Sharard “Kornball” Carmichael
(Published Originally 12.01.15 on ARTISCEND.COM)
Written By J. Randolph
Freedom of expression is defined as the ability to create and communicate ideas without restraint. While many people agree that this is a fundamental human right, some argue that censorship of ideas is the equivalent of suffocation. For them, expressing themselves through art and culture isn’t an option, it’s an essential.
Sharard Carmichael, who goes by the stage name—Kornball, is one of the aforementioned. “I wouldn’t call myself a musician; I’m an Artist”, he says. [For me], it’s about being a creative, not bound in a box”.
As an artist and a person, Carmichael is a walking paradox. As a standout forward at E.E. Smith high school in Fayetteville NC, he received partial scholarship to North Carolina Wesleyan College. The program was growing quickly but Carmichael didn’t seize the opportunity. In his words, “[Going to college] was the worst thing and the best thing for me. If I could change anything, I wouldn’t have gone to school because it put me in debt and I’m starting from behind”.
Ironically however, Carmichael also admits that college was the place he discovered his passion and in part, himself. In his sophomore year, Carmichael banded with a group of friends to create a musical group affectionately named Studio 120. Little more than a tiny one-bed dormitory with a generic microphone and basic studio engineering software, this collective of students created new music daily. It gave Carmichael an outlet and a sense of purpose and direction.
Carmichael left Wesleyan for the International Academy of Art & Technology Tampa FL. in the fall of 2009. The atmosphere was different than Wesleyan because, “you go to school to do something you want to do”, said Carmichael. It was his first experience in a professional studio and an opportunity to be surrounded by peers with common career goals. As with Wesleyan beforehand, financial aid fell through and Carmichael prepared to say his goodbyes in Tampa but before leaving, he helped engineer and record over ten tracks the night before returning home. For him, it was a triumph of showing skill and determination.
Shortly after leaving, he recorded more songs with his team and launched his first feature length demo entitled “Presents of Mind”.
Since then, he has recorded dozens of songs, performed at local venues and began creating his own clothing line. According to him though, one of his proudest achievements was working with a team of artists at a local studio in the heart of his hometown—Fayetteville, NC. One of the more experienced of the group, Carmichael took on a natural leadership role and worked hard to ensure the production was of the best quality.
Now in the midst of finishing up his new music project titled “Out of Character”, Carmichael has set his sights on continuing to push the envelope with his own art and providing opportunities for others to do the same. “I want to put a microphone or a camera in these kids’ hands…I’m not there yet but I will be”.
In a society where silence is traded for acceptance, art and music are especially important to give voice to those who might not otherwise have a platform. Carmichael represents a growing resurgence of creatives who use their art to honestly explore their own thoughts and ideas. His advice to everyone behind a microphone, “No matter what, stand by whatever it is that’s important to you”. That’s not just sound advice for growing artists, but for all individuals with whatever dreams they pursue.