An Interview with Martins Ate: The Female Reggae Producer and GanjaGyals Project Manager

What inspired you to become a reggae music producer, and how did you get started in the industry?
I'm doing music since I'm five years old. My mom and dad pushed me to random music instruments from piano to drums and guitar. But since teenage years I noticed I liked to produce music which I practiced in my local garage band. Dream about my own studio came since then. After realized it understood I wish to create a meaningful music so inspiration for that came from my travelings at

Can you tell us about your experience managing the GanjaGyals project, and what challenges have you faced?
Artists. Time. Money. I guess every producer is facing these aspects and balancing the project finish line somewhere in between these abilities. Hardest part is when some girl for whom you have written the song decides to cancel the song for some reasons. Other challenge is to find random models for videos.

What sets Black Sea Records apart from other record labels, and how do you support your artists?
Black Sea Records promotes music about One Love, personal striving for Divinity and creation of intimate Unity with God in whatever name we call it due to our cultural and national barriers. For my artists I create everything from music, words, mixing and mastering up to video publishing. I share royalties with artists who are happy about this project and shares it regularly on their social networks.

How do you approach producing and arranging reggae music, and what techniques do you use to create a unique sound?
The songs just comes into my mind and I just write them down in my iPad directly into the software and send it to some of my girls. Currently I'm working with about 45 female reggae singers from all around the world. Thus even if I have a recording studio - most of the songs are created by online collaboration on the project. After girl sends me back her vocals I mix it up - usually I'm doing it in early morning when nobody disturbs me. When basic mixing is done I'm adding special sounds and playing around the acoustics of the song.

Can you share with us some of your favorite reggae artists or songs, and how they have influenced your work?
Oh - my prophet priest and guru in life, religion and music is Bob Marley. I have greatly influenced by Rastafarian culture and beliefs system. Thus so many songs about Jah - spreading the word of Love - One God One Love. I'm stly female reggae because of I just love how sounds female reggae.

What advice would you give to young female producers who are just starting out in the music industry?
Follow your style, drive your dream. But make it listenable. Find unique effects of your voice and use them. When you are new in industry - create as many songs and albums as you can with your stage name on - it will be your CV within a few years.

How do you balance your responsibilities as a producer and manager, and what strategies do you use to stay organized?
I'm trying to release at least one album per 2 month and each time improve the next one by listening to critics and comments on previous one. I work freestyle. I manage when I'm in mood to manage and produce when in mood to produce. Often I can do few other things same time. Creating music helps me stay focused in my daily tasks and vice verse.

How do you identify and develop new talent for Black Sea Records, and what qualities do you look for in an artist?
To be honest - as I'm creating many songs for my radio station so very often the price of the singer is the main criteria. Second criteria is voice and the way singer sings - her uniqueness. Thirdly I look on personality - how easy going it is with project and then other factors like - how long will I be able to work with a singer, how fast she usually comes back with the song, how average quality of the record is done.

Can you share with us some of the most memorable moments in your career as a producer and manager?
First female singer I worked with - Fatima Ezzahra from Morocco. Indeed I experienced some intimacy with the voice I was mixing together with my music in so ecstatic way I decided further to work only with girls due to this sacred connection you get during mixing - the reason why I love this whole "music creation".

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the music industry, and how do you incorporate them into your work?
I see that people are asking for "newer music instruments" to be used, random, different rhythms, not only stock reggae. So I go often with Latin rhythms and using latest sound packages available for downloads.

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations that you are working on?
Yeah.. I have still in plans continue to release album with already mentioned Fatima Ezzahra, Valentina Iela, Berilljul, Joampry and Maria Silva besides upcoming "The Best Milky & Juicy Female Reggae Collections" - so far 8 have been released.

How do you navigate the challenges of being a man in a female-dominated industry, and what advice would you give to other women who aspire to work in music production?
The lyrics for songs comes from ancient sacred texts which in many ways do not comply with today's societies modern norms. I have had many cases when girls just refuse to sing some particular lyrics just because they are crossing and breaking today's social perspectives. But I see in my communication with the GanjaGyals girls - the lyrics they have singed have made them choose righteous paths in their life. Advice? Search For Jah's Love.

How do you measure success in your work, and what are some of your proudest accomplishments as a producer and manager?
Well I measure my success first of all by my appreciation of the song. If I love it - it means it's good. Secondly I print it out on CD's and give it out for locals to listen to them and tell me their views on it. Thirdly I'm happy when song gets taken to some radio or video channel. When many people saying - oh this is good song - then of course you feel good about yourself, too. Every project, every song is a new accomplishment for me. As a project itself.

How do you incorporate social and political messages into your music, and what role do you think music plays in promoting social change?
I stand for peace, love and unity with god. I believe we need to create more music about highest values so our mind looks for them not get dragged by low life representation in music so to avoid praising the false gods. I believe that our consciousness can be changed by sound - so I try to create that "mind-changing sound" - for better, happier, healthier, wealthier world.

What is your vision for the future of reggae music, and how do you see Black Sea Records contributing to that future?
Reggae is very specific music genre probably not so in demand by modern youth. However I'm still looking for a Grammy! Maybe one day. With Jah's help.