Producer/Artist Michael Luna Elevates his Game with RC mentor Joey Heier
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Sometimes music is just in your blood. Michael Luna of Atlantic City, NJ is one of those people. In fact his whole family is. “I actually grew up in a family band,” Michael said when asked about his earliest encounters with music. “It was four of us. My father was the lead guitar, I played rhythm guitar, my twin brother, which is our in-house producer here at Lo-Kal Hit Factory, was the bassist. My older brother was the drummer, percussionist…My dad thought that I would do well singing, so he would make me learn to play guitar and sing cover songs. A few times, I wanted to quit, but I didn’t…I ended up starting to produce my own stuff.”
By the time that Michael had enrolled in the Recording Connection he had already started his own record label, dubbed Lo-Kal Music Group along with his own recording studio, Lo-Kal Hit Factory. Michael and his business partner were spending most of their energy and time developing local South Jersey talent. Initially, Lo-Kal was comprised of Vincent Luna, Michael’s brother, and their mutual friend Kevin Adorno. “We were in the town really putting in work to promote ourselves as artists and get the music out there, doing shows and stuff…So I think it really helped with social media in the beginning where we let people know the studio is open. ‘Come over to Lo-Kal Hit Factory, let’s talk packages, let’s get you recording.’ We did our homework with studios in the area, so we knew what they were running versus what we were running, to keep the competition just like any business and be able to sell ourselves…And now, it’s almost like it’s word of mouth. We don’t promote it. We don’t go out there trying to sell our studio. Now it’s the people that come to us.”
But attaining success and being able to hold onto it would require work and the humility that comes with being really honest with oneself. Michael, being a savvy businessman and wise producer, was aware of the areas where he needed growth. He wanted to learn more from an experienced producer and get more real world knowledge so that he could adapt it and help propel Lo-Kal to the next level. He applied to the Recording Connection and was paired with Joey Heier at Crystal Clear Studio in Philadelphia, PA. The direct, one-on-one level of instruction really worked for him.
What I enjoyed the most was being able to just be me and my mentor. If there was anything that I was lacking or I didn’t know, he could see it without even me having to ask because he was only focused on me at the time. So I really think that that benefited [me] a lot. Because there were a few things that maybe I thought I knew but didn’t…He was asking me questions, even though I wasn’t asking them from him, to open me up a little bit more. So it was more like focused and geared towards the individual.”
The skills and insight Michael has been able to develop thanks to his experience with Recording Connection has helped him improve his skills as a producer an also an artist. He’s released two EP’s this year A Thousand Miles Seems Pretty Far and A Thousand Miles Seems Pretty Far Part 2. Both have been featured on djbooth.net, a highly respected hip-hop blog. He’s really pushing himself to grow as an artist and an engineer and it shows in the finished product.