Transcript of Sushi Fridays EP008: Sincerely Mace, Music Producer and Creative

 This was transcribed using AI. Please pardon any typos or errors.


ANDREA: Can you share with us what that creative process looks like from the beginning to finishing a song or a body of music or body of work? 

MACE: In my experience, a lot of the time, the very first step is just getting to know that person. Even me, even though I've been in the studio with lots of different people, if I've never met someone, It's always going to be a little bit awkward that first time where the artist is sat there Expecting magic to start happening and you're just sat at that piano and you're just like right, let's start That's always kind of an awkward moment, especially if you've not had that sort of connection with the artist You know, I don't mean like I don't mean like weeks and weeks of speaking to that person but maybe if it's the first time you've met that person like go out for lunch before you get in the studio, that kind of thing.

MACE: Have a coffee, because, uh, yeah, there's nothing more awkward than just two people in the studio in silence, wondering what's next. 

ANDREA: Get to know each other a little bit more, right? 

MACE: Exactly, exactly.

ANDREA: You are listening to episode 8 of Sushi Fridays. I am your host, Andrea Pascual. Thank you for listening. As you know, Sushi Fridays exists to share the stories of creatives and entrepreneurs of all kinds. And I'm so excited to introduce this episode's guest because he's our first music guest on Sushi Fridays.

I met him on LinkedIn, one of my favourite ways to connect with creatives, and I was drawn to the way he documents his process through videos, stories, and BTS. One thing I want to point out for our non creative friends is that sharing our work and our process as creatives means sharing a part of ourselves and being vulnerable.

It takes courage to show our work. And I don't think people looking at our work from the outside realize that sometimes. Today's guest, in my opinion, doesn't stop sharing and creating, and that's something I admire about him and why I was drawn to connect and be friends in the first place. I am in Canada and he is across the pond in the UK.

Today, if you're on my side of the world, we are travelling across the pond together to speak to the one and only music producer and creative Sincerely Mace. 

MACE: As a music producer and in the creative world, everyone knows me as Sincerely Mace or just Mace. I'm a music producer, uh, creative. Uh, I like to film.

I take pictures sometimes. I like to make content. I do everything in between, really, in the world of music. I guess it started for me, it started with singing. Not that I am big on singing these days. Sometimes I like to drop a little vocal here and there, but just for fun. I sang for maybe seven or eight years from a very young age.

I sang classical music, which Was kind of boring it made me learn the real kind of nitty gritty when it comes to music so like notes scales, what sounds kind of sound well together from then. I got kind of got bored of singing and got introduced to music production whilst I was at school and guess I just stuck to it. Yeah, music productions, my life now. 

ANDREA: I studied piano for nine years and I'm horrible at music. I'm just good at listening. So anything that has to do with singing notes. Any sort of thing, I admire anybody who's in music because it's something that I can't do. It's a talent for sure.

MACE: Yeah, it's, I mean, it's just kind of something that I was kind of thrown into. And yeah, believe it or not, at first I didn't love it so much.

Um, when I was a young age, I was kind of like, oh, why am I singing these church songs? But I kind of grew into it and began to love it. In school, I had some really enthusiastic teachers. And when I got introduced to a program called Cubase, which was, at the time, it was the really, really old version of Cubase, and it was quite basic, but it just kind of felt like a game to me.

Like, I loved it. I was lucky enough to go to, it was still like a normal public school, but it was a performing arts school. So...when I got to the age where I could choose my classes, I chose music as one of them and that's when I got introduced to these kind of music, music making software, and I just found myself instead of going out.

Kicking football, which I used to love playing football as well. Instead of playing football on my break times, I was staying indoors because the teachers would let you basically mess around on the computers. Yeah, I was making music on my lunch times. 

ANDREA: So we know what a singer does or what, um, someone who plays the keyboards or the piano does.

Can you explain to us exactly what a music producer does? 

MACE: Okay, so There's different roles that you can take up as a music producer, so it's, it's always a topic that people disagree on, but for me and the role I play, especially if I'm with an artist, one big part of it is I get to sometimes be like, I'm the one man band, in a way, because I can play keys a little bit.

