With so many great records surfacing throughout the industry it’s always difficult to discover the producer behind your favorite songs. While some gain instant notoriety, others devote themselves to an incredible work ethic which accumulates to more opportunities. Mike Free is certainly a man dedicated to his passion and has no time to waste.
While entering the music industry the South Central based producer made an incredible impact by creating the instrumental for Tyga’s “Rack City” which was certified 4x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Free would continue his journey exploring new sounds and executing impeccable ideas that would lead to smash records such as “I Don’t Fuck With You” (Big Sean x E-40), “Post To Be” (Omarion x Chris Brown x Jhene Aiko) & “Or Nah” (Ty Dolla Sign x Wiz Khalifa) to name a few. We got the chance to speak with Mike Free about what the future holds along with the trials and tribulations of being a producer/entrepreneur.
“I grew up in South Central Los Angeles so that could say a lot right there but for those who don’t know Los Angeles is the home of gangbanging so staying away from that was challenging but going to school and playing sports helped keep me out of trouble of course until I figured music would be my thing.”
When did you begin playing instruments? How old were you?
My dad gave me a keyboard when I was 6 and that took my mind off the bs that was going on outside my moms house. I would pretty much replay music I would hear on the radio (dre, snoop, quik, jay z, eve, Alicia keys) until essentially I learned by ear how to play piano.
What motivates you to create your music?
My family is a huge motivation as well as my close circle of friends that motivate me everyday. I also love my vice, OG Kush haha
What do you feel makes your music unique at or above the rest?
Well I think I combined a lot of elements in music I loved from my childhood through adolescence years along with current music and created a strong LA sound for club goers and fun havers all over the world.
Which artist(s) has/had the greatest impact on you?
I would say Lil Jon mainly because his era was my transitioning from child into a teenager. I had older cousins that I would envy for going to night clubs because I was underage at the time of course and telling me how when the DJ dropped that Lil Jon the whole club turnt out. I always thought he was cool because he never really rapped he adlibs of course but just the power of his instrumental was enough to bury the whole night club all over the world.
What’s the best investment you’ve made in your career?
Best investment was my studio having a place to bang out and smoke big weed without the neighbors calling the boys every night is truly a blessing and privilege.
You’ve created some amazing audio masterpieces that have captivated the world time and time again, which song has given you the most memorable experience so far?
My most memorable song would have to be My Nigga aka My Hitta there was so much going on in my life at the time I had just totaled my Cadillac found out I had a son on the way had to pay so much in taxes and didn’t know if I would be able to make it in time (I did) but when I heard that song I believed in it from the moment I heard rich homies voice
What are your thoughts on issues producers face in a streaming economy?
Well I feel the Grammy society is working very hard at fixing that but it’s a big problem because music sells no where how it did 10 years ago from album sales to even the ringtone wave from the early to late 2000s musicians were able to feed families for years with a gold record. Streaming is hurting creators because they aren’t sure how to generate enough capital to keep creating. I hope they fix this real soon because I feel it’s not only hurting the quality of music, it’s hurting integrity and hurting relationships.
What are your views on the present state of major and independent music?
Well I feel like majors have gotten better over the years since the industry has changed and a very small number of Independent labels have really thrived can’t really say much else about it.
What’s your favorite strain to light up? Why?
OG kush because it tastes the best (in my opinion) and gets you the highest (also my opinion)
What is your near future looking like?
What can we expect to hear from you and when can we expect it?
I’ve been working with some really dope artists/ friends early into the year don’t know if they really want me saying it but I’m definitely excited and can’t wait till they drop I’m also working on my first project as a producer I already have some dope features on there and I’m also very excited about that.
Lastly, leave our readers with some final words.
Smoke good eat good live good peace and prosperity Life and longevity deuces.