Klamath Falls native Holden Gallagher, who makes music under the moniker Kid Koda, has high hopes for his career as an artist. And at only 18, he’s already making good headway, by purchasing his own studio equipment and signing a distribution and marketing deal with New York City-based Bentley Records.
Gallagher earned his GED last year and has been focusing full time on making music in recent months, when he isn’t spending time with his fiancée. He said his songs mainly fall into the R&B, rap and hip-hop categories. In addition to playing guitar, he noted, “I’m a lyricist; I’m good with my words.”
Asked how his parents reacted to his decision to pursue a career in the music industry, Gallagher said, “They’ve always been supportive of me and my decisions.”
Gallagher began making his own music two years ago, when he was 16. It was thanks to his stepdad’s home recording studio that Gallagher started creating his own tracks. His stepdad is also a Klamath Falls musician, having played in the band 8th Street for years.
Some of Gallagher’s songs are about “girl problems” and “pain,” he expressed, explaining that one of the main messages of his music is, “It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to hurt.”
“A lot of people try to hide their pain, but everyone has it,” Gallagher reflected. “I get messages from people that my [music] is healing. It’s like a medicine to some people.”
Thanks to a monetary gift from a friend who believed in Gallagher’s dream of starting a music career, Gallagher was able to invest in his own equipment and set up his own home music studio for where he records, mixes and masters his tracks.
Gallagher reached out to Bentley Records by emailing the company a song he created, titled, “Everything33.” The number three is significant to Gallagher, immediately evidenced by “3” tattooed three times in a vertical line on his throat. “Three is a triangle — a perfect unity of mind, body, spirit. Perfection,” he said.
“Everything33” was what led to Bentley offering him the distribution and marketing deal, Gallagher said. A representative with Bentley confirmed the existence of the contract with the Herald and News.
Per the agreement, Bentley will provide Gallagher with worldwide release of his singles; one EP/album release; professional, high quality WAVE mastering; professional, fully licensed artwork design; an official artist press kit; booking and touring support; social media marketing and more.
But most of the work involved in being a professional musician will still be up to Gallagher. In addition to regularly creating and editing his music, he has made a point of networking and collaborating with other artists.
“I have also started a group of dedicated and talented artists, producers, engineers, promoters, and editors. We have 12 members that are based all over the states of Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Indianapolis, and Texas, including artists Kid Koda, Dane0Seven, and Chuckwest representing Oregon,” he described.
He is also working toward meeting what will be a major milestone: playing his first live show. To do that, he’s looking for a DJ to play his tracks while he raps and sings over them.
Gallagher knows he wants to play his first show in Klamath Falls, as it’s where he’s lived his entire life. From there, he pictures playing some shows in Medford. “I want to get a few shows under my belt … gain exposure, get a bigger fan base and shoot videos for the music I have,” he detailed.
Gallagher compared pursuing a career as a musician to being a professional athlete, conceding, “There’s a super slim chance that’s going to be you. His attitude about his future is both optimistic and pragmatic. He shared, “Obviously I want to go far and I want to be big, but I also don’t want to get ahead of myself.”