I can start off songs, start off ideas, but also I can help the artist build an idea around that, and that might include, you know, strings or synthesizers. In a basic kind of way, that's essentially what I do a lot of the time. But the overarching thing of what I do as well is I really do try and focus in on what the artist needs and what, uh, what the song needs.

MACE: And I think a big part of it is really like discovering a sound. Perfect example is I'm working with the artist right now, her name is Brooke. And when I met her, she only had one song out, which gave us a really A lot of space really to kind of figure out where she wanted to take her music because she knew she wanted to take the next step and get really serious, but that took a lot of time, and I guess it took a lot of making songs and a lot of time in the studio to figure out what her actual sound is, and not a lot of artists actually know what their sound is, and it's really difficult to find unless you find the right I guess sometimes you have to find a team or just the right one or two people who can really help you find that and that's kind of what a producer does as well.

If it's a really established artist, they might already have that sound there. And the producer is potentially there to bring something different to the table. In some cases, it is, it is building from scratch.

I think everything in music, when it comes to, say, a lot of the time, if a music or, or, sorry, if a song is done by a producer and an artist, I just always say, you know, it's 50%. The producers just as equal as the artist in some ways, but not always not always it just depends 

ANDREA: Who usually has the idea for the song? Is it the artist or is it you? 

MACE: Again totally dependent. I've been in situations where the artist has already written the song and maybe they can play guitar. Maybe they can play piano and they just want someone to bring that song to life I know also I've been the person that's maybe started writing the song, maybe I've started writing the song myself, with that person in the room, with the artist in the room, and I kinda get the idea going.

It can go either way. I think it's always a little bit, the journey's a little bit smoother sometimes when you both kind of build it together, if that makes sense. 

ANDREA: I’m trying to picture what that looks like. You'll be in the studio with the artist and the artist is singing or you're writing lyrics and you're adding some sort of music. Is that how it is in the studio? 

MACE: I'm very melody driven. A lot of the time if I'm starting an idea from scratch, maybe I'll flick through some sounds or maybe I'll just play on the piano for a little bit. Trying to bring up some ideas and the artist is usually sat next to me and if they're a singer then usually they're coming up with melody ideas and then we could and then we kind of bounce off each other.

We're kind of like, oh usually I'll be like Oh that kind of sounds like you're trying to say this or Maybe we're like, oh we need to talk about What we were saying earlier, do you know what I mean? Sometimes it's that and that can in itself Um direct what the music's going to sound like as well if we already know what we're going to talk about

ANDREA: As I mentioned previously I studied piano for a long time, chords, recitals, playing by ear, writing notes, and it doesn't mean I was good at it. However, I'm obsessed with music…way better at listening than playing and I truly believe creating music is a gift. I love when creatives share about their gifts and I appreciate the way Mace shares his process in the studio.

ANDREA: Next up, who is Mace currently working with and what are his musical influences? 

MACE: Feels like a writing camp right now. Um, a lot of my focus is towards one artist right now. Her name is Brooke and she's a brand new artist really. But with that comes a lot of work. Essentially, we're on the same management.

So a lot of the time in the studio, it's my manager, and my co producer, and the artist, Brooke. And I don't know what happens, but when we're all together, some, some kind of magic happens and it is, yeah, there's, there's definitely something special about collaboration when it comes to, when it comes to music, for sure.

I think history will tell you that music is maybe one of the rare things where teams make the best music, in my opinion. Like, we think if we boil it down to even like, before, you know, laptops and production, the way it is today was a thing, you know, it was fans and working with my co producer Seppy, amazing producer, I'm not going to lie, there's not many other producers out there I would work with to the extent that he is, but he can do things that I can't do.

I believe in myself as a producer in my ability, but he can do things that I can't do. And that's okay. We're gonna make better songs because of that. It's almost like a superpower sidekick

Yeah, it's crazy yeah, it's so funny I'm going really deep into this whole Thing because I don't know something special started happening when we all got together But it's all kind of it's all kind of going at the same time really. So essentially what happened was Seppy was already signed, uh, to my current manager, Lamour, amazing guy, absolute workhorse.

