Evgeny Prokopenko - An Impactful Journey to Stardom

All great bands have phenomenal drummers; John Bonham from “Led Zeppelin” and Matt Cameron from “Soundgarden” (and now “Pearl Jam”) first come to mind. But what all great drummers have in common is their ability to capture that big sound to make a band’s music come alive. Meet Evgeny Prokopenko, a talented percussionist and drummer who not only gives us that big sound we want from great drummers but who also has a fantastic story.

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Evgeny’s Future Was Clear From the Beginning

Evgeny was born in Russia in 1983, and from an early age, he knew what he would be doing for the rest of his life. This prodigy began playing drums at only 11 years old. He went to a well-known music school (Belgorod State University of Arts and Culture) to develop his natural talent and majored in drums and percussion instruments.

In 2000, at the age of 17, he formed his first band “Chucky Ed,” which became an immediate local sensation. However, it was his next band, “Libido”— taking inspiration from the 90s Grunge rock scene— that got him a record deal from a major national record label, RDM. “Libido” enjoyed immense popularity across Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and the band picked up awards and gained plenty of airplay during its time.

Evgeny’s formal musical training and raw natural talent made him a highly in-demand musician by a multitude of bands. But it was in 2007 when he joined “Magnetic Anomaly” (Magnitnaya Anomaliya) when he finally found his calling. Here is a glimpse of Evgeny playing on the drums. Magnetic Anomaly’s impact on Russian music culture secured them an entry in a prominent Russian Rock publication.

Continuing on his musical journey, Evgeny collaborated with award-winning pop artist, Zhenya Otradnaya, and worked on her 2008 Eurovision Song Contest single called “Porque Amor” (Why Love).

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In 2013, Evgeny’s creative side merged with his entrepreneurial spirit, and he created “Drum Cast” –a unique form of entertainment that focuses mainly on percussions and amazing beats. Featuring three drummers, Drum Cast’s success attracted famous pop stars like Svetlana Loboda, Mitya Fomin, “Mayakovsky,” and Roma Zhloud.

Fueled by his success back home, Evgeny had his eye on the entertainment capital of the world. And in 2016, he took the next step by moving to Los Angeles to seek out the very best musicians to work with. After working with “The Gitas” as a session drummer, Evgeny finally found his permanent home as the drummer for the LA alternative rock band, “Sick Mystic.”

Sick Mystic - from left to right:   Robert Paul Ochoa (Bass Guitar), Ethan Jeffrey Whitaker (Frontman/Lyricist), Evgeny Prokopenko (Drummer/ Percussionist), Sam Eggenschwiler (Guitar).

Sick Mystic - from left to right: Robert Paul Ochoa (Bass Guitar), Ethan Jeffrey Whitaker (Frontman/Lyricist), Evgeny Prokopenko (Drummer/ Percussionist), Sam Eggenschwiler (Guitar).

Sick Mystic is firmly establishing their name and sound in the Southern California rock scene with an ever-growing audience and a loyal fan base. Along with being interviewed on the award-winning Granted Radio Podcast, Sick Mystic also joined other local SoCal bands at a Granted Radio Night event and plays on stages all over the state. Sick Mystic is a fantastic band with a solid future, and Evgeny’s talent gives them that indescribable “big” all-encompassing sound that makes them larger than life.

So, we sat down with Zhenya (Evgeny) to ask him some questions:

1.) Who are your favorite musicians/bands? Who inspired you?

I have always been inspired by music with powerful sound and vibes. So when I was young, I really liked hard rock and heavy metal bands. I was fond of “Metallica,” “Pantera,” “Megadeth,” “Mötley Crüe,” “Sepultura.” These bands from the 90s were my idols and let me fall for playing and writing music.

Then I started listening to various electronic music projects, “Prodigy” and “Infected Mushroom” were my favorites. Also, Rob Zombie, “Nine Inch Nails,” “Kasabian,” and Kid Rock also became the musicians that had a strong influence on me.

2.) Who is your current favorite artists/bands?

These days I try not to listen to any new music because I feel like it is time to get back to the roots. By roots, I mean classic hard rock bands that gave us the basics, the standard of the sound. Now when I work a lot in the studio on “Sick Mystic” upcoming EP, I have to be very focused on what I record, what I put into the track, what kind of energy, and which feeling.

Most new artists tend to use electronic sample drums, and for me as a professional drummer who grew up on live hard music, it sounds artificial and lifeless.

But speaking of new bands, my recent discovery was the British duo “Slaves” that were supporting “Kasabian” on their tour. I was surprised that just two musicians were able to create such a powerful, raw and robust sound and gave a great live show.

3.) You are a tremendous talent with so much motivation, what keeps you going?

I suppose what really keeps me going is the fact that I just like playing music— I love doing it, and I really enjoy this process. I love this feeling of being in a moment, in the process of creating the sound, and in a dance of playing the drums.

The process of creating music brings so much energy, satisfaction, joy, and meaning to my life; I feel really inspired and uplifted when I perform and record, especially when I create something and see the results. This path is not easy, but it’s worth every effort.

