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We are always scouring the underground for up and coming acts before they break. This young producer has been mentioned on electro blogs worldwide so we had to get up with him for a chat. Just like many young producers today, his studio is the university dorm room. With a clean sound he will surely be seen rising the ranks of the electo scene in the US, Europe, and beyond. See what he had to say about Bass and Economics.

Name: Monument

Hometown: Lida, Belarus

Current Location: Washington, DC

Artist Influences: I try to pull from a lot of genres. My biggest inspiration in terms of producing and DJing is Diplo.

 Current favorite track: EDM: Sandro Silva & Quintino – Epic (Original Mix) Not EDM: Mumford & Sons – Dust Bowl Dance

What is your music background?

I’ve been playing guitar for about six years, before that I played a little bit of piano and saxophone.

Where did your career/interest in electronic music start?

Going off to college meant the end of my garage band. I’ve never taken electronic music seriously before, but around the same time my friend introduced me to Justice and I realized just how much I have been missing out. Producing just seemed like the natural thing to do.

Aside from talent, what qualities in an artist really stand out for you?

Attention to detail. Some artists really focus on the replay value of their songs. You can listen to those kinds of productions over and over and find something new every time.


 Do you prefer niche vs. mass appeal, even if it won’t make you as much money?

In all honestly, I think it’s incredibly difficult to create something that has mass appeal. Mainstream music is so formulaic, that I have a lot of admiration for producers who are able to make it big without becoming generic. So, I don’t really believe that niche and mass appeal are exclusive.

 Is there an artist you want to work with who you have not yet had the opportunity? 

I would love to work with a “big room” house producer. Making a song by stringing a bunch of one shots is easy. I can’t ever wrap my head around creating something with just a couple of oscillators and minimal effects. Guys like Hardwell, Bingo Players, and The M Machine blow my mind.

Do you have any production secrets you’re willing to share?

Underscoring phrases with a sine wave can really thicken up basslines.

Also, in my opinion, drums are the most important aspect of dance music, so never settle for mediocre samples. Compress them, EQ them, adjust the transients, and make sure the resonating frequencies are pitched in key. Don’t stop until the kick and the snare are loud and crisp.

In a more general tone (and this is Microeconomics 101 speaking), disregard sunk costs. If a project is not working out after several days – move on. Don’t become attached to unsuccessful investments.

What are your three favorite VSTs?

BitterSweet II – using it on kick drums makes everything so easy that it feels like I’m cheating.

Izotope Ozone – most producers only save it for mastering, but you can honestly use it for pretty much anything. It’s kind of a CPU hog though, so make sure you resample.

RoughRider – a great compressor, one that makes parallel compression really straightforward.

 Your Studying Economics If production were a formula, what would it be?

Quality of Song = (Talent + Experience) * √(time)

I want to say that creativity and experience are substitute goods. Id est, a very musically talented, but inexperienced person can make a phenomenal song, given enough time. Consequently, an uncreative technical expert has the tools and knowledge to experiment, so they can create something musical through trial and error. That being said, you can only be so talented or so experienced, so without both, the quality of the song is marginal. Time displays diminishing returns because in thirty minutes, you can make a rough song, and then polish it. Over time, however, the changes become subtler. A song written in 300 hours instead of 270 won’t display the same level of improvement as a song written in thirty hours as opposed to in one.

Two words to describe the Washington D.C. Electro Scene?

Rapidly expanding.

How has DC influenced your music?

Everyone in the area is incredibly friendly and supportive. This kind of atmosphere has really kept me motivated and has always encouraged me to experiment.

 You’re studying economics in college, what keeps you interested on that end?

It has really changed the way I think about everything, not just money and politics. Analytics, game theory, and history of economic thought are surprisingly practical in the real world, even in music production!

 Three fun facts?

  1. If music doesn’t work out, I really want to go into sales and trading. I can definitely see myself as an investment banker or a financial analyst.
  2. I am straightedge. I don’t have anything against alcohol or drug use, but I personally abstain.
  3. I’m a pretty big risk taker – a “no regrets,” happy-go-lucky kind of guy.

With so many high achievers out there going to school and DJing, do you think we will see some big name producers on Wall St in between gigs?

I sure hope so! The financial industry attracts a lot of creative minds, so it’s a pretty good fit.

Do you have a mobile trading setup ready to plugin to Ableton?

Haha, I use a separate, docked laptop for my stock market forays. The only things I have installed on it are Chrome and QuoteTracker.


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