By the way, if you're listening to this, I'm from the UK. That's why some, I do apologize for some of this slang. If I said Lamour is a workhorse, it means he works hard. Essentially, Seppy was already signed to Lamour around the same time where I just joined the group, but Seppy was a producer for. A producer slash rap duo and It was completely separate to what we were doing, but one day I went to do a session with the said rap duo and we kind of connected straight away.

So just from then we just knew we were going to work together on stuff. And, and the timing was just perfect because I'd also just started working with Brooke. So it was just natural really. All of a sudden, we're all in the studio together, and we just knew that something special was happening, so we just kept it going.


ANDREA: How important is trust to you, and other things, like, what makes you want to work with a group of people, and how, how can you trust that they move the same way you do, and you have the same goals, and how do you deal with that as a producer? 

MACE: So, essentially, how do I know to trust someone? Exactly. Okay, so, if it's a co worker, so someone I'm producing for or producing with, one of the main things is, like, the work rate.

I'm not going to say I'm the hardest working individual in the world, but I'm consistent. And I think that's something I look for in other people that I know I'm going to work with. And anything else is mainly based off a feeling. I don't know how else to say it. Like, I think there's something in, you know, just sticking with your gut sometimes with people and sometimes you just know.

MACE: Yeah, I get that. 

ANDREA: It's that feeling, 

MACE: Right? It's probably not. It's probably not the coolest answer ever. But for me, that's what it is. Yeah. 

ANDREA: Can we go back to your upbringing in the UK? Yes. What were your musical influences like growing up? Do you still have those same influences today in your work? 

MACE: So I grew up, yes, I grew up in the UK.

Uh, I grew up in a small town in the UK called Mansfield. It's just outside the city of Nottingham. Nottingham is a cool city. I wouldn't say it's a major music city, but Mansfield definitely is not a music place. It's not. So it's kind of a random place, like, You know, people are bumping into creatives, et cetera.

When they ask me where I'm from, they're kind of surprised. And they kind of give me a weird shameful look too, sometimes, depending on who they are. With growing up in Mansfield, at a young age, especially singing, and singing classical music, like, people weren't used to that. I hate to bring race into it, but as a black kid as well.

There wasn't, it's not really a Black area, in fact, it's, it's not all, so there wasn't really, A, any Black people when I was younger, or not many, I should say, and essentially there wasn't many people do music either, so kind of double edged sword there. I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. But, it kind of, uh, you know, it gave me the sort of power to just kind of be myself.

I think no matter what situation I'm in, anyone you'll ever meet who's, can speak about me, you know, they'll never say that I've pretended to be anything else but myself. And I think being so, quote unquote, different at the time, kind of gave me that super power. Musical influences. Um, so I grew up in a, not such a cool town, but a lot of my family were from London or outskirts of London.

And to be honest, like I look to my cousins, uh, a lot for like what was new in music and they were in London and they were always first to kind of hear what was new at the time I should say. I don't think it's so much that anymore, but at the time London was like the first to set all the trends. So they were a cool influence on me.

I got a lot of inspiration from what they were listening to, I guess going even further back than that. My parents listened to a lot of Bob Marley, Whitney Houston. My mum loved Luther Vandross. We had lots of CDs in the car and stuff like that, so long journeys. I was kind of forced to listen to that.

Growing up, it was a lot to do with my family, really. Like my cousins and, you know, older, older cousins and uncles and... And then I kind of started developing my own, uh, taste in music. I was getting really deep into music, like, around the time where, you know, LimeWire was a thing. I don't know if anyone remembers that.

I remember that. Yeah, so that's when I really was, like, deep into my own taste and figuring out what I really liked. And I was just kind of really deep into, like, R&B, really, and Justin Timberlakes, um... You know, Nelly Furtado. I don't know. Loads of people, really. Yeah, whatever I could find. 

ANDREA: Do you have a favorite artist today who influences your work?

MACE: My favorite artist today? Okay, so I'm probably going to get some hate for this, but I think I went through a lot of different phases, so I was when I, in my younger sort of years, like maybe just after the LimeWire, LimeWire stuff, I was huge, huge Drake fan. Sorry guys. Yeah, I know, basic. But, um, around the time when, uh, I went to university to study music.

