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Conversations with Big Mike Hart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Big Mike Hart.

Hi Big Mike, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and I come from a musical family with gospel roots, quartet to be exact. On my mother’s side, there is singing and playing instruments and my father was a DJ, so I guess you can say that music was destined to be a part of my future. As a young kid, I fell in love with the guitar and would identify it as the Holy Ghost! I would watch my uncles sing and play at quartet gospel concerts and couldn’t wait to mess with my Uncle Jimi’s guitar until one day he bought me one of my own. I was in the 4th grade when I came home from school to my grandparent’s house and my grandmother said there was something for me behind her chair. My Uncle Jimi had surprised me with a brand-new guitar and mini amp, that was the beginning of my musical journey.

From there, I was laser-focused and knew I would have a career in music, and over the years I kept developing my gift and passion getting better everyday. It was in high school when my eyes were opened, I was introduced to the world of music production and it changed my life. There are two people I have to credit with my career as now a professional music producer and that is Joe Archie and Derek “D.O.A.” Allen, their grooming and teaching helped on the path I now travel! After climbing the building blocks of music in Sacramento from playing in a high school band (Eklectik) to top home town bands 3n1, Mercy Me and producing local artists with my production team Rhythm Section Ent. (Greg “Buddy Bangs” Reed Jr & Chris “Showtime” Beck). I wanted to step into the Artist lane myself to help showcase our music production and spread my creative wings.

Since becoming an artist in 2014 I have released three albums (Young Man Old Soul, Alt3r 3go, 1987) and I am currently in the final stages of completing my 4th album entitled (Single). I decided to move to LA in 2015, pursuing my dreams, carving my place in this music industry as a musician, producer, songwriter, engineer, and artist. Since moving in 2015 to now, I have accomplished more than I could’ve imagined and can’t wait to see what blessings and opportunities God has in store for me in 2021.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There are always peaks and valleys when you’re trying to pursue anything, and I have had my share. When I first moved to LA, it was a restart for life, not just a career move and when I moved I didn’t have a car so getting around to studio sessions or jam sessions were a struggle especially when you are trying to save and not spend all your money on Uber and Lyft lol. Actually after my first three months in LA, I was ready to move back home because I hadn’t gotten any work yet and funds were low, but then I received a call from my big bro Erik “Pik Funk’ Smith for a gig on guitar with Grammy nominated R&B singer Kenny Lattimore and that call in February 2016 has me as Kenny’s musical director currently. Those low valley points are there to compliment the mountain top highs, they provide balance and perspective because without the struggles to get where you want to be you wouldn’t appreciate the moments on top when you get there. I have lived in my studio as producer on the grind as many of the greats have had to do, trying to get it and make things happen, to now touring the world with some of your favorite artist, to having #1 Billboard Plaques and Spotify Plaques with Millions of streams for songs I have either co-wrote, produced, played guitar or bass on, engineered, or mix and mastered. I embraced the struggles I went through because they were a part of my journey and I encourage everyone to keep going and use all of your valley obstacles as stepping stones to climb to your mountains top dreams! When your faith aligns with hard work God will give the increase! I am an example of how God can take a little boy from Sacramento, CA with a dream and a gift all around the world.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a producer, mix engineer, songwriter, touring guitarist, session bassist, and vocal producer. I feel I specialize in making great music, my sound and style is a mixture of so many genres and influences. I grew up on gospel music, my uncles had a quartet group (Morris Brothers Plus 1) that I was around from childhood, but I also loved listening to Prince and James Brown. That combo of Gospel, R&B, and Funk helped me understand groove, pocket and feel as a guitar player. Now, as a songwriter I love pretty chords and ballads so Baby Face and James Taylor play a huge role on my chords and melody when I write on acoustic guitar. Believe it or not, country music plays the biggest role of them all for me, it’s the art of storytelling that’s applied in country that helps me write timeless songs in any genre I am working in.

So to say I specialize in one thing would limit my gift that consists of so much and that’s not fair to my future Grammy award-winning hit records that cover all styles of music. I am most proud of my drive and focus, I know in this game you have to stay ten steps ahead so having a goal-driven positive mindset keeps me on my toes. I know with God all things are possible, and for me to be an example of him in this music industry, I couldn’t be prouder. The thing that sets me apart from others is that I’m not a follower, the entertainment industry has a lot of influence on people and can expose you to a lot and if you don’t move as leader, you’ll end up becoming a follower. I am a Boss, and my circle of friends are Bosses, having like-minded people around allows my team and I to continue learning, growing, and creating an atmosphere of leadership and elevation. I will never follow the trend, I am too busy being a trendsetter.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I have so many childhood memories it’s hard to just choose one, from my first time going to Guitar Center with my Uncle Jimi in the 8th grade playing every guitar in the store lol, or going the studio with my Uncle Alonzo to work on the church album watching Brian Porter and Derek “DOA” Allen engineer and produce magic at Crystal Clear Studios. One of the biggest memories was the day my big bro Joe Archie gave me my first studio computer with Sonar by CakeWalk on it and took me to get a microphone and studio monitors from guitar center so I could start recording music at home. That day I will never forget because it was the jump start to the career field I’m in now. Without all of these experiences that helped grow me from men who poured into me and a Strong Beautiful Black Queen Mother to raise me, I wouldn’t have a childhood filled with more memorable moments to count! I am just blessed to have so many.

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