Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 011018 Contents 1.10.2018 • 17
native MiaMi Musician
is ‘gonna be’ busy
Michael M, head of Gonna Be Music record label, overseeing
new projects, grooming new talent for 2018
Photo courtesy of michael m.
Singer, songwriter, executive, music
video director, producer. Michael
Rodriguez has worn many hats in the
music industry, specializing in house,
disco and electronic music.
Beginning his music career as a teenager
in Miami in the 1990s, Rodriguez first
explored freestyle music, opening for the
era’s most popular acts, including Noel,
Corina, Stevie B, George Lamond, Lisette
Melendez and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. By
his 17th birthday, he had cut a few demos
with now acclaimed DJ/producer Giuseppe
D, marking a transition to house music and
a relocation from Miami to the New York
City area, where he became Michael M.
In the last 20-plus years, Rodriguez has
moved back and forth from Miami to New
York, releasing music and collaborating
with many producers including Oba Frank
Lords and more recently, Edwin James for
the French house label, 96 Musique. Their
collaboration on “The Kids Don’t Know,”
a witty meditation upon club scenes past
and present, earned more than 19,000
YouTube views and was featured on the
compilation CD, “100 Dance 2015,” by
In 2015, Rodriguez launched his own
record label and artist-development
boutique, Gonna Be Music, recruiting
Miami-based artists JEI, DROZE and
Ceevox. The label’s first release was “Never
Stop,” an EP produced by Italy’s Danny
G with lead vocalist DROZE. Rodriguez
contributed as singer, co-writer and
executive producer on that project, then
co-wrote “When There Was House,” a
track by Corrugated Tunnel featuring
DROZE for Vision Collective.
SFGN caught up with Rodriguez as he’s grooming
new talent in New Jersey and overseeing new
projects by JEI and DROZE in Miami. Here’s what
he had to say:
What motivated and inspired you to pursue a career in
the music industry?
Growing up in Miami in the 80s, I got the
bug from the local scene and radio stations
like Power 96. They played a lot of freestyle
music from artists like Expose, Company B,
Erotic Exotic and Secret Society....all local
groups. I guess I thought if they could do it,
I could too -- especially after Power 96 did
a contest for the school who sent the most
3x5 cards with the school name and station
name [and they] would win a free concert
with DJ Laz and Erotic Exotic. I started
filling out the cards and got the school to
participate. We won and from then on I
would be connected in the local music biz
scene. Funny enough, one of my longtime
collaborators would be Oba Frank Lords of
How different is the Miami scene from New York/
NewJersey, where you are currently and were once
I think New York has always been seen as
avante garde and always the first to break
out talent. But Miami is definitely giving
New York a run for its money these days. A
lot of the hottest DJs and artists are coming
out of Miami like Oscar G, Ralph Falcon, Oba
Frank Lords, Soulistk, JEI, Ceevox, Alan T,
DROZE and A.D Cruze to name a few.
Have you always been interested in the same genre of
Dance music has always been my first
love. Freestyle was big in the 80s and disco
never really died in Miami in the 80s.
Anything that gets me on the dancefloor.
What are your fondest memories of your time on the
Miami music scene?
The Winter Music Conference in the
1990s until the early 2000s were always
something to look forward to. This was
before it became a Spring Break haven. Back
then, you could really network and get to
rub elbows with the best, not to mention a
Madonna or Versace sitting in the mix.
Has the LGBT community been more embracing and
supportive in Miami or New York?
After living in Miami for 20-plus years,
I would have to say Miami. Give me time.
New York will jump onboard soon.
What do you look for in talent for your label, Gonna Be
I can’t explain it. Sometimes it might be
that I hear a song and really dig the hook
and the beat. Sometimes I might hear the
person sing live and I get goose bumps and
just get that feeling. Ambitious and don’t-
take-no -for-answer people also spark my
Are you selective when choosing talent for your label?
Yes. I have to really believe in it, whether
it’s the song, artist or DJ. It’s like dating.
There has to be chemistry. After all, we’re
gonna create together.
Fill us in on what’s next for Michael M and your Gonna
[We’re] working on a new JEI release; a
new record called ‘Running’ by A.D. Cruze,
featuring Eva with a hot remix by Miami
local legends Soulistk and Oba Frank Lords.
[There are] more remixes of ‘No Time’ by
DROZE, as well as new music by him; and
I’m developing a producer/vocalist called
Catacombs out of Jersey City. He’s someone
to keep an ear open for in 2018.
For more information on Gonna Be Music, visit www.gonnabemusic.
com or listen to music on www.soundcloud.com/gonnabemusic.
droZe, Jei and michael m.
Photo courtesy of michael m.
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