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. The St. Louis native moved to Chicago at the age of 18 and soon after he met Jeremih while attending Columbia College. The two began making music in Schultz’s makeshift apartment studio and their chemistry was palpable. The duo co-wrote and produced Jeremih’s self-titled debut album and took it to a local Chicago radio station with hopes of getting their first single “Birthday Sex” played. The song was an instant hit after it aired and soon every major label was calling to make a deal.
The two went on to spawn mega hits “Down On Me” featuring 50 Cent, “Don’t Tell ‘Em” featuring YG, and “I Like” featuring Ludacris, firmly establishing Schultz as one of the top new go-to music producers.
Since breaking into the industry, Schultz has went on to earn two Grammy nominations and produced multiple hits for various artist including Why Don’t We, Max Frost, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Jez Dior, SoMo, and Zendaya to name a few. Whether from a makeshift studio or in his own state-of-the-art recording studio, Schultz has always been driven by the desire to make music. Constantly pushing his own limits, he pours his all into writing and producing rather than getting sidetracked by publicity or image. Artists who work with him have noted they can hear a difference in their music after working in his studio, where they’re free of the pressure of timetabled sessions and can reap the benefits of a hands-on producer who simply loves to inspire and vibe with other music lovers. In 2019 Schultz took his passion for independent projects and love for developing new talent and created Upside Records, a joint venture label under Atlantic Records. Schultz is currently producing and overseeing projects for various artists.
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Click here to read Mick’s interview with Splice and his discussion on sonic maps and from where he draws inspiration. Below are a few of our favorite quotes:
Splice: Lastly, can you share three tips for new and aspiring producers?
Sound design: When it comes to sound and being unique, I think one of the best ways to define who you are is to literally just create your own sound. I’m not saying you have to be a synthesis master or sound design pro. You can simply take a snare drum you already have or go onto Splice and download a few drum sounds – pitch and warp them a bit with distortion and other effects, and then immediately you’ll have something that’s unique to you. It’s a great way to find new inspiration, and you’ll find it’s really satisfying to come up with a sound that literally didn’t exist a few minutes before.
Network and collaborate: It’s great to work on your own, but when you work with others you share ideas and knowledge. You pick up other people’s processes and approaches to making music, and that can inspire you to grow in new ways that a YouTube video can’t offer. On top of that, you build relationships, which is (aside from the music itself) the most important tool you can have in the music industry.
Learn the gear you have: Try not to get too distracted with all the new gear and plugins dropping literally every week in today’s world. Focus on the things you currently own and master them. Chances are you haven’t even scratched the surface on what some of the tools you already have can do. It’s amazing how creative I can be when I focus in on just a few things to produce with and really use them to their full potential. It’s great to have options, but limiting yourself can make you be more creative. It forces you to figure out how to manipulate that one plugin or synthesizer to make something that’s your own.