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The Checkout Profiles HighBreedMusic, A Best-Kept-Secret on the New York Scene

Courtesy of the artist
Tariq Khan

What exactly is HighBreedMusic?  Is it a Brooklyn recording studio? A digital music channel? An artist commune? For soul-pop artist Kimbra, tribal hip-hopper Farrah Boulé, and Fender Rhodes aficionado Marc Cary, it’s all of the above. This artist-friendly media platform is a safe place where musicians can find their zone, workshop ideas, and display their musicianship to the world.

The mastermind behind HighBreedMusic is recording engineer Tariq Khan, a well-connected Montrealer who believes bigger things can come out of New York’s bustling music community. He teamed up with video producer Nicole Birch and other likeminded industry folk to create a platform for underrated artists to thrive and express themselves.

"These are the most talented pool of creative, original, virtuosic artists on the planet,” enthuses Khan, “but in New York, they are all a 20-minute subway ride away from each other. They all cross-pollinate and work with each other; it's pretty amazing culture that isn’t represented.” Here is a video with the artist Farrah Boulé performing "Bonzai."


In this episode, we’ll feature many of these talented artists who don’t fit neatly in any stylistic category. Musicians like trumpeter Keyon Harrold and soul singer Smithsoneon are able to give inspired performances in the setting that Khan has been refining for years as a producer.

"When I was on tour, you would see an artist murder it at their show — and then at the studio, they were only good in the studio,” he says. “HighBreedMusic gets really special performances by using the audience as the ghost producer, the type of producer that’s getting a performance out of the artist. We’ll get an audience in front of them, then the artist doesn't need a producer to get a performance of a lifetime.”

Watch Kimbra perform “The Good War” solo at HighBreed Music.


Whether Kahn and his team can sustain this high level of content for artists remains to be seen. Regardless, his vision for uplifting artists deep in New York’s trenches is commendable. Right now the organization his accepting donations on behalf of Fractured Atlas to keep his media boutique running.

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Assistant Producer: Anthony Nieves

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For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.