One of the best parts of living in the electronic music realm is the vast amount of talent swimming in the underground that someone can point to as one of the best in the game and can be considered a treasure to a certain legion of fans. The ability for these names to put themselves on the map and rise up like Lazarus is something truly special that exists in this world, and in one fell swoop these artists can become household names.
If you live in Florida, especially in the Tampa and Orlando areas, you may very well know the next artist in the on-deck circle lurking and waiting to hit his next home run. And if you’ve had the fortune of seeing him at his residency at The Amphitheatre (or currently The Ritz), at the bass stage at Sunset Music Festival, or setting the tone for Zomboy in Miami, odds are you know exactly who I am referring to and feel the same way.
Michael Guard, better known around these parts as Blunts & Blondes, is this area’s very own land mine that is set to explode like the big bang of the EDM universe.
The neck-breaker room-shaker has been making quite the name for himself as of late. Fresh off the heels of the release of his new song “Reaper” and subsequent booking for Carnage’s RARE Stage at the Life in Color Festival in Miami this month (alongside Ookay, Doctor P, Tritonal, and more), Blunts & Blondes is poised for a spectacular 2017. And this guy definitely deserves the spotlight.
Guard is as down to earth and authentic as it gets. He never gets “ready” for a set in terms of pre-planning tracks, choosing instead to read the crowd and go with the flow, something that can be a novelty of sorts in today’s EDM scene.
He is known for bringing the bass to his sets, and sites such names as RL Grime, G Jones, Bassnectar, Lido, Griz, and Skrillex as his musical influences. “To be able to put all of that emotion into their music using technology is fascinating to me,” he says, “the way their music hits you is what I inspire to do.” He credits the track “Dota” from the iconic Basshunter as the first track to really get him going finding his niche.
Guard got his start roughly two years ago and began his ascent up the proverbial DJ mountain. He started out at local bars and frat parties, eventually turning his pool parties into the talk of the town that parlayed into promoters asking him to play their venues around Tampa. After a couple of endeavors didn’t give him necessarily the freedom he desired, he was picked up as the resident at The Amphitheatre and his popularity seemed strapped to a rocket ship from there.
All the while, his growing fandom has not deterred him from some of his current life goals. He is currently attempting the challenging balancing act of a blossoming music career while simultaneously working toward graduating college. Studio time, shows, and schoolwork might seem difficult to manage successfully, but don’t tell that to him: “When I’m either in the studio, working on homework, or playing a show somewhere, it doesn’t leave me much time for anything else. I don’t regret it though. I’m extremely happy with the direction I’m going and the sacrifices I have to take.”
I have personally bared witness to the long-haired bass-slinging catalyst known as Blunts & Blondes, and I can attest to the ridiculously bright future ahead for him. He has captivated Tampa audiences in such an authentic manner it reminds you why you love EDM in the first place; it’s real people just like you and me creating art that speaks to the most inner fibers of our heart and soul. Michael Guard, Blunts & Blondes, whatever you wish to call him, is one of the things that is so very right about the EDM scene as a whole.
He hopes someday Skrillex will be playing his tracks, and that is not a far-fetched dream in the slightest. With his continued progression and the support of fans, friends, and family alike, the name Blunts & Blondes is set to spread like wildfire.
Just be sure to load up on neck braces.