November 2023

Eric Gao: The Creative & Technical Force Behind Kaiber

Meet Eric Gao, aka oksami, Kaiber's co-founder and CTO. His journey from music producer and computer engineer to tech entrepreneur has shaped Kaiber into what it is today—a platform that empowers creatives to craft stunning visuals. In this interview, we delve into Eric's unique dual role and background.

Interviewer: What's the "Why" behind Kaiber?

E: It was a fundamental decision. When composing music, the visual component has always been crucial for me; I'm a very "visual" composer. I often have a scene or vignette in mind. While perfecting the music was a priority, I felt compelled to venture into full narrative storytelling. Animation became the chosen medium, despite the cost—around a hundred fifty thousand for three minutes. I found myself at a crossroads, torn between a more serious music career and building a product that would allow me (and other musicians) to create visuals for their music.

Interviewer: I’d love to hear more about how you got into music.

E: My dad, a classical cellist and piano teacher, ensured I played an instrument. I started with piano and cello early on, even though I wasn't initially fond of it. Over time, piano stuck with me the most.

Interviewer: And music production, when did you discover that passion?

E: Music production had its false starts in high school, but it wasn't until a summer when I got a Launchpad that things clicked. Ableton made more sense to me than FL Studio. Friends hyped up my creations, giving me a false sense of confidence that kept me going.

Interviewer: I think it really helps to have that support, especially when you are starting something new.

E: Absolutely. When friends embark on creative endeavors, especially at the beginning, I always offer unequivocal support. If they stick with it, it's a win.

Interviewer: You use a lot of samples in your work. What does that process look like for you?

E: Sampling is like creating a whole new song. I delve into the full tracks I sample from, aiming to replicate something similar. It's gratifying because you essentially make two sounds in one, and there are no licensing issues to worry about.

Interviewer: Have you been working on any new music while building Kaiber’s models?

E: I've played around with one-minute ideas and have a few works in progress. The genre is a mix of electronic and soul elements. I don't feel restricted by genre; it's more about what feels right in the moment.

Interviewer: What has working on the Kaiber models been like?

E: It's been a discovered interest. I spend less time prompting, mainly for testing, but I didn't anticipate becoming so obsessive about research. It's been an enjoyable aspect of the process.

When you do prompt, what is your general aesthetic?

E: I appreciate impressionist art, and that often reflects in my prompts. I particularly like testing the oil painting look. My early experimentation days influenced my prompting instincts, isolating attributes from different styles and compositions to achieve the desired ideas.

How do you think Kaiber changes the way you tell stories?

E: It's not just about changing the way I tell stories; it's more of an accompanying tool. The pairing of music and visuals has always made sense to me, but Kaiber allows me to tell stories that might not have been told otherwise. It transcends traditional comparisons and opens up new possibilities.

In essence, the synergy between music and visuals remains at the core, with Kaiber adding a layer of versatility and boundless potential to the creative process.

You can try out Eric's own AI Style "Tarot" in the mobile app. Examples below.

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Q&A with Co-Founder of Kaiber