By Jack Barnes
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
M. Gardner: I was born and raised in the Detroit, MI. I’ve lived there most of my life until I went off to college. Now I stay in the Metro Detroit area. You know, whether it was waking up every weekend to the sounds of my mother cleaning the house listening to Motown greats, to playing in my school band, marching band, school and church orchestras, or writing and creating my own, music has been a part of my life as a listener, performer, and producer for the majority of my life.
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
M. Gardner: I would say all together about 7 years. I grew a little frustrated with the industry. I kept meeting people who always wanted something from me and talked a good game about what they could do for me, but never followed through, and it caused me to fall out of love with making music. So I took a long hiatus for a while to pursue other interests.
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
M. Gardner: One year for Christmas I got a cheap Radio Shack keyboard that let me record 4 tracks. I didn’t know what type of sound I wanted, so I used to try and remake some of my favorite tracks from back then. Of course, they sounded nothing like what I was listening to, but that practice helped me understand song structure and how beats are made. It was good practice until I was ready to move up to more professional equipment. Eventually, I got a drum machine (BOSS DR202), a Yamaha PSR350, and a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder. That’s when things got serious for me.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your sound?
M. Gardner: That’s a tough question. I’m not sure I have a particular sound. My goal has always been to be able to make music for any genre or style. I don’t want people to be able to hear a beat of mine and know right away it’s me. I think when that happens you get pigeonholed as a producer that only makes a certain type of beat. Sort of how actors get typecast for certain roles. I want people to be able to come to me knowing I can provide them with any type of track they want.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
M. Gardner: I’ve always been a fan of Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, Scott Storch, Kanye, The HitMen, and the Neptunes, but Timbaland will always be number one for me. His music was so much different than everyone else’s and it was my biggest influence for pursuing this industry.
Getmybuzzup: How do you go about producing a song and what goes into your process?
M. Gardner: I create music based on how I’m feeling at the time or if something inspires me. I never sit down and make a certain type of track just to make it. If I’m not feeling it, it doesn’t come out good and I spend too much time on it trying to turn it into something I like. My gut and emotions drive me on what direction to go in. Sometimes I can sit down and finish a track right on the spot, or sometimes it turns into an idea that I save and pull back up later. There have been instances where I might be creating a song and something I made months or years ago will pop in my head, and it ends up being the finishing touch to what I’m working on.
Getmybuzzup: What are you currently working on?
M. Gardner: I just released my debut album “Divergent”, so I’ve been busy just promoting the songs from that and just working on establishing myself within music again. I have 2 more instrumental albums I plan on releasing within the next 2 or 3 months, an EP that may turn into an album for an artist I’m working with, and an instrumental mixtape that I want to dedicate to my father who passed away in 2014.
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check off music?
M. Gardner: More equipment of course! I’m not into cars, clothes, or jewelry. As long as I have what I need, I’m good, but I’m always looking into invest in better equipment if it helps me get my ideas out faster and inspires me to experiment and create something out of the box.
Getmybuzzup: What are must haves when your in the studio working?
M. Gardner: Gotta have my laptop and portable HD. I have sounds on that drive that I’ve collected through the years that most people have never heard that I like to use. Maschine and Pro Tools are my software choices for creating and mixing. Best thing about having my laptop is the studio goes wherever I take it. Sometimes I go different places to work on music just for the change of scenery and inspiration. It turns out I’m very productive when I’m on my lunch break at work lol.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
M. Gardner: I haven’t really gotten any advice, but the best lesson I’ve learned is don’t wait for others to accomplish YOUR goal. If you have to do everything yourself, so be it. Don’t let your success depend on other people who are not willing to work as hard or sacrifice as much as you.
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
M. Gardner: Definitely the beats. I don’t rap or sing.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
M. Gardner: I need to improve my mixing. I think once I have a room that caters to creating better mixes they will come out better. So far, I’ve mixed everything on headphones. I have a decent pair, but I know I can do better with studio monitors in a room dedicated for mixing. I also want to improve the amount of time it takes me to finish a song. I want to finish them faster and more often. Get what’s in my head out faster so I can continue flowing.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
M. Gardner: I love all types of music, but R&B has always been my favorite genre to listen to. So my favorite song is a tie between Anita Baker “My Angel”, and Luther Vandross “Don’t You Know”.
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
M. Gardner: I’m not really influenced by artists. If we were talking producers, I’d say Timbaland. I think I heard him say once that he didn’t worry about making music that people liked. He made what he thought was dope and let everyone hop on the bandwagon. He created his own lane and continued to evolve his sound throughout the years.
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
M. Gardner: I haven’t had the opportunity to work with any mainstream artist yet so I’ll say may own so far. Although I think it would be exciting to work with artist who are already successful, I would really like to find some unknowns or independents and help break them into the mainstream. Finding a couple of artists that I can vibe with and put a solid project together is one of my goals. Especially artists from my hometown.
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
M. Gardner: I think it’s really saturated with music that isn’t that good. I think a lot of these artists need to spend more time writing and creating something good instead of taking the first thing that pops in their head and recording that and clout chasing. The song doesn’t have to be overly lyrical, but at least put something together that shows you took your time. I hear a lot of songs on the radio where the lyrics don’t rhyme and the artist are off beat. If it wasn’t for the beat banging would you still want to listen it? What happened to having quotables, and wordplay?
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
M. Gardner: Make music, break some artists, and have fun. I’m not looking to make a career out of this but if I can make money doing something that I love, then that’s good enough for me.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
M. Gardner: It depends on what I make. I think I can make something that can relate to anyone.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other DJ’s / producers? (What’s makes you different?)
M. Gardner: I’m willing to go against the grain and live with the results regardless of whether people like it or not. I like to experiment and blend things that don’t necessarily go together to try and make something new. I try to live outside the box instead of just thinking that way.
Getmybuzzup: When your not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
M. Gardner: I read a lot. Books, articles. I like to collect information. I workout 3 or 4 times a week, watch a lot of TV and movies, play videogames. I’m a homebody so if it can be done in the house without me having to leave, that works for me.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any artist or collab with another producer who would it be?
M. Gardner: I’d like to collab with Timbaland, Just Blaze, and Pharrell. I’d like to work with Drake, T.I., Jay Z, Beyonce, SZA, G-Easy, ASAP Rocky, Nas, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick, J-Cole. Too many to mention.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
M. Gardner: The biggest highlight has been hearing something I produced played on the radio and in the club. Getting the chance to see how the crowd reacts to my music was an awesome experience.
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
M. Gardner: Drake, T.I., Jay Z, Beyonce, SZA, G-Easy, ASAP Rocky, Nas, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick, J-Cole, Cardi B, O.T. Genesis.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
M. Gardner: More music. I’m going to try and put something out that hasn’t been done before. I have a few ideas and based on the research no one has done them yet. Having the chance to be the first person to do something is exciting.
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
M. Gardner: If anyone wants to know more about me, check out my blog on the website. I’m also looking for writers and artists so if you’re interested, get in contact with me.
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
M. Gardner: They can go to my website: mgardnermusicllc.com. Also follow me social media. Links are on the page.
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