Photo by: Irina List

Photo by: Irina List

4.) Someone as talented as you belongs in Los Angeles. Was it always your goal to move here? What do you love about LA?

Of course, I always wanted to be in a place where the music industry is. Even when I was 17 years old, I realized that back in Russia we don’t have this hard music I wanted to play and any decent industry behind it. So I was dreaming about living in the city where it would be possible and where the market for this genre exists. And Los Angeles is undoubtedly the right place.

I love the people here who are more open and free; they know how to work and enjoy life as well; they are ready to create, look for something new and share the experience. This city gave me a chance to compose and play the music that I like and meet great musicians to do it with. I also love Los Angeles because I met some of my favorite artists and managed to learn from them by having private sessions. And let’s be honest; the climate and nature here are just fantastic, especially after cold and grey Moscow. The energy of the city is very light and chill, I certainly can breathe here and work on my music as I please.

5.) Now that you have been here for a few years and are positively contributing to the LA music scene, what’s next for you?

Well, currently “Sick Mystic” is the main project that I am focused on, because I believe we have excellent potential. We did establish ourselves here in Los Angeles, so we’re looking forward to releasing our new EP soon and start touring nation-wide. I’m very proud of the tracks we recorded, and I hope people will love them as I do. Also, I must say that we worked a lot on our live performances so that we are able to fire up any venue.

What’s next for me is what I always planned on: be part of a band, create great music, perform and put my soul into it. That is my I plan.

6.) Congratulations on your newborn baby. Would you like to see her gravitate towards drumming as you did? What advice would you have for her or anyone interested in the music industry?

Thank you so much! I would love her to do whatever she likes. I am sure my daughter will be interested in playing drums at a certain point (actually she already is), and I’m willing to teach her and share what I know. But I’m not going to push her; everyone should find their own path. And I will support and help her with it. Because being a musician is hard work – it takes years of training, thousands of concerts, endless hours in the studio, so it’s not just about being famous and glamorous.

I would advise to continually work on improving your sound, practice daily at least for a bit, be patient and focused on your goal, always move forward and never look back, then lots of doors open even if you move to another country as I did.


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Evgeny is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does he contribute positively to the community that he is in, but he also makes sure that he makes a big impact. The world needs more creative people like him as an inspiration to show what hard work and perseverance can accomplish. He has traveled the world, met and worked with the best, and has already made his mark on the rock scene. We can only imagine what Evgeny has in store for us next!

Grammy Award Winner, Warren Riker, Gives Master Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Santa Ana, CA - Two-time Grammy Award-Winner, Warren Riker, is giving a two-day master class at Granted Records studios in Santa Ana, California. The class is set for June 30th, 2018, and will be an event like no other. Participants in the course will experience hands-on instruction for recording, engineering, and mixing by one of the greatest in the music industry. Mr. Riker is known for working on many different genres of music, such as Grammy albums-of-the-year Santana’s Supernatural (1999), and the Miseducation of Lauren Hill (1998 / first for any hip-hop artist).

Granted Records CEO, Emo Alaeddin, states, “Even though the business model of the music industry has changed so much over the last decade, it is still about the music. Moreover, making a professionally sounding song or album from home is now more possible than ever before. And having someone like Warren Riker teach you the ins and outs of recording and mixing is priceless. We are very thankful for him agreeing to do this.”

“I have been engineering, mixing, and producing music since I was 15 years old, and I would like to pass on my experience and knowledge to those that will most benefit from it: unsigned and independent artists working at honing their craft at home.”, says Riker. “The tools available for the home studio today is just as good as what I worked on in world-class recording studios. That said, I aim to teach participants how to achieve that polished studio sound, but from home.”

The masterclass will be a two-day event, focusing on engineering on Day 1, and mixing on day 2. Day 1 will center on practical experiences, such as what mics to use and how to set them up, while Day 2 will focus on mixing multiple recorded elements into one cohesive product.  This course will be an intimate and interactive class like no other with one of the greats of the music industry.

The course is open to all proficiency levels and all musical genres but has limited seating. The special early bird rate of $350 for the full workshop and $250 for each of the two days expires June 16.

For the Full Pass click here 

For the Day Pass, click here

Granted Records is an independent music label providing recording, producing, and artist management services, in addition to music education, in Santa Ana, Ca. It is dedicated to improving the community by encouraging music learning and musical expression. They can be reached by phone or email.

After-School Program Begins in March

The Granted Music Academy

A six-week after school program

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Granted Records, a music school and recording studio located in Santa Ana, is proud to announce the launch a first-of-its-kind after-school music program called The Granted Music Academy. 

Students wishing to learn drums, guitar, bass, keys, or vocals will form a band and learn two songs over a 6-week period. Twice a week, they will work with a team of teachers and prepare two songs to perform at a grand finale and record the songs using Granted Records professional recording studio. 

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All skill levels are welcome! The price for the program is $800 that can be split into weeks payments spanning the program.