Music production. I was obsessed with Soulection and that was like when I really was really into music like I had a bit more of an understanding of what, you know, what I wanted to make and also what I was just in in love with when I was listening to. So that was a huge, huge inspiration. To me, um, so like the producers who are part of that sort of collective, you know, like Monte Booker, uh, Jerreau Vandal.

And they just made, they just made something I've never heard before. And yeah, it just kind of really struck a note with me. If I was to say about what I'm listening to today, it's probably people like Loyle Carner. I like, I really like Knucks as well, he's a UK artist. Mahalia. Uh, Sinead Harnett. Yeah, they're all amazing UK artists.

MACE: And they probably inspire me a lot today. 

ANDREA: That is some really great inspiration starting with Drake, because you know, I big up my hometown Toronto and I love that as well. Soulection, Joe Kay and his whole crew. Yes. And, um. I think Knucks was in Toronto a couple of days ago.

I feel like someone sent me, yeah, someone sent me a meetup at, at some store on the weekend, but I love all that inspo. I want to listen to all them right now.

MACE: As of the most, yeah, as of most recently, I'd say last couple of years, I think I've just found love with the UK scene, like UK music is like, It's his own thing right now.

I don't think anyone can deny that, like, UK music has just took, I don't know, it's took another level, and I can't say there's any other artists that I listen to more that's not a UK artist right now, but maybe I'm biased. 

ANDREA: So far, what has been the most challenging project or or trial or tribulation you've had to deal with as a music producer?

MACE: That's such a hard question, the most challenging. Okay, so for a bit of context, I mentioned, um, studying music at university. Um, so I went through a period of time where I studied music in a place called Leeds, in the north of England, it's in a place called Yorkshire. Yeah, Leeds is an amazing city, love that place.

Um, I stayed there for about five years, so I stayed for about two years after my degree. I came back to Mansfield. After the whole, you know, pandemic situation, and that was probably the hardest time I've ever had as a producer, as a quote unquote producer. Yeah, because I really had to readjust and get used to not necessarily being in the creative space all the time.

I had to, sort of, well, at the time I moved back in with my parents, so there was that. Kind of, for a short period of time, thought music was over, to an extent. I was like, well, what am I going to do now? I don't know anyone here. Oh, it's Mansfield, like, no one does music here. I wasn't really in touch with the Nottingham scene at the time because I'd been living in Leeds.

So, I didn't really even know anyone from Nottingham, which would be the go to place to go if I wanted to meet. You know, like minded people. Um, so that was a challenging time, for sure. Um, I also went through a challenging time with, like, my own mental health as well, during that time. I won't go into too much detail, but, um, I had some really bad skin issues.

To that, which kind of, I don't know if it was one before the other, or they both came together, but it wasn't good. So yeah, that was a challenging time for me. Yeah. Um, I got through it and yeah, I, I kind of kept my head down, you know, got through the really tough times eventually. I'm just refocused and, and realized again that this is the only thing for me.

Um, and then since then, I think since that moment, really, I've. You know, without blowing my head off too much, I think I've come on a lot as a producer and really realized what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to do with music and how I'm going to do it.

ANDREA: Thanks for sharing that. I feel like a lot of the times creatives don't share their challenges or their dark times and. I know, like, speaking from experience, sometimes it's hard to come out of those times, but then you realize after you're like, I was meant to do this, and I got through it, and then you find yourself in a exciting space, a good place, like you are now, so that's...Inspiring to me for sure. 

MACE: It's something that I had to go through, but I'm glad I went through it because I came out stronger.

ANDREA: In the conversations I've had with creative entrepreneurs, it's rare. They share about their dark and challenging times, but Sushi Fridays is a safe space and big up Mace for sharing what he went through. Feeling so strongly about your creative calling is something many non creatives. Don't understand and knowing your gifts and being in a situation where you can't live them or apply them is difficult, but Mace got through it coming up he shares with us what we can look forward to for him and his team. 

