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Meet Adrian Gardner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrian Gardner.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was raised in Dawson, a small town in southwest Georgia. I went to Terrell Middle High school and graduated in 2011. I moved to Atlanta soon after graduation as I was beginning college. I attended Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) from 2011 to 2015 and was a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football Team from 2011 to 2014.

I started getting involved with music in 2012 after two years of moving around in Atlanta. I was introduced to up and coming producer J-Wood through a mutual friend and began working on my first project, AG The Mixtape, in 2012. In October 2013, I would drop AG: The Mixtape on Soundcloud and officially start my music career. From 2013 to now Me and J-Wood would work together to produce numerous mixtapes: Blessed With Progress(2014), Kung FU Grizzly (2017), and C.R.E.W.(2018), and I would start experimenting with my sound more and more on each one. During this time I would also participate in various open mics, rap competitions, and showcases.

From 2017 up until now I also begin serving as an educator at North Clayton Middle School in College Park, while simultaneously earning my teaching certificate and working on my first official album. During this time I would also be introduced to the nightlife scene of Atlanta as I began working as a hookah specialist at Oak Atlanta in 2019.

On July 6th 2020, in the midst of a pandemic and as well as a social justice revolution I dropped what I would consider my first Independent album AG The Mixtape 2: Country Baby (also called ATM2: Country Baby) to positive reviews. Accompanying the album would be the video for one of the standout tracks, Paperboy, which helped the album gain more steam. For the rest of the year, the rollout for the album would include virtual concerts, video releases, as well as interviews which all played a part in making that the most successful project to date.

In January 2021, I released a follow-up EP entitled Paperboy, in order to feed and grow my fanbase. The EP was also accompanied by a virtual concert as well as a music video for the first track, KING and a video for another standout single from the EP, Country Babies. In May 2021, I also became the Co-Founder of Private Smoke Club, the newly-formed Atlanta Hookah Service.

On November 5, 2021 I dropped my most recent body of work AG3AM, which is the 3rd installment of the AG: The Mixtape series. The album has been met with very positive reviews and we are in the process of rolling out the first few visuals.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road hasn’t been smooth by far, there have definitely been ups and downs along the way. I’ve experienced numerous struggles which ranged from things such as music video footage being lost, equipment being stolen, release dates having to be pushed back for reasons out of my control, to things such as the mental stress of having to learn a whole new profession, and sometimes even things such as a lack of support can make pursuing your passions more challenging.

I feel like that last obstacle, however comes with the territory. When you’re pursuing your dreams you have to accept the fact that for a period of time, (even if it’s not long) you’re gonna be the only one that thinks you’re dope. You can’t let things like that discourage you though, because it’s all a part of your own personal journey and your start doesn’t always determine the way you finish.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a hip-hop artist with a distinctive Southern sound, known for my deep southern drawl, charismatic delivery and Whitty wordplay. In addition to that I am also the Co-CEO of my own hookah company, Private Smoke Club that will be launched very soon.

I am most known for my music, which is also what sets me apart from others in my field and is what I am most proud of. Most recently I surpassed 100,000 streams on Apple Music and am approaching 200,000 streams across all platforms. I have also just released my 7th project, AG3AM, which has been receiving great reviews.

My versatility and ability to grow and improve my sound is also what sets me apart from others. Recently, I helped create an award-winning music video for the school where I currently teach, that included students as well as faculty and staff. I also have certain pieces that I have written that have been recited as spoked word on some occasions.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
When it comes to networking in general you want to be purposeful when you are making your connections. You want to make the most of those connections, and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Try to connect with people who are in the same field as you, and also have experience. You also want to align yourself with people who share the same vision as you, or has similar views as you. This will help with building chemistry, which will in turn improve the work experience and make whatever you are creating seem less like work and more like a collaboration.

When it comes to finding a mentor, you should follow these same principles. Your mentor should preferably be someone who has knowledge in whatever your interested in or is someone who you can see yourself learning from. You also want to make sure this person is conducive to your growth and has a growth mindset as well.

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@trey5tv @eyecon_mediagroup

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