G-Mat Music was founded in Gaithersburg, Maryland by Jordan Jett (also known as Calm Splat)
I play the piano and bass guitar; write lyrical or instrumental songs; and do music composition, sequencing, recording, production, mixing and mastering.
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Interview with G-Mat Music
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I think the bands I have played with are some of the most enjoyable experiences and times I've had in music. As a bassist and pianist, playing with other musicians in a band opens up a lot of creative space. Music groups such as Flip Red, and Optimum Trip, where I played keyboards and bass were definitely projects I'd like to recreate. My role there was to get music done, I would play my instruments and we made songs together.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just trying to get my music and my beats out there for people to listen to.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: On SoundBetter, I'm new here and am looking to use the platform as a beginner. So it's too early for me to make a recommendation on SoundBetter.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I always go for digital routes, if it wasn't for digital music I would never check this website out. If I was just listening to CDs and cassette tapes, why would I need a computer to browse a website?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: One thing I can promise to a client or to anyone at all is that I have some music in store for them. If I fake then I might break my promise but most likely not.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I just love the sound of music, when I listen to some great music it makes me feel a lot better.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: The most common type of question I remember hearing is whether I know this song, can I play that song, have I heard of this or that song. The answer to that depends, of course, on what I've been studying, listening to, and practicing -- it wildly varies.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I really don't think there's a misconception, in terms of music. If someone never heard my music, then they would probably never guess that I make music. That could be considered a misconception, just the assumption that whatever else or other task I'm doing is something that defines me outside of music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: If someone wanted to work with me, I would want to ask them first, what is their goal, what is our goal in making music so I know what I have to focus on, so I know what I have to make my goal. For example, if they said: `I want to record my singing to an instrumental that you already have,` then I would be able to focus on accomplishing that goal. If they said: `I want to learn how to read music for the bass guitar,` then it would be a totally different approach for a different goal altogether. So knowing what their goal is in music is quite important.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: My advice is that if you want to hire me or another one for the purpose of music, then there's almost no shortcut in music as far as it being a time commitment. Audio isn't something you can really skip over in terms of time. Like, you can save gas by having a more fuel efficient vehicle. But, you can't save time by having a louder speaker system. You have to actually hear the song, hear the music, which requires a certain amount of time for the performer to play through it. There's no way to absorb that amount of information by reading faster or just skimming through it.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would want my bass, my keyboard, computer, microphone and writing tools.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started studying piano in kindergarten, which was 1996. But my career path has a lot more besides music, I have had various other jobs over the years and some of them have nothing to do with music. At the same time, from a music perspective, after studying piano in elementary school, I started writing songs instead during middle school, and in high school playing bass with my friends, forming bands, practicing and performing. After graduating high school in 2009, I continued to make music and learn to make beats, practicing with other college students, and eventually found some people who could take my beats and make songs out of them. Simultaneously I was learning how to write and do my own lyrics. So, it's a multifaceted approach to doing music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like rap, but I mostly make beats on piano and bass guitar. So I like making beats that people can rap over, freestyle or sing.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: An artist I'd like to work with is Saba Jenga, we have done music in the past. We had a band called Optimum Trip.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: A tip for music producing is that if a piece of music sounds good to you, then it's more likely to sound good to someone else. So, if you like your own music then odds are other people will like it too.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I mostly make rap beats, also can play some songs on piano and bass.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill in music is probably the ability to read sheet music for piano.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: In a song, I like to provide basslines, chords, melodies, percussion, and sometimes lyrics.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I want to sit down with my piano, or sit down with my bass, and switch back and forth between them until I get some type of musical groove going. Depending on what I want a session to sound like, I can record riffs, record lines, record whole songs or sections. Or, I might take the idea I had on the instrument and sequence it out on the computer, almost like writing it down on sheet music except digitally. From there, I take the recording or production, add and subtract until it sounds like a more complete song. If I have lyrics, I'll record those too. If not, then I just want to adjust and enhance the sound until I'm more satisfied with the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The main components of my studio are simply my bass guitar, and my digital piano. With these instruments, I'm confident I can do what I want in music. Beside that, I usually have a computer and microphone to record with, plus a host of other instruments including drums, guitar, trombone, and composition tools like sheet music.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Some of the most inspiring musicians to me are from my hometown in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The band Litz makes great funk music to listen to and they play around the area a lot. Nationally, Wale is a rapper from DC who I've been listening to for over a decade. And Logic is another rapper from Gaithersburg who I started listening to in 2010. So, just the idea that we can make music, represent for our city and gain listeners and share music with people all over the world is great, really.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most often I will sell a beat to someone, whether it's premade or if they have an idea, I can design the beat with them. I can mix in their vocals as well, and sometimes collaborate in songwriting to do my own lyrics and vocals for the song. Sometimes I can play the bass or piano directly as well, in a band setting or solo performance to make a record out of a song idea.