MACE: We are operation project Brooke right now, but for me also, I'm releasing a project to start with a release in singles. First, the project is called Clarity and it actually touches on what I've mentioned. One day I, essentially, when I moved back to Mansfield, I joined a construction firm because I didn't know what else to do, and I hated it, basically, probably the worst I've ever felt in my life, um, because I knew I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, and I think it was like, towards the end of summer, one day I was just kind of having a walk, and I, I think I heard a lyric in a song actually, um, from a, another UK artist called Jay Prince, and, I don't even remember what the song was called, but there's a line in it that was, he basically said something along the lines of, this is a moment of clarity.

Don't re quote me on that, but that's kind of what I took from the line. And then from then I just kind of decided that I wanted to talk about basically how we can overcome these dark situations we find ourselves. Um, and the moment of clarity for me was realizing that the only thing I want to do in my life is do music.

Is sort of my calling so I decided to make a project right now. There's three songs Hoping to make it six but i'm going to release them as singles under my own name sincerely mace um as a project hopefully By the end of the year if not start of the year, but I'm not to be honest I'm not putting too much pressure on myself.

It's kind of more of a passion project for me. Um, well, I have these songs some of them are me singing there's a song out right now called Clarity, which is me singing essentially. But yeah, basically it's me writing music with some of my friends and some people that I that really inspire me Um, just kind of talking about coming out the other side from something, it doesn't have to be my journey, it can be their journey, and basically, I'm putting my spin on, um, what we're talking about, just basically with my, my style of production, that's essentially it.

ANDREA: Can’t wait for that. You're a music producer and creative. Can you talk to us about the creative, the other creative side of your work?

MACE: Sure thing. So, for a big period of time, I worked as also a videographer. I've always been obsessed with visuals. To be honest with you, I was not a good, I was not a good videographer in terms of, um, the business side of things.

So I kind of, I tried it for a little bit and I just kind of decided that like the type of clients I was working with and things like that, it wasn't super creative for me. It wasn't what I enjoyed in that respect. But since then, the projects I do work on, and I, I still do today, by the way, um, outside of music, uh, there's a lot, a lot in the music space, really.

So creating content for both myself, um, for the artists I work with, I also do film live shows from time to time. Another artist on my management, who's doing incredibly well, his name's  ADMT, big up, Adam. Um, he's doing insanely well. I've been lucky enough to film some of his live shows. So that's been an experience as well.

MACE: I've filmed music videos. Not really tried documentaries or anything like that yet, but maybe one day, short film. Other than that as well, I guess I've kind of acted as a creative director for some artists too. Suggested what could look right for specific projects. That kind of thing. 

ANDREA: Cool. And when it comes to being a music producer and being a videographer, because I know they're both creative, how much business does one need to know when doing the things that you do?

MACE: Yeah. So, I, I think I dived in to be a videographer way too early and probably for the wrong reasons at the time of what I'm talking about anyway, so essentially, I thought, Hey, I can do that. I can earn money from that, and I kind of did.

I was doing it for the wrong reasons, and it kind of gave me the wrong type of clients in a way, so I wasn't enjoying it, and I realized actually the part of videography that You know, I really wanted to do was because I enjoyed it. I didn't necessarily want to be a videography only business Especially for the type of clients I was doing and so I kind of missed a trick from that But yeah on the business side in music graphic design videography You have to be really business minded.

You're your own business at the end of the day. 

ANDREA: What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring music producer??

MACE: That's a good question. I'm gonna relay something I actually had this conversation with someone who asked me for some advice not that long ago Um, so it's quite fresh in my mind. I'd say that like the biggest difference for me I can hear everyone booing on the other side of the podcast now.

Social media was huge, I know that's boring, but the opportunities I got out of social media, I wouldn't have met the people I've met today, essentially, without social media. Um, it doesn't necessarily mean you need loads of followers, that's not at all. What it means, but, um, it's about the right people seeing your work.

Social media is a free tool essentially, like, you know, what a perfect place to show your work. But not only for posting stuff, like, speak to people. That's how we met, essentially, as well, right? Exactly. So, talk to people. Why not? I'd also say, if you're a music producer, like, people need to see your work, yeah.

So, you need a portfolio. Have something, or a place, where people can listen to your work. Whether that's SoundCloud, whether that's an Instagram. Um, I don't mean, if it's an Instagram, I don't mean, you know, just like a video of your screen, like a screen recording type thing, like, present it well, if you're gonna do something on a visual platform.

