Co-signed for by Mr Carmack, Mura Masa, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, Sango and Soulection co-founder Joe Kay, Auckland-based beatmaker/DJ Montell2099 is one of the most exciting new electronic music talents to emerge from New Zealand in recent years. Mixing bubbling VST melodies, post-Dilla drum programming, manipulated vocal snippets and booming bass hits, his idiosyncratic productions ripple and thud with club-ready swing and funk.
Montell2099 was raised in the rural community of Katikati near Tauranga in New Zealand’s upper North Island. Despite the remote locale, he grew up in a family that placed an equal love and importance on music and technology. As he puts it, “my grandfather was a radio technician and computer geek. My grandmother was a singer and songwriter.”
By virtue of this, Montell2099 has been around music production equipment since childhood. When he was fourteen, his grandfather loaded up FL Studio on a computer and dropped him in front of it. He never looked back. “I spent my teens locked away making music,” Montell2099 laughs. After high school, he had three choices. Stay in Katikati and work as a fruit picker, move to the nearby town of Hamilton and live with his mother, or head to Auckland, attend an audio engineering course at MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) and pursue music. With some encouragement from his grandparents, music won out.
Within months of moving to Auckland Montell2099 was offered a radio show on George FM, New Zealand’s #1 Dance and Alternative station, playing songs that have inspired his own music. Very soon after he found himself performing shows alongside some of his musical influences, including an opening slot for Joe Kay (Soulection). He has also shared the same bill at major festivals, Rhythm & Vines, and Northern Bass with the likes of Chance The Rapper, Zhu, and Hudson Mohawke.
With a debut performance under his belt in Sydney Australia, Montell2099 followed that up with two trips to America to perform at Red Bull’s 30 Days in L.A alongside Charlie XCX and Sophie, and a show in Atlanta with Cut Chemist. He also featured at a notorious Brownies and Lemonade show where many of todays biggest acts have cut their teeth.
A lifelong lover of hip-hop and RnB, when Montell2099 first began uploading his beats on soundcloud, he had no idea about its community aspect. In the process of looking around the platform, he became familiar with the soul/hip-hop influenced future beats scene that has embraced him in recent months. In an era where musicians often lean on gimmicks to market their work, his focus is quality. With over 2 million plays on soundcloud, Montell2099 is connecting on the strength of his music alone; and he’s only just getting started.
Agent: Cory Riskin
Territory: North America, South America