CED Studios Refreshes The Hip-Hop Scene With A Focus On The Craft

The individuals who make up CED Studios. // Courtesy of Tony Olivieri

Kansas City has hosted a diversity of music over the years, but Tony Olivieri knew a particular space needed change. When he felt frustrated that the city’s hip-hop scene often felt the same way, he decided no one could do it better than him.

With these goals in mind, CED was born.

CED stands for Cooking Every Day and is an up-and-coming music production studio located in Kansas City. At first, Olivieri wanted to find as many artists as possible to work with him, but now he is more focused on having just a few artists and perfecting their craft.

We sat down with Tony to talk about getting started in music, the leap to starting a production company, and what he’d like to see hip hop in Kansas City in the future.

Field: Going back to the beginning, how did you get on the music scene and how did you decide to take this passion and set up your own production company?

Tony Olivieri: I started producing music in 2018, and I picked a few close friends and family to join me at CED studios, but we kind of realized that we might have to downsize because we had quite a large group, and so now it’s just me, two other producers, and Tir-Zah Mahlah and BIGTLKT3Z.

CED stands for Cooking Every Day, and the idea was to make beats every day. That was the mission, because to get to work with the artists you want, you first have to get noticed.

What is your opinion of the Kansas City music scene? Was it easy for you to do your job here?

Well, the good thing about Kansas City is that it has a very large music scene. It was pretty easy for me, because I usually stay in my own lane and worry more about myself and what I’m creating.

But one thing that I’m trying to change, especially in Kansas City, is that the hip hop scene is kind of the same and everyone sounds almost the same. So if I can get that one to change with that artist, it might work to change the sound.

Do you feel like you have a specific sound, or is there a way to describe your music?

That’s a good question… I would say it’s like a modern nostalgic sound, if that makes sense? One of the big things we have here is producer Brother Neves.

He was a staple in Kansas City and the music industry, and he developed that nostalgic sound that will never go away. It takes you back to that one time you can think of or that event that made your whole day.

When it comes to music production, do you feel like there are a lot of misconceptions about what you do? Do you feel like people understand your side of the business?

I’ve never really come across a situation where people don’t understand. As for the technical side of things like software and all, that comes with the production. I get millions of questions. I still feel like a student myself and have worked with him for years now.

So, on that side, yes, but in terms of making music in general, I’ve never been in such a situation.

From there, when working with artists, how do you balance the feeling that it’s your music versus theirs?

Fortunately, we work with like-minded people who understand the mission and what we give. Technically, we share all the benefits, but in terms of making it and sharing it, we consider it our music. It’s more of a collaboration where everyone can be in one room and create something that we all think is cool.

During this process, how did you build relationships with the musicians? How did you choose the two musicians you are currently working with?

Well, one of them is my wife, so that’s obvious. But putting that aside, it’s really about knowing that’s the type of person you want. We don’t necessarily seek, but if people come to work with our studio, that’s great. It is about the love we give to ourselves and each other.

Looking to the future, how do you see CED evolving?

You know, I’ve seen growth over the years, and it’s no surprise. We are all fathers, and we all have a cause and causes can have an impact. It may not be a big impact, but any impact is an impact. A quote that I always try to live up to is “Every key leads to a key”.

Every opportunity we have leads to another opportunity, so I take it as it comes.

Ultimately, I want people to know that CED is a safe place where a musician can be their rawest form and we are their advocates. It’s always about the music first, as long as you put the music first. That’s it.

To learn more about CED Studios, you can find their information here.

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