His upbringing in Brooklyn has deeply impacted his worldview. The sights, the sounds, the music and the people have all left an indelible mark on Kieran's identity.
Musician, DJ and Journalist
"Notes" and "beats" -- Kieran Meadows' professional life can be summed up by these two words. Both "notes" and "beats" are each essential elements in music and in journalism, the two worlds in which Kieran feels at ease. Both music (and audio in general) and journalism (and media in general) have been parts of his life for a very long time.
Raised in Brooklyn, New York
When he was young, Kieran had a portable cassette player/recorder with an internal mic, with which he recorded numerous "pause" tapes, exploring audio and sound from an early age. He also got to use his grandfather's 1980s shoulder-mounted VHS camcorder to shoot video and ask people questions on camera.
A product of Brooklyn public schools, Kieran began playing the drums and DJ'ing (and collecting vinyl records) when he was a teenager. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School, he went on to earn a B.A. in Film Studies and African American Studies from Wesleyan University. While in college, he honed a multidisciplinary approach to his academic pursuits and creative practice, which he still maintains today. At Wesleyan, he DJ'd numerous parties and played dozens of shows around campus. He also got his first radio experience on WESU, 88.1 FM.
The Road To Journalism
Kieran then spent the next few years working in the field of documentary film and teaching high school students video skills and media literacy with DCTV's youth training/ mentoring program. During this time he also began working for the TV/radio news program, Democracy Now!, where he continues to work part time today. His curiosity and interest in knowing people's stories led him to soon earn an M.A. from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism where he was a Punch Sulzberger Fellow. While in graduate school, he was selected as a Carnegie Corporation Fellow to be a field producer for ABC News' Investigative Unit. That year, he shot, reported and produced an enterprise story that aired on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, 20/20 and Nightline. The story required the use of hidden cameras.
Personal Music Renaissance
After graduate school, Kieran decided to end a self-imposed hiatus from music, which he had begun while pursuing a master's degree in journalism. He again started to practice the drums with discipline, as well as study and research music. He unpacked his turntables from storage and began to DJ again. He also began to teach himself and study Portuguese and then spent significant time in Brazil, particularly Rio de Janeiro. He was blessed to have the opportunity to perform music in southern Bahia and later DJ at parties in Rio, notably in Favela Vidigal and also at La Paz Nightclub in Lapa, Rio's main nightlife neighborhood.
From The Present Into The Future
Today, Kieran holds down a job at Forbes Magazine, as the Producer and Engineer, Forbes Podcasts and a producer/director/editor with the video team while he still maintains his gig with Democracy Now!. He has also been a regular contributor to LargeUp.com, a music and lifestyle outlet revolving around the Caribbean. He co-hosted and engineered the associated weekly radio show, The LargeUp Sessions, during its run on RadioLily.com at Miss Lily's Restaurant in the Village.
As a DJ, Kieran has played at, among other places, iThe Blond at the 11 Howard Hotel, The W Hotel, Louie & Chan, The VNYL, WeWork Soho, Better Days, The James Hotel, The McCarren Hotel, The Thompson Hotel, Kinfolk 90 and 94, C'mon Everybody, Friends and Lovers, The Late Late, the former Meridian 23 and Tiki Tabu Rooftop at Sixty LES Hotel, and at Miss Lily's Restaurant and Spur Tree Restaurant. He has also performed in Brazil, in southern Bahia and in Rio de Janeiro's Favela Vidigal and at La Paz Nightclub in that city's nightlife-centered Lapa neighborhood.
At the former Meridian 23 Music Bar on W. 23rd Street, he launched his own monthly party, The REFRESH. He played an integral role in establishing M23 Radio, which broadcasted live from the storefront window of Meridian 23 during afterwork hours. His weekly Monday radio show, The REFRESH, broadcast from Meridian 23 for a little over a year until the venue closed when the building was bought. He then moved the show to The Late Late Bar, where he operated his own independent and mobile radio studio, set up to broadcast live in a storefront style. Mondays afterwork with the open window attracted quite a lot of attention and after almost a year, the venue had issues renewing its liquor license, partly caused by the Monday afterwork scene.
In early 2018, Kieran moved the show/simultaneous event to its current home at Kinfolk 90 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He currently curates, DJs and hosts the music program, The REFRESH Radio Show, which is a live broadcast during an afterwork happy hour hangout Thursdays 6:30-9:30pmET. As a drummer, he performed with ILLEGALIZE, a live instrument hip-hop group fronted by a male and female emcee duo.
SITE PHOTO CREDITS: Unless otherwise indicated (including via click-thru links), photos by Brian Petchers, Jon Randolph, Tavi Fields, EchoSlim, Jose Miranda, Jon Souza, Scott Quinn, Angela Boyd, Melissa Lefas, Johnnito Cienfuegos, Marcus Mendes, Kieran Meadows, Jonathan Mannion, Ellen Krug & Rodolfo Vaz/Chico Abreu.