Artist on the Rise: MBG Shows the True Meaning of Versatility In Her Music

Carolina Leena Rodriguez is a multi-instrumentalist who has all the tools to be a groundbreaking success. This dynamic individual writes, records, performs and produces her music in the comfort of her own studio. She’s fairly new in the writing game so she decided to explore genres like classic punk rock and blues to folk and jazz. This vast range of different genres really can contribute to Leena’s versatility that we find to be highly commendable. Leena killed the game with her debut EP, which reflects on not only the bridging in between them genres but her skills in productions and playing all the instruments in her songs.

Over the past year, she has solidified her sound and has gone back to what got her to pick up the guitar in the first place. What’s super interesting about Leena and her artistry is how she began learning songs by ear and self-taught herself many instruments. This isn’t an easy task to do, and she accomplished the challenge. MBG’s single “Make My Day” on youtube was a blissfully magical song that puts Lena on a high caliber compared to the other artists in the industry. Don’t believe the hype? Well, check her out for yourself!

Hey MBG, Welcome to BuzzMusic! So tell us, what exactly does MBG represent and stand for?

MBG stands Music Box Girl. The origin story of the name was when I was maybe 16 or 17. When I started playing music at the time my parents couldn't afford any music instruments so almost every day after school I would bus to Long and Mcquade (which is a music shop in Canada) and stay until closing time practicing on their instruments and going to each section of the store learning all the instruments. Then one day this little girl was looking at me this whole time while I was practicing and she came up to me and said: "wow you play everything!" I laughed it off and then she said "you're kind of like a music box girl" and that kind of stuck with me ever since. MBG represents me as an artist and being this multi-instrumentalist that just loves to make noise. 

What inspired you to create this name?

The most challenging aspect of creating music for me is having a mixture of overthinking and self-doubt on what I'm creating. I've been a musician for 10 years now but only started songwriting for a couple of years so it still feels like I'm walking on a tight rope 1000 feet up in the air. It becomes hard for me to really commit to a finished song without thinking its already trash or 'It's been done already come up with something standoffish like odd time signatures or something!' I try my best to ignore that part of my brain and just enjoy the process of writing.

What’s the most challenging aspect of creating music for you personally?

The funny part about this Debut EP is that it was never a vision, to begin with! I just wanted to create demos so I can send it to other local bands and venues to get gigs. When I was demoing my debut single 'Make My Day', I started tracking and layering a bunch of stuff on this song and overtime this 'demo' started to sound like a full song and I thought 'you know what? F**k it! let's make an EP!" and recorded the rest of the other songs in my home studio. There was no pressure to make this EP because I came into it not thinking it would turn into an EP. That it would just be a bunch of songs I curated and figured, why not put these songs out into the world?

Let’s talk about your debut EP! What was the vision you had for this project? Were you under any pressure during the creation process of it?

This EP is more of an experiment rather than a theme because it's just random songs that I thought are my strongest songs that I've written so far. Two of them are rock songs but the last two are slow and folky but I think 'Make My Day' is what I wanna aim for later into my career in terms of my sound and the production of my music.

Which songs from your EP do you feel best represents its theme and why? How would you describe your songwriting approach to your EP? 

Melodies always come first for me when I'm songwriting or a guitar riff of some sort then lyrics after...Like way after haha. I try to use different approaches to my songwriting like writing song titles first and writing a song based on the title or funny sayings or quotes my friends say but this EP was mostly based on experiences I've had in my life like heartbreak and being in love you know the typical things musicians write about.

What’s next for you as we enter 2020 MBG?

oh wow haha! definitely another EP in the works that maybe could possibly turn into an album? right now I'm recording the EP while I'm writing new material so who really knows at this point. I'm just riding it out but in the end, there's gonna be a finished product with some new songs and old songs that have yet to see the light of day. I want to start playing more shows and possibly start doing small tours in Ontario. Performance is still foreign to me because I've always been a studio rat playing to myself in my bedroom so playing more shows will get me to be more comfortable on stage and give it the best I have that people are going to enjoy when they come to my shows.