For more information click here

Drum Lessons Offered at Granted Records

Joe Turner (right) with student Mace (14)  

Joe Turner (right) with student Mace (14)  

Granted Records is proud to announce the addition of drum lessons via recording and performing artist Joe Turner.  

Currently, drum lessons with Joe are offered Saturday afternoons starting at 3pm. To book lessons visit the scheduling page by clicking here 

Joe started playing drums when he was in 4th grade and living in Lake Orion, Michigan. Music was always a big part of his life. In first grade he got in trouble for humming and tapping on his desk during class. When his mother was called in and confronted about the situation, his teacher said "I think he hears music in his head". To which his mother appropriately responded, "Don't You??". From there he moved from tapping on his desk to a pair of chop sticks and just about anything he could bang on. After seeing this, Joe was given his first pair of actual drumsticks and his drumming journey officially began.

Joe explored many genres throughout the years. In school he was in Symphonic band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Pit Band. He also started exploring the world of rock and roll. This lead to other genres such as punk, ska, blues, funk, etc. He has spent much of his tutelage learning many different styles of music and crafting his ability to adapt to each genre. This has aided in making him a sought after drummer within his Los Angeles network.

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Eric Henderson Added to Granted Records' Artist Management Roster

Eric Henderson, concert guitarist and composer

Eric Henderson, concert guitarist and composer

Trained by the master of the classical guitar Andres Segovia, Eric Henderson is a guitar virtuoso and composer who covers a vast repertoire with technical mastery and passionate delivery. He has performed internationally. To hear his music click on the image or here to visit his site.

Granted Records is proud to have Eric added to their roster of artist to promote and enhance his online presence. 

Granted Records unique artist management service offers musicians a unique service that allows the musician to focus on creating, recording, and performing their material. 

Their highly trained staff will take care of website design, social media enhancements and posts, Facebook ads, the drafting monthly newsletters, mailing list management, SEO, and the store management. 

For more information on Granted Records' artist management site click here

Grand Daddy Jack Records in Studio

Grand Daddy Jack - a SoCal Jazz Experience;  Photo by Jon Haverstick

Grand Daddy Jack - a SoCal Jazz Experience;  Photo by Jon Haverstick

Granted Records welcomed Grand Daddy Jack into their brand new studio September 25 to record a couple tracks. 

The 9-piece jazz band chose Granted Records as their recording studio due to its ability to track all seven members simultaneously. 

Photo by Chloe Atnip

Photo by Chloe Atnip

"I'm thrilled to welcome Grand Daddy Jack to the studio," excitedly states owner Emo Alaeddin. "Bringing in such a populous band displays the versatility of the studio and showcases the crystal clear sounds that our state of the art equipment can display."

Grand Daddy Jack live in studio. 

Grand Daddy Jack live in studio. 

rand Daddy Jack is a Southern-Californian jazz band offering performances for weddings, corporate events, private parties, and high-end lounges and restaurants. 

ranted Records is a recording studio, music school and audio production house located in Santa Ana. To book studio time click here 

Official Ribbon Cutting Announced

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Granted Records will be celebrating their official ribbon cutting tomorrow at 11am at their location in Santa Ana.  The address is1616 E 4th St  Suite 275 Santa Ana CA 92701. 

Photo by Chloe Atnip

Photo by Chloe Atnip

The full service audio production house, recording studio, and music school is owned and operated by Emad "Emo" Alaeddin. "After producing 8 studio albums and 15 years of being a professional singer, I'm so excited to open a space to promote and empower up and coming musicians," states Alaeddin. 

Guests will include members from the top networking organization in the world BNI, the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, and friends and family.

Photo by Jon Haverstick

Photo by Jon Haverstick

There will be food, drinks, and live entertainment. Performances will feature Living Cover, WhosNext, and Emad Alaeddin.

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The Alaeddin Trio To Release its EP and Perform in Germany Same Day

After a long month in the studio producing, tracking, mixing, and mastering the 5 song EP, The Alaeddin Trio has emerged with their first recorded product. 

Photo by  Jon Haverstick    Pictured: Louie Jr. (Left), Emad Alaeddin (Center), Joe Turner (Right)

Photo by Jon Haverstick

Pictured: Louie Jr. (Left), Emad Alaeddin (Center), Joe Turner (Right)

The trio is fronted by songwriter and producer Emad Alaeddin on bass. Joe Turner lends his strengths on drums and Louie Jr completes the power rock trio on guitars.

In case you're wondering who the lead vocalist is, it's both neither and all of them. The idea behind this album was to not have any one singer as the main vocalist. The result is certainly something to be curious about. 

With a release date of only a few weeks away, The Alaeddin Trio has released a brilliant cover of "Pure Imagination" made famous by Gene Wilder in the classic film "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" at the Soundcloud link and the Youtube link.

The Alaeddin Trio will be performing at the Rockwood Music Festival in Germany on the same day that their EP is released everywhere digitally. 

Check back here for pictures, videos, and an exclusive interview of the band.