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HOMETOWN: Hopkinton, MA
ARTISTIC APPROACH: Meticulous, style-meshing production.
If you want it done right, do it yourself. That’s the mindset pulling electronic musician M|O|O|N, a.k.a. Stephen Gilarde, into the world of production after years of mixing other people’s tracks. “I would get frustrated when I wanted this one track to do something that it didn’t because the original person didn’t want it to do that,” says Gilarde. “So I would make an edit of it. I would loop certain things, I would chop stuff up, then I would play my edit in a mix.”
The practice evolved into producing entire songs from scratch through a compositional approach undeterred by his lack of a strong instrumental background. “When producing, a lot of people have a melody they’ll play on guitar and go from there, but I can’t really do that,” he says.
“So I think in terms of sounds. I might come up with a key depending on the mood of the song, and then I can create the sounds to go with it.”
The release of his four-track self-titled EP last year and participation in Boston’s Together Festival last April gained Gilarde the attention that naturally leads to record deal offers. But Gilarde isn’t willing to sacrifice growing pains for early success. “If you skip the step where you get really good at what you do, and just go right to a label, I think you’re not going to get better until you have a midlife crisis 30 years down the road and go hide away in some hole and get back to what you should have been doing 30 years ago,” he says.
Having just turned 18, Gilarde says he has no qualms about a gradual rise in the industry, even in a city with a limited EDM scene. “I’m happy the way things are set up where they won’t just grab the flavor of the week and throw them into the biggest club,” he says. “You can work your way up.”
Photo by Madison McKenna