If it's gonna be something like SoundCloud, you know, maybe do a project. Um, maybe it's, if it's your producer, maybe just do beats, do like a nice mixtape. I'm sure there's loads of creative ideas you can think of, um, if you really put your mind to it, and something that can, that can really make it unique that, I don't know, that suits yourself.

Like, something that looks and sounds like you. So yeah, a portfolio, and once you've got those two things in place, So, you've got a social media, you've got a place where people can find your music and hear what you sound like, what your production sounds like. Then I guess it's time to, I guess I kind of mentioned it, like, start, you know, talking to people, whether that's on social media or in person, like, network, go to events.

And I used to, well, I still love going to gigs, like, you meet all sorts of people at gigs. And say, if you go to a Loyle Carner gig, you're going to meet people who. Like Loyle Carner and maybe you make music that's similar to Loyle Carner for example. Those are the people you need to be speaking to and maybe they're not even artists may be there doing something else in music, but that can still be helpful to you in your journey.

So, go out and meet people for sure. 

ANDREA: That's some good advice. Great advice and I noticed when you were talking, I was thinking about your social media and you document your journey a lot and your process and even like your videos and showing when you're like certain behind the scenes of what you do and little and clips of like events and stuff and I think that's cool.

So just go on Sincerely Mace's Instagram and see what this man is doing. Take his advice

ANDREA: Number one. Do you eat sushi? 

MACE: No, I'm allergic. Oh, no. I was meant to bring that up earlier. I'm allergic to seafood, guys. I'm sorry. 

ANDREA: You're not the first person who told me that, but that's okay. You're still part of the Sushi Fridays crew, so...What would be your last meal on earth? 

MACE: I love food, so this is a tough question.

I don't know. This is too hard. This is probably really basic, but it's fresh in my mind because I had it the other day, and it, like, blew my mind because it was the first time I had it for ages. But curried mutton and rice. Curried mutton and rice. What is that? Curried mutton, rice and peas, and plantain. Oh!

For those who don't know, that's Caribbean food. I'm sure you guys know that. That sounds yummy. My family's from St. Lucia in the Caribbean. And although I do have a lot of rice and peas at home, I love curried mutton. Yeah, and I can't make it save my life. 

ANDREA: Who's a dream artist you'd love to produce for one day?

MACE: There's too many. There's far too many. Since I've mentioned his name 19 times in the podcast, Loyle Carner, let's go. You know where to find me, bro. I would love to work with Sam Tompkins. Putting it out there.

ANDREA: Cool. I'm tagging these people. Yeah, I'm going to be tagging them in the clip. 

MACE: So let's go. I'm getting exposed.

ANDREA: Question number four. Who's your fave football team? 

MACE: Arsenal. 

ANDREA: Last question. What's one thing you're most excited about this very moment right now? 

MACE: Right now the second. Um, I can't lie. Everything I'm building right now with my management, Blanc, Blanc Management.

Um, it's probably most exciting time. Um, In my production life, uh, things that are possible now were not possible for me two, three years ago. So, a huge thank you to Lamour, my manager, Mr. Everything, he's the guy. Big up Seppy as well. Everything that's happening at Blanc, watch out for us because we're coming.

ANDREA: I had so much fun talking to Mace today about music, remembering. LimeWire super throwback I wanted to stretch his music influence bit a little longer And even his foodie question towards the end. I love talking about food But we've come to the end of today's episode I would like to sincerely thank our guests Sincerely Mace for believing in Sushi Fridays before not one episode even dropped.

This is also the first time I've spoken to a musician about their creative process and their journey. So this episode goes down in the books to support Mace's journey, connect with him on Instagram @sincerelymace or on sincerelymace (dot) com. And though I'm only on episode eight, I'm also kind of mind blown with the talent and creative people I've met like mace who I've connected with from my little corner of the globe to other corners of the globe Sushi Fridays is on one. And I'm so grateful you can listen to Sushi Fridays on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio and now YouTube Podcasts. If you want to send me a message you can DM me on Instagram at @sushifridayspod, email me at sushifridayspod (at) gmail (dot) com. I am your host Andrea Pascual. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sushi Fridays and let's connect again next Sushi Friday.