Multi-platinum sound engineer to speak at the Kentucky Center

Lexington native Finis “KY” White has worked with Lil Wayne, Drake, 2 Chainz and more, and he took time to talk to contributing reporter John Renfrow about his journey and his return to Kentucky.

KY Engineerin'

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Multi-platinum sound engineer to speak at the Kentucky Center

Photo provided by Joe Moore.

Photo provided by Joe Moore.

Photo provided by Joe Moore.

Photo provided by Joe Moore.

John Renfrow, Contributing Reporter

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Born as Finis White in Lexington, the now multi-platinum sound engineer “KY” (pronounced kay-why) is one of a select few names of hip hop pioneers from Kentucky making it on the biggest stage.

The Kentucky native is coming to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville on July 30 for a conversation with WFPK’s Sean Cannon, in a public event called “From Risk Taking to Hit Making” put on by Kentucky to the World— a nonprofit that focuses on “enhancing the reputation of Kentucky by highlighting unique individuals that have strong ties to our state.” 

He also goes by “KY Finis” or “KY Engineerin’.” You may not know his name, but you may know his work. 

The producer and sound engineer has recorded hits like “All Me” by Drake, 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “Can’t Believe It” by Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain, and “No Hands” by Waka Flaka Flame and company, among several others that have topped the hip hop Top 40 for over a decade.

“A lot of people from Kentucky don’t realize like, hey, you can make it big from here, and how much cool stuff actually comes from here. Its growing, but it’s definitely not a lot of us out here in Kentucky making moves in the hip hop industry.””

— KY

Kentucky to the World founder Shelly Zegart said she wants to define Kentucky not by its old stereotypes, but by the “remarkable individuals that are passionate about their Kentucky ties.”

“By telling these amazing stories, we will continue to increase the number of people who will value Kentucky as a rich source of intellectual vitality and creativity,” Zegart said. “We then become a catalyst for inspiring everyone, no matter their age, geography or circumstance, to promote a positive narrative about Kentucky and to become image changers themselves.”

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $25.

“I always love coming home. Of course, family is the first reason…and if I lived in Kentucky I’d probably eat Indi’s [Chicken] all the time. I always try to make sure I pop-out while I’m at home, you know, Kentucky’s a different vibe. Atlanta is so fast-paced,” KY said in a phone interview. 

From homelessness in his truck to moving to Miami to work with Lil’ Wayne, and eventually becoming a multi-platinum sound engineer, KY returns to Kentucky Tuesday to tell his story. 

“A lot of people from Kentucky don’t realize like, hey, you can make it big from here, and how much cool stuff actually comes from here. Its growing, but it’s definitely not a lot of us out here in Kentucky making moves in the hip hop industry.”