Kevin MacLeod

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kevin MacLeod (musician))
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kevin MacLeod
Born (1972-09-28) September 28, 1972 (age 48)
Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
OriginNew York City, New York, U.S.
  • Composer
  • music producer
Years active1996–present

Kevin MacLeod (/məˈkld/ mə-KLOWD; born September 28, 1972) is an American composer and musician.[1][2] MacLeod has composed over 2,000 pieces of royalty-free library music and made them available under a Creative Commons copyright license.[3][4] His licensing options allow anyone to use his music for free as long as he receives attribution (credit), which has led to his music being used in thousands of films.[5] His music has also been used in some commercial video games such as Kerbal Space Program,[6] as well as in a large number of YouTube videos and films.[7][8]

Early life[edit]

MacLeod was born on September 28, 1972 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He went to college, where he studied music education[9]


Music distribution[edit]

MacLeod states that he releases his music under Creative Commons licenses to maximize the number of people who can use his music.[10] On his website's FAQ, he expressed disdain for the current state of copyright; he hopes to create "an alternate body of works that is able to compete with them".[10][11]

MacLeod's most popular license is the CC BY; his music is free to use but must be credited.[12] A no-attribution license is also available for people who are unwilling or unable to provide credit to MacLeod; the license costs $30 for one song, $50 for two songs, and $20 per song for three or more songs.[12]

MacLeod has also created, which collects new public domain sound recordings by various artists. Rather than waiting for old copyrights to expire, he hopes to provide a quality library of modern recorded works by artists who explicitly release their music into the public domain.[13] Some of MacLeod's own music is available on the website as well; he explains that these songs are "not commercially viable in the traditional sense, and just add clutter [on his primary website] which hinders people in finding the pieces that they may want."[14]


MacLeod is the subject of a documentary film titled Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod.[15] The film had a limited release in October, 2020. Ryan Camarda, the film's director and producer, ran a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter with a goal of $30,000; by the end of the campaign, 524 backers had pledged a total of $30,608.[16] According to the Kickstarter page, the amount was needed for transportation in order to conduct in-person interviews with the various subjects featured in the film.[16] The documentary has received positive reviews from critics.[17]

Awards and accolades[edit]

In 2015, MacLeod was awarded the International Honorary Web Video Award at the 2015 German Web Video Awards by the European Web Video Academy for his lifetime achievement in influencing the German web video community.[18][19]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 2009: Dark World
  • 2013: Medium Electronic
  • 2014: Video Classica
  • 2014: Exhilarate
  • 2014: Darkness
  • 2014: Netherworld Shanty
  • 2014: Virtutes Instrumenti
  • 2014: Christmas!
  • 2014: Madness and Paranoia
  • 2014: Polka! Polka! Polka!
  • 2014: Cephalopod
  • 2014: Wonders
  • 2014: Dark Continent
  • 2014: Tenebrous Brothers Carnival
  • 2014: Mystery
  • 2014: Light Electronic
  • 2014: Aspiring
  • 2014: Action Cuts
  • 2014: Thatched Villagers
  • 2014: Take the Lead
  • 2014: Oddities
  • 2014: Latinesque
  • 2014: Healing
  • 2014: Atlantean Twilight
  • 2014: Music to Delight
  • 2014: Silent Film: Light Collection
  • 2014: Vadodara
  • 2014: Happyrock
  • 2014: Silent Film: Dark Collection
  • 2014: Bitter Suite


  1. ^ Hoffberger, Chase (March 3, 2020). "Royalty Free: Why YouTube and Creative Commons can't coexist". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Pollari, Niina. "Free Music – Kevin MacLeod Composes for the Internet". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "Case Studies/Kevin MacLeod". Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  4. ^ Tyler, Aaron (May 30, 2017). "Earth From Space & Kevin MacLeod Music". On Stage Magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "I am Kevin MacLeod, the composer in millions of YouTube videos, and thousands of films. AMA! : IAmA". Reddit. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Soundtrack - Kerbal Space Program Wiki". Kerbal Space Program Wiki. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Silverman, Matt (October 19, 2018). "How the internet's most prolific composer makes a living by giving his music away for free". The Daily Dot. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Duenas, Ulises (December 16, 2020). "'Royalty Free' Tells the Story of the Most Selfless Man in Music". High Brow Magazine. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  9. ^ Gutelle, Sam (December 2, 2016). "Kevin MacLeod Is The King Of Royalty-Free Music, And Millions Are Listening". Tubefilter. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  10. ^ a b MacLeod, Kevin. "Free downloads – Royalty Free Music". Incompetech. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  11. ^ Camarda, Ryan (January 1, 2000), Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod, archived from the original on March 12, 2017, retrieved March 12, 2017
  12. ^ a b MacLeod, Kevin. "Music License Forms". Incompetech. Archived from the original on July 29, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  13. ^ MacLeod, Kevin. "Public Domain Music Downloads". FreePD. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  14. ^ MacLeod, Kevin. "FreePD FAQ". FreePD. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Spacek, Nick (December 2, 2020). "Director Ryan Camarda on Royalty Free, his new doc on composer Kevin Macleod". The Pitch. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod by Ryan Camarda". Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "German Web Video Award Page". Archived from the original on October 30, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  19. ^ "Video of the German Web Video Award Being Given". Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.

External links[edit]