We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Gazzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michael, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Balance is something that I struggled with for many many years. I think identifying so deeply in being the “music producer” had its strengths but ultimately led me down a road of disappointment. I had always done other things but nothing in my mind was as important as what I did for a living. I think growing up with a strong programming that work is a huge component of life and with money scarcity issues along the way, I had to figure out my balance the hard way. I had an issue being truly present if it didn’t involve some level of music talk or something “epic” in my eyes. The positive side of that was being ultra focused in on building my business. But I eventually had to figure out the balance across the board because I was running out of steam which led me into mindfulness modalities such as meditation, breath work, plant medicine and more. Through cultivating a deep awareness of the “why” of what I did for a living, my life and attitude started to shift. What was once MOST of who I thought I was (a music producer) became just another part of “Mike” and I regained a child-like sense of curiosity in the world. Turning the gaze inward vs. outward allowed me to really enjoy the processes of my life. Exploring spirituality led me to a deepened state of calm, an unbroken focus on what was really important to me and overall gratitude for what I had in my life, not what I felt I lacked!! Not to mention, it led me to realizing my gift as a healer and integrating that gift into what I do within and without music 🙂

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think the most fundamental thing that sets me apart is my ability to connect on a deeper level with those I’m creating with. Spending years in the studio, I learned a lot of technical skills that elevated my ability to provide quality work. But I would have to say the single most important quality was my skill at being a chameleon! I have always been able to connect with any type of person from any walk of life and cut to the center of their being by providing a space for them to feel comfortable enough to talk. It took me a long time to realize why people tended to gravitate towards my energy, chalking it up originally to my ridiculous personality and party habits. But what became clear to me (as a result of my inner work) was the genuine drive to help others become the best versions of themselves mainly due to the fact that in so many ways I had always held that standard for myself. I think understanding who I truly am underneath it all made me realize that getting to the deepest place that a person can get to creates the most authentic art. It’s the fundamental behind my own healing practice and something I’ve integrated deeply into how I work in the studio. When someone comes to work with me, they can expect deep conversations and a desire to understand who the person really is through what they struggle with, what they have been through in their life and what they seek to gain out of their art or their life in general!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is an interesting one because it’s changed so much over the years. I used to bring people to the quintessential Los Angeles spots like EP & LP, Warwick, Moodshadows etc. But honestly, now I just show them why I stayed here for as long as I have! I definitely still bring them to some of the go to spots like seeing Malibu, eating Sugarfish and hiking Wisdom Tree. But I also show them how I live my life day to day such as some hidden hikes that I love like Oak Spring Trail as well as boxing at my homie Eddie Arrizola’s gym Lobos Boxing Club. Nowadays I’m coaching so many people in my backyard Ice Plunge and walking them through meditations that we tend to spend a good amount of time at our home in Glendale. I always gravitate towards bringing people to Joshua Tree if they have the time… Even though its not an unknown spot, there is something undeniably special and unique about that place.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think there are two people that I have to dedicate my success and growth to. The first would most definitely be my best friend and manager Rob Calabrese. Throughout my life, Rob has always done an incredible job steering me in the right direction, guiding my business and calling me out on my BS. It didn’t come without it’s struggles, especially when things weren’t going as well in my personal or professional life. But his loyalty, positive outlook and attention to detail has been a huge part of everything we’ve built together and who I’ve become as a human being.

The other is Ram Dass. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert) was a Harvard graduate who moved from clinical psychology into becoming a pioneer of the psychedelic movement in the 1960s, which led him on a deeply spiritual journey by means of meditation, yoga and leadership. He has helped so many people break free from the chains of internal patterns and live a more fruitful life. Through his unbelievable teachings I have found clarity and connection like I never had before. Without him, I may not have been able to formulate the framework I needed to make sense of my own plant medicine journeys and my spiritual path. I owe a lot of who I am and who I am becoming to his teachings.

Website: unearthed.la

Instagram: @gazzomusic

Twitter: @gazzo

Facebook: @gazzo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.