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“They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway” With Candice Georgiadis & Emile Ghantous

The truth is that I have never really paid attention to the haters. Many of the people who said I wouldn’t ever make it now hit me up trying to meet their favorite artists, or ask me if I can help someone they know make it in the business. I always listen to everything everyone […]

The truth is that I have never really paid attention to the haters. Many of the people who said I wouldn’t ever make it now hit me up trying to meet their favorite artists, or ask me if I can help someone they know make it in the business. I always listen to everything everyone sends me because you never know what you might discover. And I do my best to stay cool with everyone.


As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emile Ghantous.

Grammy-Nominated and NAACP Award-Winning Producer Emile Ghantous is no stranger to making hits. As the mastermind behind award-winning tracks by names ranging from Chris Brown to Snoop Dogg, Prince Royce to Pitbull, and legends such as Charlie Wilson — Ghantous does not shy away from a challenge. And so when he was tasked with producing a 15-person global hit virtually, he rose to the occasion. And the results may be changing the industry as a whole.

Emile Ghantous recently teamed with internet ultra-sensation, Now United, to produce their most recent hit, “By My Side”, which resulted in a total knockout, garnering an impressive 330K streams and 3.7M video views in under one week. Although these numbers are remarkable, it’s the way in which “By My Side” was created that is catching the attention of industry professionals, sparking conversations and molding expectations of just where the industry is headed in years to come.

Amidst the Stay At Home restrictions due to COVID-19, the “By My Side” producer found a way to create this track, consisting of the vocals of 15 individual members, all from different parts of the world, via separate iPhone voicenotes sent to him via text. Ghantous then took the low-res recordings and worked tirelessly on engineering them to sound like a high-budget, in-studio, collaborative piece.

“I took the recordings and moved everything around manually until they lined up in Logic, and started equalizing and creating vocal chains for each singer according to the room they recorded in. Some lines were even split into 5 tracks to get all the tones to match,” explains Ghantous.

And hundreds of thousands of streams later, the song has proven to be a major hit, and the industry is taking notes on the new production style. With COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up on Stay At Home restrictions, this production style has started a trend. With “By My Side” proving to be such a major success, Ghantous is now working on a number of other songs for Now United and other artists.

It’s an understatement to say the world is facing some difficult times right now. In the music industry, artists are feeling the effects no matter what capacity they part-take in it. The traditional processes of music-making are being challenged, and activities such as record-producing, which, from the beginning of time, have depended heavily on studio sessions with hundred-thousand-dollar technology, are threatening artist’s livelihoods and futures. But as they say, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. And Ghantous proved once again, he is as tough as a veteran Hollywood producer comes.

“I didn’t want to let physical boundaries stop us from creating something we love. In this industry, you have to adapt to survive. We took what we were given and made something great of it. It was tricky but we made it work,” says Ghantous. “You have to find a way to get things done. I believe there should never be an excuse for why you can’t get things done, and if you are waiting for someone else to do them for you, then you will most likely be waiting for a long time. You should NEVER have any excuses. Technology should be your best friend, and if you want to take this business seriously, you need to put in the work.”

Rather than letting this put a halt on the hits, he once again proves why he has risen to success time and time again in an ever-changing industry; by adapting to the circumstances, using some creativity, and lots of hard work. Thanks to this work ethic, artists will continue to work, listeners will continue to hear the songs they love, and hopefully people will remain hopeful for better times to come.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

Thanks for having me! I’ve been writing and producing records for more than 15 years. I got my big break while living in Chicago working with artists like Public Announcement, Boyz II Men, Jojo, 3LW, Bobby Valentino, etc.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m currently working on a lot of new things, but I’m focusing most of my energy primarily on new artists. Recently I’ve working a lot with Now United. The group consists of 15 artists from 15 different countries. So that’s been a lot of fun. I’m also working with Baby Goth, Carly Gibert, WanMor (whose father is Wanya Morris from the group Boyz II Men), Charlie Wilson, Celina Sharma, Haven, Angel Taylor, and a lot of others.

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

Well I do my best to focus on delivering great songs and making sure I have great sounding vocals from the artists I produce. Even though I make beats, I also am a true producer who can finish a record and make it sound radio ready. A lot of people are good at making beats, but don’t know how to properly take an idea and turn it into a record. I have a lot of experience and can always deliver a high-quality product.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

I think anyone who follows their dreams and becomes successful gets bashed by others on their way up. When I first started, I was waiting tables while trying to make it as a producer. I had people tell me that I would never make and that I should stop telling people I was a producer because I was never going to be anything more than a waiter. I also had a big hit record a few years back and one of the people I showed the song to told me it sucked and would never work. But I followed my instinct and continued working on it and the song became one of the biggest songs of my career.

In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂 Well, success is the greatest revenge isn’t it? ☺

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Well in my situation, I didn’t really have anyone help get me to the next level. When I first started, I used to email A&R’s and managers pretending I knew them. I would create an email chain between us and fake a conversation. I would make up names of people I was working with and attach my music to the emails. Well, my music was good enough to get them interested and I slowly started selling songs that way. I have worked with some of the biggest managers in the industry and none of them have ever worked harder for me than I have worked for myself. And none of them really did much for me.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

The truth is that I have never really paid attention to the haters. Many of the people who said I wouldn’t ever make it now hit me up trying to meet their favorite artists, or ask me if I can help someone they know make it in the business. I always listen to everything everyone sends me because you never know what you might discover. And I do my best to stay cool with everyone.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Don’t take no as answer! Don’t take no as answer! Don’t take no as answer! Don’t take no as answer! Don’t take no as answer!

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience? Anything is possible if you just believe!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

More collaborations with people who bring out the best in each other.

Can our readers follow you on social media? Yes. I’m on Facebook and IG @emileghantous

Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success! Thanks! ☺

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