Interview with MNTGMRY

Raised in Atlanta by a saxophone-playing Jewish father from Philadelphia and a soul music-loving mother from the deep south, mntgmry crafts soulful music with NuFunk elements throughout. A six-song debut EP with music videos is headed for the internet in early 2022, as well as a simultaneous six-track release of lofi beats, remixes, and instrumentals by popular demand. Make sure your dancing shoes are ready!

What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?

I try to always start with something I’m very excited about. Inspiration is so key–without it, you just end up working way too hard for something that probably isn’t that good.

It doesn’t matter what I start with–it could be a hook, a beat, a melody, lyrics, or a concept–if it is exciting enough to captivate me, I use that energy to drive the execution of the song.

I have a tendency to just keep banging my head against the wall if something isn’t working, and that is a huge waste of my time and energy, so I’m doing my best to try to stay flexible and ready to pivot if something isn’t working.

Of course, since I’m human, I pretty much just stick to repeating this flawed behaviour over and over 😂😂😂

If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Probably Stevie Wonder. He might be uncomfortable with all the hugs I would be trying give him in the studio though 😂

What’s the best advice you’d give to your younger self?

Start meditating.

Give our listeners some music recommendations that we should check out!

I actually made an artist playlist on Spotify for this very purpose!

What’s in store for you for the rest of the year?

I am releasing six singles over the next six months–AND I’m simultaneously releasing six of my fans’ favorite beats during that time as well. At the end of the next six months I’ll have two EPs: one instrumental, and one full of singles.

It’s a bit of a weird move, but my fans have been hounding me to release some of these beats on instagram and socials etc… so they’re finally coming out! I make so much music; it’s time to let some of it come out and play.

Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?

This song was written to surprise-propose to my amazing girlfriend of eight years at a small New Year’s Eve gathering of our closest friends.

I have been deliberating proposing for about six months, but I just couldn’t decide exactly what to do. I wanted to do something very special for her because she’s so fantastic, but I just couldn’t figure out something special enough.

In early December 2021 she left town unexpectedly for a work trip, and I became very sad. I channeled this into writing a new song, and this song poured out of me very, very quickly. I probably cried ten times while writing it. I knew this was how I wanted to propose–it was an extraordinary and vulnerable gesture, and I wanted to do something spectacular for her, because she is spectacular too.

I am not the most effusive person and have a very hard time providing positive feedback. It is something that is rooted deep in my family traditions, and is a difficult habit to break. That is actually what the second verse in the song is about! Anyway, because I feel that I do not always offer the kind of complimentary interactions that she really enjoys, I wanted her to have an incredible song to always remind her of how I feel, even when I can’t find the words.

So, I completed the song, and got it mixed and mastered, all in secret to avoid spoiling the surprise. Actually it was very uncomfortable for me because I really enjoy sharing my work with her, and this was something I had to keep from her completely. I was also secretly planning this important performance behind her back as well, so I was constantly sneaking around making phone calls, hiding my text messages etc, and I absolutely hated it. One of my favorite parts of our relationship is being able to tell each other anything! And this was the exact opposite of that–all while visiting BOTH of our respective families together on two Christmas vacation trips for a week apiece. It made me terribly uncomfortable.

So–fast forward to New Year’s Eve. The engineer who mixed the song (JJ Catalyst) is a good friend of mine, and he offered to SET UP AND RUN LIVE SOUND for the performance (who does that???). In addition, my neighbor friend and top-notch videographer Samahra Little offered to organize and shoot video of the event as well so we could always remember it. Extraordinary efforts from extraordinary friends.

About ten other close friends contributed massively to make the whole thing work, from ordering food for the event, to decorating the party, to cleaning up, setting up lights, etc etc. It was a true community effort to share something special. More on that in a moment…

In order to properly surprise her, I had to also perform several other songs to pretend that I was performing a normal small show. Because I only had time to practice the most important song, I gave a hilariously terrible performance of three other songs as well. It was a fantastic shitshow.

But, the crucial moment finally arrived–time to perform the song.

I could tell she didn’t really know what was going on and was very surprised by everything. I sang very well, and the crowd was loving it too–some of them knew what was coming, and some didn’t.

I nailed the tune–until the critical moment. I had written the third verse to pull out the ring right at the end, but my jacket malfunctioned and I COULDN’T GET THE RING OUT. I literally felt like my head was melting as I nearly completely dissociated at the end of the song.

I kept singing however, and the lyrics fit perfectly: “Just be patient for a minute…” and the entire crowd burst into laughter. It was hysterical. My jacket was completely stuck, so several friends ran to me and began trying to RIP the ring box from my pocket, all while I continued to sing, baffled. Eventually they were able to pry open the impossible pocket as the song faded out.

So, in shambles, I proposed after the song had ended. She was so excited and happy, and I will never forget the look on her face. I could tell she loved what I planned, and she said yes immediately.

The song is called Imperfect Love–it refers to many of my own personal flaws and reflections on my own resilience to love despite my challenges. It also discusses my regret at not being able to perfectly emotionally provide for my partner.

But that is real life–real love is not a hallmark card, and I wouldn’t swap what we’ve got for that kind of thing anyway.

Above all, the song reassures that despite our flaws and shortcomings, we can have real love anyway–and we deserve it.

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