Mick Schultz is a Grammy-nominated music producer who achieved multi-platinum success by blazing his own trail through the music industry when he was just a teenager. Since breaking into the industry, Mick has gone on to earn two Grammy nominations and has produced multiple hits for various artists in the pop and hip hop worlds.
Here is our chat with Mick:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
I remember when the song I produced for 50 Cent and Jeremih called “Down On Me” was released. It was a really exciting time, the first time I heard it once it was released was on HOT 97 in New York which is the #1 hip hop radio station there. It ended up being one of the most played songs on radio that year.
What's the best place for those new to your work to become familiar with what you do?
I’d say check me on instagram (@mickschultz) because I post most everything I’m currently doing and show my world and studio there. But a quick google will show you my released work. :)
How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on?
I produce records and help develop artists, that is my main focus. Helping the artist find their sound and voice and making the best song/project possible.
How did you get started in music?
I started producing and getting into that side of music pretty young, around 11 years old. But I “broke” into the industry when I was 18. I was working with an artist while I was in college and we released a song ourselves that ended up going #1 on billboard. The song was “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih. It was like a lightning bolt, there was no stopping that record from blowing up.
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
Making music is supposed to be fun, inspiring, and exciting. When you are in the industry sometimes the business can take that away but you always have to remember why you started making music in the first place. I do it for the love. So any time I lose track of the purpose, or what might be most important, I just take a step back and remind myself what it is I love about music and just put the other stuff to the side for a moment.
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite instruments recently?
I really fell in love with using guitar pedals to process sounds and even run vocals through them. I’m all about staying inspired and that has been something that has really opened up a lot of creativity. Just doing things that are unexpected and different.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire to get where you are in their own careers?
Two things I have lived by in my career:
Always prioritize the music, don’t rush your process or sacrifice the art for anything. You can network, build a team, and promote yourself but without great music none of it matters. Keep your main focus on making the best music you can.
There never is a “right time.” You have to take the risk and take a chance with your music. That could be releasing it to the public, or sending it around to writers or other artists even if you may be unsure of it. If you stay focused you will continue to grow but don’t hold yourself back waiting for the moment to tell you “now is the time”. You have to make it happen yourself.
How long have you been working with headphones, and what inspired you to start including them in your workflow?
I typically only worked on headphones when I was not in my studio or when traveling. But adding the LCD-24s to my workflow really helped give me an entire new perspective and dimension on the music. I'm really into the sonics of what I’m doing so being able to use the headphones to listen to the smallest details really helps!
The LCD-24 literally puts me inside the music. It allows me to focus on all the small details in the production and really execute my vision. Once I heard them, I knew I would be using them on every song I do.