When he was 14 years old Zachary Kibbee traded his baseball bat for a bass guitar, and he hasn’t turned back since.
Born and raised in the Santa Clarita Valley, Kibbee grew up playing baseball for William S. Hart Pony Baseball and attending Meadows Elementary School, Placerita Junior High School and William S. Hart High School.
The Valencia-native began playing and writing music in high school when one of his friends convinced him to get a bass after he did not make his school’s baseball team.
“I got a bass guitar instead of a bat that Christmas and here I am now 15 years later,” Kibbee said. “It’s interesting that the stuff that kind of sucks is what ends up being the best thing that happened to you.”
Twelve years later, Kibbee is one of the most published artists to date with Platform Music Group. His songs have appeared on more than 50 songs television shows, movies and commercials, including “Daredevil,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Secrets and Lies,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Drop” and more.
Most recently, his song “My Own Two Feet” was featured in a Microsoft Campaign and in the end credits of the movie “Skiptrace” starring Jackie Chan.
Kibbee began writing music as soon as he received his first bass. He said his friend taught him how to write down tabs—which Kibbee calls “the cheater way of notating music”—and he began creating chord progressions and new sounds.
“I wanted to learn as much as possible and tried to learn every song and tried to write songs,” Kibbee said. “The main thing was getting to a point where I know what my voice sounds like and then having chords that match that and match the tones.”
Kibbee continued to develop and learned to play the guitar, drums, harmonica and ukulele, while finding his own sound in bluesy rock and roll.
It wasn’t until his friend and producer told him about pitching songs to publishing companies and music supervisors that he realized he could pursue music as a lifelong career.
Money for art
Kibbee remembers the day three and a half years ago when his first song, “Haunted,” was picked up for an episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“On January 2, 2014 I got a phone call that I made money in music for the first time,” he said. “It’s fortunate that it’s good timing for the industry that I’m playing music that I love and making a living doing it.”
When he’s not playing music, Kibbee can be found watching a Dodger game, playing fantasy football, hanging out with his friends or at a bar.
But for Kibbee, his music is always a top priority.
“For the last year or so it’s been a lot of music all day for a lot of the day, which I think is what it takes,” he said. “In this city there are a million people that are really good at music and I consider myself lucky that I slipped in at the right time and right place.”
Right now Kibbee is preparing to embark on a national, solo tour from Oct. 12 to Nov. 7 that he organized and booked himself. He will be playing songs off of his EP “Little Clocks” and album “Songs From The Mud.”
When he reaches New York, Kibbee is going to take a few days off and see the friend who convinced him to get a bass guitar for Christmas so many years ago.
“It’s an interesting full circle situation to see him after eight or nine years,” Kibbee said. “And that music is going to be my vehicle to see him.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_