Staff

Darren Cooper - CEO/Partner

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Some see beauty through the lens of a camera, others see it through the stroke of a paint brush; but for me, beauty is revealed mostly through a well-written melody or an unmistakable guitar line. Not only does music exhibit the beauty of the world, it also puts everything in its right place…if only for a moment. There’s not a day that goes by when I’m not moved or inspired by a song. It’s the fuel that spurs my soul to chase down and conquer the dreams inside of me. This is my journey. My journey in music.

It all began with traditional piano lessons. Like most kids, I was taught music theory first, but it was difficult for me. I simply didn’t catch on as quickly as other kids, and all I really wanted to do was play familiar songs I heard on the radio. Even though this traditional approach frustrated me, it did force me to learn by ear. My passion for music wasn’t dimmed by these obstacles. It was diverted.

When I picked up the guitar, I knew I didn’t want any more boring lessons that frustrated me. So I decided to teach myself and that pushed me further along than I ever imagined. I started practicing in a basement with some of my buddies. It wasn’t long before we had the opportunity to play in front of live audiences. After a few years honing my craft, I began directing music at a fairly large church where my brother served as music pastor. That really gave me the itch to produce other people’s music. Realizing further education wouldn’t enhance my goals, I decided it was time to chase my dream on my own.

Over the years I’ve had over ten songs published and distributed world wide; produced and arranged multiple albums nationwide; played in front of thousands of people; and worked alongside Grammy-nominated producers and songwriters. All of these experiences prepared me to start what I see as my most exciting adventure yet, Grizzly Music Company. Looking back over my journey, I know that my passion is to help others make their musical dreams come true. Our Grizzly team has put together a top-notch system to help you no matter where you are on your musical journey. Come join us. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

Anthony Lusby – Chief Engineer/Partner

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I started my musical journey when I was 6. My mom, a professional bass player, bought me my first drum set and I instantly fell in love. From there, I began playing in church. I was in bands (both at church and garages) all the way through high school. Over those years I picked up bass, guitar, and then began fronting a few bands as a lead vocalist. Around ’02-’03 I started what wound up being a very successful rock band (Justify). I was hired by many artists as a session player and played various instruments on quite a few albums, as well as being hired to play live (gigs, tours, etc…)

Over the years, I got into live sound. I really honed my skills in mixing and live production. I got good enough that I was asked to begin mixing broadcast audio for a large church on the east side of Indy. After getting my feet wet in post production, and recording albums in bands I was in, my curiosity of the studio began to peak. I started doing little recordings here and there for friends or smaller bands. I tracked a few EP’s and really started training my ear to get out of artists what you hear on the radio or on tv.

While working as an audio engineer/ production director at E91 (East 91st Street Christian Church), Darren approached me about starting what is now Grizzly Music Company. In just our first year of operation, I can’t believe what has come out of our studio on the west side of Indianapolis. From songs being picked up by national companies for marketing to one song being featured in Billboard Magazine. It’s been an awesome year and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

 

Ashley Lusby – School Administrator and Vocal Instructor

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I can’t remember a time that music wasn’t a part of my life. My parents traveled in churches and sang when I was a kid with me and my little sister in tow. It started me off down a path of loving all things music. From Musicals to Country to Boy Bands and everything in between. I love it all.

I grew up learning vocals traditionally. I had a phenomenal instructor that was from the English National Opera and I also took lessons at Butler University. As amazing as my teachers were I knew that if I ever taught vocal lessons it would be to sing in the real world! That is what I have adopted as “my style” of teaching! I work with students on how to sing the songs they love to sing.

I am inspired by my students who develop more than just the ability to sing the notes the right way or hold the perfect note out for what feels like eternity. You would think that coming to any lesson would be to learn something and go on your way. BUT it is so much more than that… it is developing a character and a confidence that shines from the inside out and the musical perfection is just a bonus. I love nothing more than seeing my students stand up a little taller and smile a little brighter because they can now do what they love a little bit easier.

 

Jake Hahn – Songwriting, Guitar, and Vocal Instructor

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What is your musical background?

I started playing guitar when I was 8 years old. Continued through teen years studying with many instructors and playing in many bands. Found an amazing mentor at age 20 and was lead/coached by many fabulous guitar and voice teachers over the next 5 years.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by many philosophers, artists, dancers, and of course musicians. Namely top 3 – Michael Hedges, Mikky Ekko, Bright Eyes…

What is your teaching background?

I began teaching guitar at age 19, so I’ve been at it for a bit over 17 years. Taught as an apprentice under a music therapist for my first 3-4 years. Began teaching within music store studios just after. I’ve been instructing guitar and voice since ever since.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I’m involved in fitness competitions. I participate in modeling/men’s physique.

Why do you teach?

I truly love to inspire people. To see the light in someone’s eyes turn on in that moment when they actually experience what we’ve theorized about for however long, to this day can still gives me chills! To show someone how to experience greater value in themselves and to live with high self esteem is truly priceless.

Who is a favorite artist of yours right now?

Favorite artist right now would be Mikky Ekko or the band Leagues.

 

Andrew Taylor – Drum Instructor

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What is your musical background?

My music background is 24 out of 30 years, I’ve had drum sticks in my hands. My father was a life long drummer and he was the one to get me started. I had defied his orders to not play his drums when I was 6. He couldn’t help but notice how star struck I was when he set his drums up in the living room. So I went to mom. Mom said yes I could play them, so this was enough for me to override his concern. That was until he stood in the door way watching me chop wood against his gleaming custom red Ludwig kit. A swift butt whoopin later and through some coercion from my mother and smiles from a child, he broke down and got me a practice pad, metronome and Alfreds drum book 1. The rest is history.

Who inspires you?

My father. Carter Beauford, José Pasillas, and too many more. All the greats of course.

What is your teaching background?

I have taught randomly but nothing that was consistent. Too busy making money and music of my own, but now I am ready to start giving back.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I love to take on food challenges. Or almost any challenge for that matter.

Why do you teach?

Working with people that want to be the best at what they do and not because they want to be flashy and get attention. It’s a internal flame one has that you guide them towards, and when they find it, it’s almost like they don’t need you. It sounds weird to say that not being needed is something I go for, but that feeling I get from knowing I have developed this person into their dreams, money cannot buy. And I really like money.

Who is a favorite artist of yours right now?

I’m in a limbo stage of “out with the old, in with the new.” I’m not really a top 20 or 40 kinda guy because radio hits put all the emphasis on everything music isn’t. They have managed to bastardize the emotion of music and sell it in it’s most gutted watered down format possible. But sometimes, bands will actually speak to the masses with their own sound i.e. Dave Matthews, Rush, Zepplin, Floyd, as examples to what it is to stay true to your sound. All bands want to “make it.” But these bands weren’t formed to sit down with producers and be assembled by label cronies to fit an image and pump out platinum albums. They were formed under the pressures of pent up emotion and finding solace in the beat of the their own drum, or guitar, or whatever you get the idea.  These are the musicians that I want to train. Being a “rock star” should be a consequence of your heart and soul.