, my parents always said if you enjoy what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work,” Hart said. “KHart Studios kind of fits with everyone in my family, so it’s great.”
Since then, Hart has used various websites to showcase his work, predominantly YouTube and dabbling with SoundCloud from time to time. Hart even auditioned for the Voice and made it to the second round before being cut. Whether he’s uploading his version of another top hit or preparing for the audition of a lifetime, Hart said it’s important for any creator to show their work online.
“I think it’s important to pursue your skills if you have certain skills,” Hart said. “Obviously, I think YouTube is great, and I know some people use SoundCloud. Especially for someone who isn’t making a tons of money off of your videos, it’s just a good chance to enjoy what you do. Just to learn early on to make the music that you like, make the videos that you like and be successful. Just enjoy what you do.”
With the growing prominence of artists featuring snippets of their work on social media, Hart seems to be following the trend and is taking KHart Studios along for the ride. Singing a variety of genres from country to pop to acapella ballards mixed with sudden musical ritards and new vocal interpretations, Hart can be seen singing his favorite songs on almost all of his posts.
“I sing pretty much anything,” Hart said. “I like Coldplay a lot, so yeah I sing more laid back music. Not so much loud or anything like that. I mean, pretty much any song that I like, I’ll sing it.”
Now ending his third year, Hart is wondering where KHart Studios will end up. Will it become another production mini-company documenting various alumni weddings? Could it be Hart’s big leap towards fame? Or will it fade into the abyss of cat videos and meme references of the internet?
For Hart, KHart Studios will become something in time. He’s just not sure in how much time.
Deciding to switch to a marketing degree, Hart said he hopes the business aspects of his classes will come in handy after graduating.
“I figured that marketing would be a good way to learn how to market myself and my brand,” Hart said. “Just to get my brand and logo out there.”
Until then, Hart is choosing to enjoy the luxuries of free publicity, free internet and free range from all post-graduation responsibilities. Although he’s unsure where KHart Studios will end up, Hart is eager to see how much it can grow and who it can impact.
“I’d like to use performing as a platform and then hopefully, it can give me my big break,” Hart said. “Like a lot of people, I am still trying to figure out what to do after college, and I realized that I love music, and I think it’s important to just do what you love.”