Meet Andrew Kahn (Music '16)

REALITY Alumni Stories
  • Team REALITY

March 21, 2018


Andrew chooses to stay focused on community building and relationships at a local level. After returning from his REALITY journey with a new faith in humanity—and inspired by the spirit of the state of Israel—he discovered a renewed commitment to focus on local impact, action and relationships.

Andrew Kahn


REALITY: Describe what you do and how you are trying to make an impact.

Andrew: I’m a music supervisor, and since college, this is the only job that I ever really knew that I wanted. After working in-house for four years, I started my Good Ear Music Supervision, and that was about seven years ago. Now, I get to connect artists—from super small independent musicians you’ve never hear of to buzzworthy up-and-comers and superstars—to a variety of brands and companies. It’s great to be the conduit that helps spread the wealth of these brands to some truly amazing artists.In addition to my job, I also do work with Human Rights Watch and read plenty of books in my hammock.

REALITY: Who inspires the work that you do?

Andrew: I think everyone tends to be drawn to the entertainment and music of their youth, but I feel especially fortunate to have grown up with movies that were using music in such an impactful way. Creatively, I’m so inspired by the people who moved me to explore this niche profession, and that’s all those nerdy filmmakers from the 1990s. I still refer back to Empire Records and even the early John Hughes movies as a Golden Age in music supervision.

REALITY: What was the most meaningful moment from your REALITY journey?

Andrew: There were two very specific moments—one at the beginning of our visit to Yad Vashem and one close to the end—that helped coalesce the way that I see the world. Right when you walk in, there is a video of a Jewish community singing and celebrating in the street before the war had started. It’s a beautiful and simple example of what community is and what life can be like. Toward the end of the tour, you see different vintage footage of bulldozers moving bodies into mass graves. It’s this incredible distillation of what we as people, countries and systems should be working against. But you are still reminded of what we should be working toward, which is loving and celebrating community, and singing and dancing in the street.

REALITY: How did REALITY impact your personally?

Andrew: After REALITY, I became set in this path to think smaller and to just be smaller. Making an impact is great, but a lot of the time we’re striving to “disrupt” and “upend” this or that industry or way of life. Everyone is trying to have the loudest voice and make the biggest impact and there is this sense of too much going on. I like the idea of being local and being respectful of your local community. Because of REALITY, I became steadfast in being content with what I’m doing. If I continue to have a small business with a small team then I can continue to make an impact outside of work, and that’s really important to me.

REALITY: How have you stayed connected to Israel since your journey?

Andrew: The things that we learned on our REALITY journey were possible because of how unique the State of Israel is. I left the trip feeling better about the world and better about humanity. Part of it was being on this trip with 40 strangers and having such a deep and meaningful experience and really getting along with everyone. But, I also felt that same spirit in Israel itself. Everyone we met and all that we were exposed simply because we were in Israel, despite all of its conflicts, was rather uplifting, and I have taken that spirit of Israel’s community with me.

REALITY: Since REALITY, how “do” you Shabbat? Share a short story.

Andrew: I have done more Shabbats since REALITY than I had ever done before, by at least fivefold. While it hasn’t necessarily become a firm part of my routine, I do find that on Fridays, I’m ready to decompress and carry that spiritual breath into the weekend. It feels nice to have that moment of reflection whether I’m alone or with my community and we’re specifically celebrating Shabbat.

REALITY: What can the REALITY community contact you about?

Andrew: My work is a big part of my life, so if you want to talk about advertising or music, I have a lot to share and a lot to learn. And remember, I’m part of your community. If you want to play ultimate frisbee (I’m about to play my second game ever), go on a hike or talk about music, I’m around!


The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.