A Cyber-Interview

In the midst of all that's going on, I was able to sit still long enough to do this chat interview with one of my first online fan club members, Mona aka "EbonyBty," from VA Beach, USA.

EbonyBty: oh you are ready, I am sorry

Gmann00007: no problem… warning, my answers will probably be pretty long

EbonyBty: Okay…what is the Gmann thang?

Gmann00007: What is the Gmann thing...The Gmann thing is all about romance, hence the full name, Gmann-The Romantic. There are so many artists, rappers and singers who are talking about everything except love in their music. There's a lot of sex in songs today, but Gmann is here to fill the romantic void, especially for the females who are being ignored and even disrespected by today's music scene. And while I'm feelin' a lot of what's going down on the music scene today, I'm giving people, especially the ladies a choice. That's where the "Voice of Choice" nickname comes from.

EbonyBty: okay. Good answer. When should we expect something from you on the market?

Gmann00007: Right now I'm finishing up my marketing and promo concepts. I'll probably "leak" some samples of stuff on the web about mid summer, then I guess I'm going to have to stop holding back and put something out this year. I think I'll be dropping the first double single ("Come Go With Me" b/w "U Can Git It Girl") right around the time school kicks back in. The originally planned CD has been finished for a while but I'm thinking of adding some more tracks, depending on how the timing works out.

EbonyBty: I know that you are a producer as well, is there anyone at this time that you are working with?

Gmann00007: I've got a couple of stars in the arsenal that are going to really blow up in the next year. First is The PHLO, a male singing duo that is really one of the hottest un-signed artists in the state of VA. Then there's Dave Laxx, a vocalist who is beyond incredible. I don't know if there's been a voice like his since, dare I say Luther Vandross. I can't wait to get both acts out there. In fact, I guess you could say that my excitement about them is the only thing holding up the Gmann release. Dave is starting to pick up a little airplay and we're thinking of coming out with The PHLO's Christmas record, then following it up with the full CD in teh spring of 2002. There's is probably going to be a double CD, which of course is a bold move for a new artist. But they've got it like that. We've already got more than enough tracks to pull that off.

EbonyBty: You are a very talent person, Gmann. Are there any other projects that you are currently working on?

Gmann00007: Thanks for the compliment. One of my biggest problems is I have too many ideas, musical and otherwise. I'd like to do movies and television production, behind the scenes as a writer/producer or director. I guess that's my big dream, after the music stuff takes off. I also want to get into radio syndication for which I have several ideas. As for music related things, I am planning on doing a line of Gmann lingerie to go along with the music releases. I think that would tie in real nice with the romantic theme...and be a lot more exciting than t-shirts.

EbonyBty: yes it would

Gmann00007: especially since I'm really targeting the female audience with my CD. I'd like to be the Barry White or Teddy Pendergrass of the new generation. Well, kind of like Teddy (if you know what I mean)

EbonyBty: yes I do...smiling

Gmann00007: Oh Yeah!!! There's also the Wild Honey Project. I guess you could say she's the first lady of Actiontrack.

EbonyBty: A female artist?

Gmann00007: Yeah, when she comes she's really going to open some eyes, and ears. It's truly a whole new thing. She's bringing raw sensuality back to the music. We actually started recording some years ago, but labels kept saying it was too soon for something so different. So we let things catch up to us, and I think the new millennium is prime time for a major shake up. She's got some real sexy remakes and some smoking hot originals. We'll be putting some music out on the web real soon.

EbonyBty: When should we be expecting the Gmann lingerie line to come out?

Gmann00007: Well, I'm looking into the manufacturing process now. I've got the logo designed, but now it's a matter of logistics getting it on to the panties and camisoles, which I think will be the first pieces on the market. Hopefully I'll be able to have them ready for order when the CD comes out. Maybe even give some away to my fan club members.

EbonyBty: oh goodie!

EbonyBty: There are a lot of producers on the scene and when they come out with new artists, they all have the tendency to sound alike. Will that be the same way with PHLO and Dave or will their sound be totally different from one another?

Gmann00007: Good point and great question. The PHLO and Dave Lacks are about as close to night and day as any one producer could be working on at the same time. Each of them has an incredible range of talent. The PHLO pretty much does all their own writing, and they truly have a PHLO that is all them. At the moment Dave is singing some tunes from my song catalog, and his flavor is really a lot smoother, though no less dynamic.

Unfortunately, you're right in noticing how so many producers seem to be only able to produce the same thing with different faces. I take pride in being able to produce almost any style of music...R&B, hip-hop and hardcore rap, jazz, gospel, pop, whatever. I haven't tried country yet, but I know I will one day.... No you won't have to worry about ANY artist I produce sounding like any other, or like any other artist out there.

EbonyBty: I have a copy of your demo and my favorite song is "Silent Love." Do you have a favorite song on your demo?

Gmann00007: I was hoping you wouldn't ask that. That's like asking a parent which of their kids they love most. If I have to pick, I really like the title cut "Bubble Bath and Massage." To me that captures the whole Gmann vibe in one song, albeit a long song at 13 minutes. I love the first track on the CD "Come Go With Me," which is a sort of introductory/interlude. That was the original title song. "U Can Git It Girl" (the 2nd song) just has this irresistible head nodding groove...have I named the whole CD yet?? :-)

Gmann00007: One more thing about the songs...If you listen to the lyrical theme of each one, and the order they are on the CD, the songs tell the story of a relationship...from the first meeting all the way to the bubble bath, massage, and whatever happens thereafter.

EbonyBty: you are right

Gmann00007: of course I am silly, I wrote it.... though the "story" just kind of developed on it's own. I didn't start out with that in mind.

EbonyBty: How long did it take for you to start your Actiontrack company?

Gmann00007: A long, long time. I started out just writing songs and trying to produce up and coming talent in my home zone (the Maryland/DC area). I got a chance to work with Toni Braxton (pre-fame) and did a record with the go-go band E.U. I did more of the same while I was in Atlanta. Finally, in 1997, things came together and I was able to open my studio, Actiontrack/Love Monster Recording Studio in Petersburg, VA. That's one thing about the production game. You've either got to have a lot of money behind you or have your own studio. I'm sure that in the years before I opened Actiontrack, I spent enough money in studio time to already have opened a studio.

EbonyBty: This is my last question. What would you like to tell the up and coming producers that will help them in getting started with their own producing?

Gmann00007: Wow, that's a whole interview in itself. Learn as much as you can about the art of recording and production. You have to maintain an open mind, musically and business-wise. If you can find someone who will let you do so, try to sit in on as many recording sessions as you can. Then just listen; see if you can hear the differences between the sound at the start and end of the session. Watch what knobs are turned and hear how it affects the sound.
Don't just listen to the music you and your friends like. Check out what's selling, what's really popular, listen to it and learn why it's selling - especially if you don't like it. Most importantly, you have to reach the understanding that music is an emotional thing. If you can't touch and move a person's emotions they will not buy your music. Or I guess I should say...if they ain't feelin' you, they won't be buying you either. The producers and performers with long careers all have mastered this concept. I could go on forever with this one. Be prepared to spend a lot of money. And please, be original.

EbonyBty: Good Interview, G!

Gmann00007: well it helps when the interviewer is good too. I really want to thank you for coming up with such good questions.

EbonyBty: it is my pleasure. I am behind you 100%. I think that this interview is going to really jump start things for you.

Gmann00007: Thanks, I think so too. It's nice to have peeps in your corner before you really have a corner. Now let me save this before it gets lost in cyberspace.

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