Karsten Kjems

Karsten, with over two decades of international experience as a professional jazz drummer, is a fervent advocate for audio branding. He is deeply committed to enhancing communication and customer journeys by harnessing the potential of sound and music. Despite his sensitivity to noise, Karsten utilizes this trait to champion the significance of silence and the strategic influence of sound and music in branding and product development.

Karsten’s upbringing immersed him in a world of music. His father, a renowned jazz drummer, transformed their family home in Copenhagen into a hub for musicians and instruments. The basement housed a professional recording studio frequented by top artists. Following in his father’s footsteps, Karsten embarked on a career as a professional jazz drummer at the age of 23.

As a young child, Karsten was drawn to computers and dabbled in music production using early digital audio workstations such as ProTracker on the iconic Amiga during the late 1980s. In addition to his drumming career, he pursued formal education as a software developer. While working at a branding agency, Karsten observed a common challenge among major brands—the struggle to convey their identity through sound. The realm of strategic sound and music usage was lacking professionalization, potentially leading to misunderstood messaging or even brand damage. In response, he founded Sonic Minds in 2004, establishing one of the pioneering agencies exclusively focused on audio branding and the strategic application of sound and music to enhance brand engagement and customer experiences.

Today, Karsten boasts over 15 years of experience in audio branding, having advised clients across the globe. His contributions can be found in books, and he has lectured at Denmark’s Audio Designer education program. Karsten is a sought-after keynote speaker on the subject and is widely recognized as an expert in the field of audio branding.

When we break the silence, it has to create more meaning than the silence itself. Otherwise, we’re just creating noise. We strive to create awareness about the value of silence and the power of music and sound design in the pursuit of creating more engaging and relevant audible experiences.
Karsten Kjems CEO, Sonic Minds