New England producer/lyricist Mertz released his long-awaited full-length solo debut on March 4th, 2014 through his own Mertz & Sun Productions, LLC. Hip-Hop fans can purchase a hard copy or download the album for free at MertzMusic.com
Far from a freshman effort, The Good in The Bad is a matured sound compared to his last effort as a part of the group Present Rhymes on their 2011 debut album, Livin’ The Mission. Mertz calls his latest project “a step up for me in all aspects,” from production & lyrics all the way through the recording & mixing processes.
After spending years focusing on Vermont-bred Hip-Hop group Present Rhymes, Mertz decided to break from the constraints associated with group work & step out on his own as a solo artist. He also decided to take a vastly more professional approach to making music.
The LP represents a number of firsts in Mertz’s music career; along with this being his full-length solo debut, Mertz says this was the first time he featured guest producers, recorded in a professional studio, & handed over a good portion of the final mixing duties to another engineer. It’s safe to say that the The Good in The Bad is a sound we have not yet heard from the up-&-coming musician.
As a lyricist, Mertz worked with like-minded producers that he met in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Producer SXMPLELIFE met Mertz at The Lab, a workshop & school for DJ’s & Producers in downtown Burlington, & produced two songs on The Good in The Bad including “Madame Butterfly”, which doubles as the first music video from the album.
Zach Crawford of SkySplitterInk first connected with Mertz in 2009 while the two were finding their voices at open mic performances. Zach is a man of many talents; as a multi-instrumentalist producer & lyricist, he makes up one-half of the Hip-Hop duo Somewhere In The Solution. As an audio engineer, he has been mixing & mastering projects from around the world; from Bluegrass to Hip-Hop & everything between. Crawford produced two songs on Mertz’s album, including the single “Move On” & also mastered the LP.
Last, but certainly not least, seasoned-producer, audio engineer & mentor Nastee has helped Mertz land opening gigs for independent Hip-Hop heavyweights like Gift of Gab, Rapper Big Pooh, Akrobatik & more. Nastee not only produced Mertz’s debut single “Life & Love”, but the veteran engineer took Mertz under his wing in his Brooklyn studio while the two mixed the entire project in late 2013.
“Nastee had been a mentor to me for a long time. He’s actually played a big role in me realizing that it was time to approach a professional studio to record,” said Mertz.
Mertz brought his album to The Beatbox Studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in the summer of 2013 after recording demos of all the tracks in his home studio. The experience was truly eye-opening for the young lyricist. Finally, he could fully focus on his vocal performance while recording engineer Vertygo took care of all the technical aspects. The result is just that; Mertz’s most focused delivery to date.
“This was a great learning experience for me,” Mertz said, no doubt referring to all of the new opportunities his first full-length LP has afforded. “It’s already reflected in the new music I’m working on.”
Crossing off another first in 2013, Mertz hit the road this past fall in support of the Vermont Hip-Hop crew the Lynguistic Civilians. After such a positive ﬁrst experience touring, Mertz is currently working on putting together his own album release tour in the spring of 2014.
Dan Bolles, 7 Days album reviewer, once offered the insight that Mertz is at his best when he “shows” rather than “tells” when critiquing his 2009 effort, The Rise Above It EP. As a lyricist on The Good in The Bad, Mertz explores new ground in storytelling. His ability to paint vivid lyrical pictures blossomed into the idea of a music video, & Mertz sought out an esteemed group of filmmakers to make that vision a reality.
His first music video, “Madame Butterﬂy”, was filmed at The Livingston Center Preschool (part of The Groden Center, Inc.) in Providence, Rhode Island, where Mertz has been a Teacher’s Assistant for the past three years. Inspired by the dynamic he has witnessed between children at the preschool, the lyricist wrote a compelling love story from the perspective of a 4-year-old. When he shared the song with his co-workers, it didn’t take long for them to suggest making a music video to accompany the song. Working with former film student & co-worker Carolyn Hubbard, the video for “Madame Butterfly” quickly became a reality.
Teaming up with The Groden Center, Mertz is using his music video to promote the wonderful program at The Livingston Center Preschool, which offers services to students with autism spectrum disorder, behavioral challenges & typically developing peers ages 3-6 years-old. For more information on The Livingston Center Preschool, please visit grodennetwork.org/children/preschool.asp
Mertz is also looking forward to working with local Rhode Island visual-collective Greene Films on a video to his self-produced song “What Comes Down Must Go Up”. Greene Films had a very busy past year working with both national & local artists, & their work can be found at at youtube.com/greeneﬁlms
The release of The Good In The Bad is the product of Mertz stepping out– & stepping up – on his own. Once again, music fans can find his new album online at MertzMusic.com
for free download or hardcopy purchase. Sign up for his email list to get the first look at newest singles, videos, plus upcoming tour dates & information, at MertzMusic.com
You can download or purchase The Good in The Bad at MertzMusic.com
Stay up to date with Mertz & Nastee via the social media links below.
Mertz | MertzMusic.com
Nastee | 4WordProductions.org
SkySplitterink | SkySplitterInk.bandcamp.com
SXMPLELIFE | @SXMPLELIFE