New Zealand's Montell2099 pretty much grew up in a paradise. Born and raised in the tiny town of Katikati, he had a laid-back environment to develop the signature futuristic style that can be found on all his beats today. We took a few minutes to chat with the emerging talent, now based in Auckland, who's given us the pleasure of introducing his latest track, "CTRL."
Katikati certainly had a unique influence on Montell2099, who describes it as:
"A little community, everybody knows everybody and it's very tight-nit. My grandparents run a self-owned business of radio broadcasting and live sound, my pops makes radio stations and goes to the top of mountains and fixes radio antennas, whilst my nan stays in the office. My family had no time for fun, they’d always be working, so I used to go and chill at friends houses, go swimming at local swimming holes or just make music. Even then my nan use to hate me sitting in the room making beats all day so she’d make me do chores and all that haha."
When he wasn't doing chores, he was soaking up the sounds of hip-hop. A lot of 14-15 year olds aren't old enough to have favorite hip-hop producers yet, but at that age Montell was already producing himself, and was heavily into "dudes like T-Minus, Kane Beatz, and Boi-1nda." He's come a long way since, showing off his capabilities on tracks like "Space" (below), a crystalline, slow-building track until the floodgates burst open halfway through.
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Montell2099 recently had the chance to perform with the Soulection crew when they came through New Zealand. He took the opportunity to debut a number of new originals, including "CTRL," a Missy Elliott-sampling banger that you can now stream below. Despite the quick increase in attention, Montell2099 is staying humble and putting in the work. He says:
"I don’t really have any expectations of where I wanna be in the next few years other than making a living off of music. As long as I’m making music I’ll be happy. I think it's scary how fast things can happen though, just last year I had 300 followers on Soundcloud, and had no plan at all. A year later I meet Joe Kay, The Whooligan, and Esta, joined Redbull Soundselect and a bunch of other crazy things have happened. In two years time i can’t imagine what things are gonna be like, I’m super grateful though and will continue to work, so wherever that gets me is a blessing."