Introducing Mike Banger, Miami's Future Super Producer
New Times: How'd you get your name
Mike Banger: You may know the slang term "banger" when speaking of a hard track. Well, when I first began producing I made nothing but hard mean heavy colossal beats that made you wanna slap people. Think "Ante Up" 24 7. The squad and everyone would always be like "Thats a banger" so eventually I stuck with it as my name. Banger! AOoowww
New Times: What internships did you have and what was your level of interaction with the artists and actors and in what capacity were you involved with the projects?
Mike Banger: I did 3 at once. I eventually became head engineer at Audacity Recording handling everything behind the board for a lot of TV/Radio ads, ADR work, Commercial Jingles, and a few artist including a Thalia mix that came to me randomly. At Poe Boy Entertainment I started behind the board from day one along with all the interning duties. I produced, recorded, mixed, wrote, bought food, and cleaned for all
their artists. Studio Center was my favorite where I met and grew with all of my really good industry friends. This was also the most difficult one but I loved it the most. I cant even remember all the bogus stuff Steve Cuiffo asked us to do. LOL Wudup Steve? Anyways, celebrities flooded that place daily so I learned alot and made great contacts. I was always third down the line there so I cleaned before and after sessions, patched, set up mics, as well as the typical intern tasks along with some weird stuff occasionally. My CD was always in rotation there though.
New Times: what's the difference between creating a sports jingle vs voice over shit vs hip hop?
Mike Banger: When I'm producing or writing with others its basically wildn out getting in your zone however you must with a lot of spontaneity. I don't like talking or planning much because your plan may not be so awesome once recorded. I rather hum out absurd craziness while vibing to a melody and start fitting words right there and just go in. Or just start playing the keys bad till something good comes out. My favorite artists that I work with do it the same way. I got the Jayweezy syndrome I call it. I quit all other studio sessions recently to strictly produce and write since voice over work is the most boring crap ever and I hate it. I literally just hit the record button for a guy to talk for who knows how long, I stop it, and clean it up to fit the commercial or radio jingle and thats it. Creating the jingles for the commercials on the other hand are very fun though. I got 30 or 60 sec to fill with music only and its just making it however the agency requests. We do this over a few drinks while the ad agencies freak out over night. LOL
New Times: hows the economy hitting the up an comin independent beatmaker/producer?
Mike Banger: Well, I have had it hard since day one and I'm still upcoming so I guess I haven't hit my high point to see a drop in income. I have seen a decrease in ad agency work. I do see a lot of studios not doing so well though and that ruins opportunities for me and my boys. A few studios completely closed down. Our services are still very much needed anyhow and you can hear it. As far as me though, I'm growing through this recession.
New Times: what were the studio missions you were running?
Mike Banger: Aside from producing which was always the final mission to be accomplished. Mop, vacuum, clean windows, clean vomit, toilets, make coffee, make coffee the right way, wrap cables, answer phones, drive extremely far for an exclusive Argentinean steak for Shakira (that thing was probably cold when I got back), buy blunts, patron, more blunts, clean roaches, popeyes chicken don't forget Weezy's extra biscuits, candy, anything else you could imagine. And yea I got some puffy cheesecake stories but I rather not air out superstars out right now. LOL
New Times: how's lil wayne in the studio, did you record anything that ended up on an
album or mixtape?
Mike Banger: Ahhh Weezy. A true inspiration. I was third down the line during these sessions so it was really cleaning, mic setup, buying his necessities on the road every night, and leaving my beat CD laying around by accident on purpose. I made tracks for his Young Money artist Curren$y which is now in Fly Society with Terry Kennedy. Yea we skate for real too by the way. Weezy though, he plays a beat looping for an hour maybe. Paces around while thinking of rhymes. Jumps in the booth and kills it. Thats that! He can do 3 to 5 more or less in a few hours. I feel he really made me more confident in my creative process which is very similar and assured me it can be done without necessarily writing a thing. There are stuff rappers miss when they trap themselves between the lines of a paper. A nice breath or pause or how about an Uhh ad lib flipped the right way. Weezy's voice is very dynamic. You cant hear dynamics on a paper.
New Times: you workin with any artists right now?
Mike Banger: Lil Kim, Young Twinn, Artofficial, Jacki O, Curren$y, The D.E.Y., Lumidee jumped on a record, I'm putting together a fresh duo group, and my own solo project as well which is really gonna be something new.
New Times: whats the importance of mixing and mastering
Mike Banger: A good mix is essential. If your levels are not right you may never make it to radio or the club as good as the song maybe. I can always appreciate and enjoy something in its roughest form but the industry wont. Mastering will crank you too the loudest point while also EQing your mix according to its needs. Maybe a little crispier in the high end, maybe too much bass. I'de say mixing is the more important of the two though since there is good software to get you mastered for a low budget today.
New Times: what gear do you use?
Mike Banger: Pro Tools 8 LE, NI Battery, Korg Ms2000, Korg Triton Extreme, Peluso 2247 LE mic on vocals, La 610 pre/compressor, Tama drums, Lp congas, Roar bongo.
New Times: what are your goals?
Mike Banger: Obviously to be a successful record producer and writer is my short term goal, but my true goals are beyond me. I'm a part of something bigger than me. I want Miami's hip hop scene upgraded. I want to establish a well respected major label down here that
represents us worldwide in a unique positive manner. We don't have a DefJam, Bad Boy, or Aftermath type situation down here. I don't even knock on doors here anymore because of how let down I felt when I finally got in sometimes. Sorry to offend any, but my team is gonna
eat as a result of my true genuine honest hard work, dedication, and an unstoppable sound. Not politics, threats, or payola. I'm about the music. No money has been invested back into our growth yet I see a lot of cars and chains. We've never had a Nas, Jay z, 50, Eminem type
impact from any of our artists. I want to pave a new path for Miami since the road currently leads to a crack spot. I rather it lead to a stage, studio, or a cypher on the corner, or a punch line in your freaking face. I won't stop working till this is achieved. Back to music now.