The Real World: Mitchell Kaneff

I’m a native New Yorker—born, raised, and still living here in Manhattan.
By BP Staff ,

Home base I’m a native New Yorker—born, raised, and still living here in Manhattan.
Occupation I’m the third-generation CEO of Arkay Packaging, a family-owned and operated packaging company.
Gigs I play bass, produce, and write music for my band, the Young Presidents. We have three albums out and we’re working on our fourth now.
Basses Fodera Emperor 5 Elite, 1965 Fender Jazz Bass (Olympic white with matching headstock, formerly owned by Marcus Miller), 1966 Fender Precision (with one-of-a-kind metallic burst, made for Manny’s)
Rig Markbass Little Mark head, Markbass Standard 104HR 4x10
Effects Electro-Harmonix Cathedral Stereo Reverb, Pensa Bass Preamp, MXR Bass Envelope Filter, Boss OC-2 Octave
Strings, etc. DR Hi-Beams (.045–.105)
Heroes & inspiration My heroes are plentiful, as judged by the many genres of music I have incorporated into my own style! Bernard Edwards of Chic and Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson inspired me in my early love of funk. On the rock front, I followed John Paul Jones, John Entwistle, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, and Flea. The players who influenced me the most, however, were Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus Miller.
Contact theyoungpresidents.com, facebook.com/theyoungpresidents

How did you come to play bass?

When I was 12 years old, my best friend was playing guitar, and he said, “Man, you should get a bass.” I listened! The truth is, my parents would take me to Studio 54, and I was exposed to some of the best music with the hippest bass lines of the disco era. I immediately loved the groove, and those pulsating bass lines really moved me. I knew I wanted to produce that sound. So we’d go to 48th Street, back then a mecca for musicians, with Manny’s, Rudy’s Music Stop, Alex Music, Sam Ash, Electro-Harmonix—we were in Disneyland! A Carlo Robelli remake of a Fender Jazz Bass was my first axe.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned along the way?

To never stop exploring all styles of music! Rock, punk, jazz, pop, country—I listen to it all, and I mean actively listen to it all. Music comes from everywhere, and it infuses everything in our lives. Most important: Find your own tone, your own sound, and go with it—there’s only one you!

What are your musical goals?

To keep writing, recording, releasing, and promoting albums, and to continue performing the Young Presidents’ music, as well as growing as a producer, a bass player, a composer, and an artist.