Interview – Curtis Monumental

By: Jordyn Meade-Baxter

Curtis Monumental is a triple threat from Vancouver; he is a producer, composer and artist. You may recognize him from his work with artists like Anami Vice and Rachel Ashmore from ByStarlight.

You are a producer for tons of people, many of which are your friends. What is it like working with these people?

CM: It’s great. Every artist I work with is different and has a different approach to
making music. I just try to be conducive to their process and when you have a good
working relationship with somebody it just makes things run smoother. You have to
be comfortable with the people you work with and they have to be comfortable with
you and trust your judgement for the best results.

Which do you prefer doing; producing, composing or doing your own music?

CM: That depends on how I’m feeling on any particular day. If I’m not feeling personally inspired to say something I love producing/composing for others. It’s always interesting when you create an instrumental or write part of a song and then another artist comes in and adds to it. In some cases it might end up totally different than what I had first imagined but really work. It’s always exciting to see what an artist comes up with. That being said, if I’m feeling inspired I love working on my own music. There are no limitations with my own stuff, I’ll try anything.

Do you ever find that one distracts you from the others or does it depend on what you are working on at that point?

CM: I’m lucky enough to work with talented individuals who inspire me. So if I’m working with an artist I’m usually pretty dialed in to the song. I do get distracted during “normal” life with ideas though. I might be grocery shopping or walking somewhere and come up with an idea or concept.

You and Anami Vice just released your new EP, “#HelpUrSelf Side B” recently, what was the reaction like from the fans?

CM: The reaction has been overwhelming. Fans may not realize what an important role they play in an artist’s life but for me, the support they show and genuine enjoyment they get out of a project is all energy we feed off of. Seeing tweets about how excited people are about a particular song or running into people I haven’t seen in years over the holidays telling me how much they dig Side B is a great feeling. It always leaves a smile on my face.

This, along with Side A, wasn’t the first time you worked with Anami. Why do you think you two keep doing collaborations?

CM: No, you could actually say Anami and I have been working together here and there since our studio production school days where we first linked. That was even before we released the #SomethingForEveryone mixtape. I think we continue to collaborate because we inspire each other and we have the type of great working relationship I was talking about earlier. If Anami has an idea or a concept for a song, no matter how sarcastic (as it usually goes with him) he knows he can come to me and we can build on that. It’s the same for me, if I approach him with an outlandish instrumental or idea, he can work with that and we can develop it together. To me it’s a winning combination of freedom to try anything and a shared vision. All the best producer/artist collaborations come from that honesty.

What’s next for you? More producing and composing or do you have plans to release your own stuff?

CM: Both. Before I ever produced/composed for anyone else I was doing it for myself. Sometimes I have ideas and concepts that are too personal to who I am to turn into a song for another artist. Now I get to share that side. Expect something from me early this year. I’m geeked for you to hear it and that’s all I’ll say about it for now. In terms of producing and composing I’m sure you’ll be hearing new collaborations from me and Anami Vice, my bro Tony Mason and some new ThugDizco tracks from myself and TurnToSideB. I also have a few other projects in the works that I can’t go into detail about just yet but I’ll be announcing them soon. Overall, 2014 is sounding great.

As usual, we like to do a couple of fun questions for the fans.

Who, given the chance, would you trade lives with for a day and why?

CM: Barrack Obama. I just feel like as President he has access top secret information that we will never know about. I think it would be fascinating. On the other hand that might be too much mind-blowing information to handle, I might wig out and order a drone strike for no good reason. Like incinerate Megyn Kelly or something.

If you could tour with two other Canadian artists, dead or alive, who would they be and

why?

CM: I could go nostalgic and say Neil Young or cliché and say Drake but I like to live in the moment, so touring Europe with Anami Vice and the New Future and Tony Mason would be amazing. Two totally different artists from each other and even me but the tour stories would be epic.

On your down time what can you usually be caught doing?

CM: I don’t know if I can answer that without incriminating myself so I’ll say snowboarding.

If left on a desert island, what would you wish you had with you?

CM: Sunglasses.

Do you have any bizarre talents?

CM: I’m pretty good at impersonating European accents. I can remove underwear with my mind. Those two talents are not necessarily related.

And of course, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

CM: I just want to thank you all for your support. We’re going to make 2014 the
best year yet. Love y’all!

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