When it comes to getting his emotions out, Sterling Walden doesn’t need words. Instead, he uses a mixture of sounds, wavelengths and vibrations to convey his feelings.
“Vibrations are the healing blood of the world. In the end, we are all just vibrations,” he said. “Everything is just atoms that are vibrating together.”
The multi-talented music producer created these beats or “vibrations with a little bump to it” for artists all across Harrisburg and the United States. Walden, aka “Keyzus,” music ranges from party songs to smooth R&B and meditation music.
His goal is to not only make amazing music but to promote relaxation through sounds. He released his first instrumental album, “Come Home Keyzus,” in May of this year.
“Usually, when I sit down to make a beat, I have no idea what kind of beat I’m going to make,” he said. “Whatever feeling I have at the moment–[the beat] just comes to me.”
Walden got the name Keyzus from his love of his keyboard his parents got him in the sixth grade. He would lock himself in his room and play for hours. However, it wasn’t until he discovered his brother’s “MTV Music Generator” game that he started making beats.
On his first try, he made five songs and was immediately addicted to it. When his brother got over the game, Walden started going to Blockbuster himself to rent the game and played it on his friend’s PlayStation.
When he finally bought the game, he was playing in his basement when a guy who was installing his father’s car stereo came down and listened to them. “He was like, ‘Yo, your beats are dope, but the program that you’re using is pretty much bullshit.”
The man took Walden over to his house and introduced him to a music program called Reason and Fruity Loops (now called FL Studio, which he still uses to this day.)
Since then, Walden, 32, has created hundreds of tracks for himself and other artists. He’s worked with a plethora of Harrisburg-based musicians including Rawston George, Alonda Rich, John Born and more. He’s also worked with popular artists such as Fetty Wap, Rick Ross, Maino, and “Glee’s” Samantha Marie Ware. His music was also featured in a CHAMPS footwear commercial and on Starz network.
Even though he has worked with artists across the country, he still loved the uniqueness and variety of artists in Harrisburg, his hometown.
“I really like the range of music here,” he said. “You get real golden age hip-hop, some trap, alternative–just a big range. I feel like Harrisburg is bursting at the seams right now, and it’s only going to take one person to really blow it up.”
Currently, Walden is operating his label “Maschine Life” out of Harrisburg. Though many of the artists under the label are musicians, Walden considers Maschine Life to be an art label rather than a record one. Under Maschine Life there are painters, photographers and graphic designers. Walden himself is also a visual artist.
“We just wanted to be that one-stop shop for people,” he said. “Even if they are not a part of Maschine Life, they can find anything in Harrisburg art-wise.”
In 10 years, Walden sees himself on a farm either “in Georgia or Africa,” he said with a laugh.
“I’ll be playing my guitar, and still making music, but this time it’ll just be for me.”
This story is one in a series of local musician profiles in celebration of African American Music Appreciation Month.