Usually he is one third of “the Roundlakes” but today he is here as a solo artist.
In todays “In the Spotlight” I have the Huge pleasure of introducing you to orangegmusic (what should I call you?)
Thank you so much for having a chat with us today.
Thank you so much for having me! Folks call me all sorts of things – OrangeG, Orange, O.G. I have a friend who calls me “L’Orange”, and I have to say that one makes me smile. Many call me by my real first name, “Mark”, and I am fine with that as well
What is your strongest memory that is music related as a child?
There are so many musical memories, but if I had to pick just one, I would say it was long family road trips listening to tapes on our car tape deck. My dad had a large collection he had recorded to tape from records, though he did have some tapes labelled “music recorded in my office”. We listened to a lot of folk greats like the Weavers and the Kingston Trio. A favorite compromise in our family was Billy Joel – everyone seemed to like his music and remember singing along to pass the time as we approached our vacation spot.
From listening to music to create, how did that happen?
My dad bought me a guitar when I was in fourth grade and got me lessons because he noticed how much I loved music. From those lessons, I did not write any of my own songs until I was in graduate school in the mid 2000’s. I didn’t start performing at open mics until around 2018, when I played some of the first original songs I had written. I often feel a little “late to the game”, but I am so glad I finally made it and connected with my creative side. It’s so fulfilling!
You have your first solo album coming out soon, how does it feel and what can we expect from it?
Yes I do “The Void Bereft“! It feels so great to have it done! It took me forever to zero in on the recording process. These twelve tracks are all precious songs to me, and my favorite part was arranging them as a complete journey into the depths of my consciousness.
What was the biggest difference in creating this album “on your own” rather than having your band supporting you?
Working with the Roundlakes made many things so much easier. Chris and John are both excellent producers, and I have learned so much (basically everything I know) from them. We each have our own strengths to lend, be it differences in instrumentation, video production, promo, and of course our unique musical perspectives that made each song work so much easier than if we were going it alone.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now, my main plan is promo for the album and Roundlakes EP. I am working on music videos (Youtube), and preparing for a live release show here in Pittsburgh. After that, I am planning to work on new material and record some sporadic singles as I progress towards a second album. I want to dive more deeply into the music production process. Mark Grider (@fedbysound) took my mixes for the album and re-mixed them to get an even better sound – I am planning to take some time with select singles to learn from his advice and how he mixed the album to refine my process. I anticipate my second album will be out sometime in 2024.
What advice do you wish that someone had given you as a young artist?
Learn how to engage effectively on social media. It is such a powerful tool to find an audience, and I like many others resisted it at first. Also, I really should have listened to what my guitar teacher told me, which was to learn to play to a metronome
What is the one thing you want your fans to know?
I appreciate each and every person who has given my music the time of day. You are all so important to me! It never gets old connecting with folks who have found something in my words or music.
What is the one thing you would like the Music industry to know?
I wish that the legit parts of the music industry made it easier for DIY artists to find their audience. There are so many rotten actors out there who seek to exploit the hopes and dreams of budding musicians, and their voices are quite a bit louder (or at least more numerous) than everyone else’s. I know it is a difficult problem, and maybe it is all about networking. The signal is just too buried by noise and I view it as a failure of the industry to provide more clear guidance and opportunity for the smaller acts.
That was my chat with OrangeG, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did.
Don’t forget to check out those links to find out more!