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Meet Hagay Mizrahi of Gemini Muziq in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hagay Mizrahi.

Hagay Mizrahi, also known in his stage name ‘Gemini Muziq’, is an American-Israeli musician, record producer, engineer and songwriter. At the age of six, he traveled with his family to Taiwan due to a mission from his father’s workplace, where he began to study piano in the Yamaha method. After four years, the family returned to Israel and Mizrahi continued to study piano privately until the age of 18. After his military service, he enrolled in the Rimon School of Music for composition and arrangement. During his studies, Mizrahi traveled to Kingston, Jamaica where he got his first experience as a musical producer in collaboration with Dean Fraser and Yossi Fine. After completing his studies, he began to work as a music producer with Israelis top artists including Eyal Golan, Arkadi Duchin, Subliminal, and Shotei Hanevua. At the age of 36, Mizrahi decided to leave to Los Angeles which led him to work with Justin Bieber’s writer Poo Bear which opened up the door to Mizrahi’s career in the American music industry including work with: Post Malone, Common Kings, Mario Barret, Poo Bear, Justin Bieber, Taboo, Christina Millian, Lil Twist and more.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I got my first chance in la when a client that heard my music wanted me to produce an album for her in Los Angeles. When I got to LA, I was picked up with her manager in a nice Mercedes which was rare in my country I thought wow I made it, few months later the artist had a huge fight with her investor and she left the country and I found my self with no work and a huge loan that I took in Israel. It was my breaking point I told my self you are not leaving until you make it even if it means sleeping on the floor, I ended up sleeping in a studio that I got access to in return for music production services two years later a mutual friend of the studio owner and me came to hear my production and was blown away turned out he was managing Lil Twist Mario Barret and Poobear at the time. My introduction to Poo Bear was magical.

A year later, I was hired to be the house producer/engineer at Pacifique Studios in North Hollywood for three years, at that time I recorded with many artists such as Mario Barret, Christina Aguilera, Lil Wayne, and Poo Bear. Me and Poo Bear worked on various songs but there was one night when we worked on a piano riff and I had no clue which artist it was aimed at, Poo came up with a magical melody on it and it the hook said, “you give me purpose”. We finished the session late at 4 am. The next day at the studio Poo Bear said Justin [Bieber] loves this song he’s going to use it on his album! We were in shock. It ended up being the title song for an album that sold 4 times platinum! It was one of those moments when I just knew I was in the right place at the right time.

Please tell us about Gemini Muziq.
Working with Poo Bear taught me that to make yourself a great engineer/producer you literally need to predict what the artist, writer, or producer wants to do next and be ready to perform in a split second. Don’t practice at the session, practice at home!

Always use markers as you go, it makes it easier to find your way around the song when you need to fly vocals, guitars, drums, etc. The idea is the artist, writer, or producer needs to feel like there is no engineer in the room and that everything flows without any glitches.

For example, when tracking vocals if you are at the first verse and the writer is going to have you go back and forth until he gets that first line in the pocket, at times he will ask to use the third word from the second take and the second word from the first take; that needs to happen very quickly on the spot, making sure you’ve cleaned the crossfades, and more importantly you must be able to detect timing issues and fix them right after the selected take has been chosen. All that comes with practice but these are skills that you will need to master.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Get the best vocal chain possible in the session. For me, the vocal is the first and most important instrument in the song. When the vocal is recorded right, everything else sounds great. Find the best combination of mic, preamp, and compressor to get the best setup that fits the artist’s voice. My preferred vocal chain starts with a Sony c800g mic, Bae 1073 pre, and TubeTech Cl1b compressor. Never failed me!

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Image Credit:
Elaine Courtney

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