Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Navarro.
Mark, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m a first-generation born Filipino raised in Baltimore City, MD. When my family first came into the states, we had very little to nothing. “Family” was what kept us all together.
I became accustomed to music at a very early age. My lola (grandma) was always playing her piano and gave me piano lessons as a child, but it wasn’t until high school when I started really getting into music.
Both my mom and lola had helped me buy my first guitar and from there my skills were all self-taught with the help of my favorite rock bands at the time such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Mars Volta.
I started a band with my best friend at the time, who played drums, during my sophomore year in high school. With the help of 2 other close friends, we became full-fledged and started writing math-rock/post-rock music. We started our band, ‘Yugennui’ and under that name we toured 3 times up and down the US East coast, hitting as many states as we could through the underground D.I.Y. circuit. Furthest we ever toured as all the way up to Montreal, Canada. Those years I’ve learned the most about music than I ever did in school.
Now I am a solo artist who also does music production and audio engineering. I am also in a duo project with my close friend and collaborator, Dyyo, called ‘G.O.L.D’. We have an album coming out next year.
I am very fortunate to say that I have worked and helped a lot of music artists and friends in the DMV area. All of them have helped with my artist development and growth and I’m very thankful for them.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Oh yeah, there were a lot of struggles along the way. I’ve had my share of failures as well. However; as the old saying goes, “Fall down seven times, get up eight,” is the best way I can express it.
Nothing truly great came easy and life is a continuous testing ground. As a great friend once told me, “Life is about the journey, not usually about the destination.”
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a music artist, music producer, and audio engineer. I specialize in producing, but I also enjoy recording and mixing music. I would say that I am most proud of my musical range. I have a wide musical vocabulary to pull from and I’m a multi-instrumentalist.
I think what sets me apart from others is how I look at and use music gear. I’m not the type of person who sees a piece of equipment and takes it for what it is face value. I love experimenting with instruments, hardware, and even plug-ins beyond what their intended use is. For instance, I love my guitar so much, but sometimes I put in a lot of effort to see what I can do to make it not sound like one. I take this idea and apply it to everything.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Personally, during the deep parts of quarantine, I did a lot of meditating and soul-searching. I learned a lot about myself in that stillness. So, I did a lot of personal growth and realizations during that time.
Artistically, I pretty much buried my head into my computer and wrote/recorded so much music so I could practice my mixing and mastering almost every day. At the time I also lived with roommates who were also music artists so I would help record and engineer their music as well.
I have hard drives of my own personal instrumentals, songs, and a few albums; All made for practice.
Ultimately, I took the time being quarantined as a time for me to self-reflect and to hone my skills.
- Website: https://www.baatchoy.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/baat.choy/?hl=en
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/baat_choy?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
- Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0n1paxt4TitVriLXmiOIxg