Interview with mntgmry
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My family was always very interested in music. My father has played saxophone for 50 years, and was always listening to jazz around the house and in the car on the way to school. My mom also loved music, but was more into motown/soul, which definitely bled into my interests as well.
I also took piano lessons when I was younger. I learned a lot of Beatles songs, loved Chopin, and fell in love with the songs in Fiddler On The Roof. The harmonic foundation of Jewish music is very, very fundamental to me.
As I got older I began to love funk music. I got a Jackson 5 “Ultimate Collection” CD once and used to just listen to it on repeat over and over and over. “I Want You Back” might be my favorite song ever. Same with Outkast as I got older, and growing up in Atlanta just made that bond deeper.
I actually do a lot of things outside music as well; I have some fun projects in tech, education, and also enjoy design, cooking, and gardening.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Programming is an unbelievably creative endeavor, though it requires a bit of a different approach. It also helps to wire me with a lot more patience than musical composition and production. Even though mistakes happen all the time in my engineering work, they are emotionally easier to manage because there is always a concrete reason that things might not be functioning the way I intended.
With music, however, if I write a bad song, or produce a poor composition, there’s not necessarily any reason for that, and that can be a difficult emotional challenge.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
At the moment I am working out of Los Angeles. The main way that my location influences my music is by the current collaborators I am working with here. There are so many unbelievably talented songwriters, producers, musicians and producers here!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Remi Wolf, Yung Bae, Otis McDonald, Onra, Breakbot, Outkast, Chromeo, Benny Sings
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Sink Or Swim” is a fantastic song and video concept, and it represents my first successful artistic foray into my own artistry. “Imperfect Love” is also very important to me; I wrote and performed that song as a surprise proposal to my now-fiancée :)
And “Fire Bird” is very, very meaningful to me–that song is a protest against the Russian war against Ukraine.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
As I mentioned previously, I released a song to help boost the morale of Ukrainian soldiers fighting against Russian invasion. I am very passionate about doing good in the world and helping people who need it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Yes–I love my new song “Sink Or Swim”--I really believe this is a fascinating new artistic direction for myself, and I think the concept is very reflective and illuminating.
It’s very easy to get swept up in the deluge of social media and difficult news that we face on a daily basis, but we always have a refuge in ourselves, and our power to create! -m