Get plugged in with creative director, graphic designer, and producer Mike Touze. We got to sit down and take some dope photos with Mike in the producer’s chair. We talk about art throughout the city he’s worked on, newly released music, and upcoming projects as well. Read the interview below and find out some things you might not have known about his connection to the city.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in music:
“Aight, my name is Mike… Mikey Mike & I’m 28. I got started in music a long time ago. I started off playing instruments and then I stopped as a kid and started drawing. I started doing murals and stuff, We did the mural in Harford Park. The City’s fun bus? Have you ever seen that? We did a bunch of murals and painting in Harford, and some stuff in the south. Then I started doing the digital thing which a photoshop and started producing again just doing beats from doing covers and stuff for rappers. Why not add producing? I wanted to try to do something new. I think It’s just apart of art.”
What sparked your interest in creating incredible graphics, and producing beats?
“The graphics, just seeing that everything’s paying off and we got to do something in the industry that pushed me even more. Some people get lazy and I started from literally nothing and made it that far and what inspired me was being in the studio with Lil Wayne and Zoey Dollars, Quavo just a few sessions. Some how some way down the line I know my music will be heard, legit. “
Just recently we got a chance to see your production work with the beat to Cam Bells new single Timing, tell us how this collaboration and sound came about?
“So Cam had rented a studio, near where I ride my bike, and I ran into him. We linked up and he showed me some beats and I didn’t even know he makes beats, so I told him, I do too. I played some beats for him and we made it happen.
We also got a tape coming. It ’s going to be very soulful about five tracks. He’s working on it now.”
Who are some of the artists from our city that you’re listening to now?
“Definitely Jon hope, Cha Chi, I just heard of Reign Mercedes, Lily Rayne and of course the guys, the Wavy Bunch, F1 and Kee Money I check out everybody’s music…, Mccoy Price, There’s just so many artists I could name right now. I reach out sometimes too to let them know I’m listening. “
Who are some of your favorite artist that you’ve worked with in the past?
“I like E man, I like his music, his message, he’s funny too… also, Mccoy Price. he’s very lyrical that’s more my thing. I like a few good RnB singers like Ivan brooks. There’s just so many people to name.. I’ll probably have to look through my phone.”
So, you’re big on traveling and living life on your own pace, how has it transitioning from the work industry as a computer engineer to more of an artistic entrepreneur? Do you like it better has it been hard?
“I’m happy you asked that, so it is a very tough transition because some people get comfortable where they are. I think I had my wars with the workforce because every time I would want to travel you know they don’t want you to travel. Most of my jobs were always contracts which favored me so I could work once they were done and then chill for three months. A lot of times work got in my way and I never really worked in RI so it was so hard getting back here with traffic, So I was working from the time I got home from work at 8 pm till the next day I would have to go back to work so It just got in the way. I felt like it was taking a lot of my time. Work is good because it is consistent pay but some people let their job scare them.. like oh I can’t because of work “
What are some of the services you offer…I know you do so much like the graphic design and producing but tell me more about what you do?
“Photography, videography, animation which I haven’t advertised yet but I also do computer repair I have a few I’m working on right now. I can do alot of stuff like programming, studio equiptment set up, fixing programs pretty much everything surrounding technical stuff I can do. “
So what advice would you give a younger producer or someone coming up in the music industries technical side?
“What I would say is whatever craft they go into there’s something else that will tie into it. Like Slick, he records but he also makes beats but, at the end of the day recording is what’s going to make you your money so you can’t just focus on one thing if you want to elevate and move around in the field you can’t just do one thing you gotta do multiple things.
Some people think you’re going to get nice just like that but it takes time. You could buy macs, plugins or million dollar cameras but if you don’t know the craft and the mastering behind it, forget it”
So what’s next on the agenda for you Mike?
“LA, that’s what’s next for me. From there I just want to improve and keep working on my skills. Like illustration and drawing, and producing skills. I want to meet as many people as I can and build from there, just got to keep elevating. But wherever the wind takes me next, who knows. “