Kevin “Khao” Cates, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, is a multi-platinum, Grammy nominated music producer, who lives by the motto, "Don’t just be successful, be significant." Khao is also the founder and creator of KOOLriculum, Inc., an innovative technology driven media company that delivers content using music to teach youth in grades Pre-K through12 academic competencies across subjects; he is also the founder of Bridge DA Gap , a non-profit social-emotional program and curriculum, combining Hip-Hop music, education and mentoring to reach students and teach life skills applicable in today’s socially challenged environment.
With over 30 million combined records sold, Khao has revolutionized the sound of Hip-Hop music by producing sounds and melodies that cross various genres of music. He has also positioned himself as a major player in the music industry while maintaining full control of his production and publishing, a feature almost unheard of in the music industry. Khao has also produced music as part of a youth financial literacy curriculum, Money Matters, on behalf of the Charles Schwab Foundation. Along with production, entrepreneurship, and scoring films, Khao is also an A&R (Artist & Repertoire) at Sony Records, responsible for scouting new talent and artist development.
Having produced for some of the biggest names in music, and at the height of his career, Khao took a two-year break from the music industry. Those two years of personal and financial sacrifice lead to the development of Bridge DA Gap, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization utilizing music to teach youth character building principles and life skills. His rationale for doing so was influenced by a speech from a prominent civil rights leader, as well as in honor of his then recently deceased father, who’s motto was: “Don’t just be successful. Be significant.”
Shortly after being approached by numerous educators interested in using the music-driven concept of his non-profit, Bridge DA Gap, to increase test scores, Khao spent another two years developing the content for KOOLriculum™. KOOLRICULUM™ contains over 500 Hip-Hop songs/videos to teach youth in grades K through 12 academic competencies in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. KOOLriculum™ songs have topics that are aligned with the most common academic standards across states. There is also a Pre-K component that teaches school readiness skills in language arts and mathematics. KOOLriculum™ has quickly become a technology-driven online media company that delivers content using “cool” music for the Pre-K and K-12 populations, with integrated multi modal learning strategies.
After leaving his home town of Montgomery, Alabama, and even after facing the reality of being homeless, Khao persevered and became a highly sought after Atlanta-based, mega-hit, music producer, determined to make a difference in the world. Khao understands the challenges and hard work it takes to fulfill dreams and he shares his personal and professional journeys in ways that speak across all ages and backgrounds.