In February of 2017, I was approached by a producer in LA by the name of Skyler Lexx who had come across some of my music on the internet and so he called me and introduced himself and told me about some cool opportunities that might be open for me that he knew of.
In hindsight, it all sounds so suspicious now. I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but here was this producer who was going to walk me into two studios that had already shown interest in meeting with me based on what he’d shown them of my work (according to him). So I had a meeting with Universal and Atlantic Records on the books which wasn’t too shabby.
Of course there had to be a catch, and believe me, there was. But I was so excited about the opportunity that I ignored a lot of the glaring signs that were pretty obvious in front of me.
1) I would need to front my own travel and hotel. Whatever. I was game.
2) He felt my previous songs were too weak and demo quality so we had to create new songs to show. He sent me prefabbed tracks which I thought were scratch tracks for me to write to and that we’d have live musicians doing that work in the studios that day – but no it was just prefabbed work, which he says he spent a ton of time on. I don’t think so.
3) he slapped on auto tune the day of recording but not well. He literally just slapped it on. It was a joke.
4) he invited about 25 people who had nothing to do with the session to the Uber expensive studio to my session. And ordered tons of champagne. He even asked me to pay for the second wave of champagne even though I’d already paid for suberbowl Sunday food for all these extra people that I didn’t know.
5) even though he never told me this was going to happen – guess who got charged for the overage for the studio time even though he made it a drunk party? And just watch the extra video footage at the end.
6) at one point he invited Michael Jackson’s nephew because he wants to work with him and spent an hour courting him while all the people who were there for my work just sat around.
7) I was told to shut up and not question anything when I asked him if we could bring in one of the background singers who’d been there waiting for several hours.
8) he had no boundaries with me and flirted with me non-stop. He called me his vagina all weekend, including in the studio. He also kept asking me to go to a hotel with him. He wasn’t joking.
9) I felt like he misled me about the whole trip when all was said and done just to make and extort money from me. This accelerated when he realized I wasn’t going to sleep with him EVER. For example, I learned the makeup artist was paid 200 dollars but I was invoiced $800 for that line item. When I questioned him he said, I have an agent I pass through. And I said – you paid the artist directly – I was there!! And then he got aggressive and said “don’t tell me how to run my business” which is what he would do anytime I caught him in a lie.
10) before I knew what a jerk he was, I had confided in him that I had been harassed by someone. He started using that against me and saying that now he could see what type of person I was and that I liked to “Trap” people.” Um – no. Just don’t call me a vagina or ask me to continually sleep with you, creep. He started threatening that he was going to go to my workplace and hire investigators to track down my clients. It wouldn’t have mattered, but it shows what a scum bag he is.
11) He did send me some tracks, but not in the format I asked him. I sent them to a good friend of mine who is a legit producer whose songs you have actually heard on the radio (some pretty big hits). He looked at the files and called me immediately and was like – “What the HELL is this?” He was furious – mainly for me. But the main backing music track was most likely a prefabbed piece of work – not something that he mixed or created himself the way he makes it seem (note one of his comments about providing me over 40K in services). He couldn’t send me what I was asking because basically, he didn’t have it to send. There were no tracks for that backing music- it was all just one glommed together piece.
12) To prepare for the photo shoot, Skyler had asked me to send pictures of some of the outfits I had before I left to come out to LA to see if I needed to buy new clothes for the shoot. I sent him some outfits, but he didn’t think they were right. Later on when I told him I didn’t think that the texts and things he said and did to me were appropriate – he said, “Oh and what about the pictures you sent to me?” And I was like, “Um, what ABOUT the pictures I sent to you?” And he was like, “I have proof that it went both ways.” And I was like, “Dude, you asked me to send selfies of my outfits. WTF?” But in his head, I honestly think he looked at those pictures and saw something else in his mind.
Anyway – here is just a bit of some of what transpired when I asked for some of the tracks and the pictures. This is after I made the final payment with all he overage charges he pushed on me.
P.S. nice little jab against about me being over the hill. Sweet- didn’t seem to bother him when he was propositioning me all weekend but you know, that’s how it goes for us old fogies.
Although I paid 10,000 to have two songs produced, since he turned the entire recording day into a champagne party for 25, I was charged the following overage bill. Please note that the makeup artist was paid 200 but this says 800.
I am sure he will threaten me and bully me and harass me if I publish this but I can’t risk anyone going through what I went through. It’s possible there might be some positive exceptions, but everything here is literally taken from our conversations. P.S. I never did receive the raw pro tool session files and they were so poorly produced that they were virtually unusable for me.
He will respond and say I have no talent and that is why which I really don’t care about. Judge for yourself. I’m Kiran Kairab on iTunes/spotify ~ resistance, building bridges, yesterdays are good representations of my work.
By the way, during the session that I ultimately ended up paying the overage for ~ had he told me that I was responsible for all overage you better damn well believe I wouldn’t have allowed that many extraneous people to be in the studio.
Here is some footage of our “productivity.”
Shit like that went on for hours. Not saying it wasn’t cool to see Michael Jackson’s nephew do his thing but on my dime? For real?
Notice, none of this has anything to do with making my music. Just want you to note that.
The best and only redeeming part of the trip is I got nice pictures taken by Johnny Pena. That’s it. He was a great photographer, really nice and created some amazing images.
I did meet with the studios who said they would like for me to come back but with more work done with Skyler which would NEVER happen again. And I guess this bring me to my final question about this whole arrangement. The whole pitch in the beginning was that it was made to seem like there was a legitimate interest in me from these studios. But as you can see in the texts from Skyler, it was almost more like a perfunctory contractual thing he performed for me – “I take you to two major labels…” Which seems kind of weird. I’m kind of old for field trips, Skyler. I would never have gone out to LA if I didn’t think there was a real interest which you led me to believe. So, was that completely contrived? And then after meeting the A&R execs, their response was, we like you, can you come back almost immediately with more songs produced by Skyler? Because, that whole arrangement would continue to yield him a continued stream of ongoing income. “Oh, sounds good – go make two more songs for another ten thousand dollars with this guy.” Is it possible that there was/is some sort of arrangement where the A&R guy he works with receive a kickback to take meetings with him so they can keep this going? I don’t know. I am still recovering financially and emotionally from what happened to me but I feel like there is something bigger going on.
If he comes back at me with threats, legal letters and whatever else, I am prepared. I’m not going to stay silent about how he treated me and what he did to me. I will pony up for my own legal representation if needed. After losing 14,000 for what basically came down to me getting nice pictures you better believe I have no problem spending the same to fight someone who is going after people like this and preying on them. If you work with him, please proceed with caution.