Formerly of Katikati, Auckland-based beat maker Montell2099 is making waves in the music world.
Real name Montell Pinny, the electronic musician has been building a following for himself on SoundCloud, with his tracks being played more than two million times on the music site.
The 21-year-old was born in Brisbane, but moved to New Zealand when he was “a couple of weeks old.”
Despite growing up in a rural community, his family imbued in him a love of music and technology, particularly his grandparents.
“I started making music when I was around 12 years old. Initially it was about getting my head around making beats,” says Montell.
“Drake was one of my first influences. I was an avid listener of his stuff. Then I started looking into his producers, and following them.”
He says between the ages of 12 and 18 his focus was on hip-hop beats.
“But after I moved to Auckland I went on SoundCloud, which has a lot of experimental-type music. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. So that influenced me a lot.”
Some of his tracks include remixes of Lorde's ‘Green Light' and Leisure's ‘All Over You'. He says he sometimes samples other tracks, but mainly he comes up with melodies himself.
He's getting noticed locally too, having appeared on Three's The Project, and featured on George FM and in online magazine ‘The Spinoff'.
The goal for him now is to base himself in Los Angeles.
“It was weird to come from Katikati to Auckland because it was so overwhelming and a crazy step up. But it was good, because the opportunities there are second-to-none in New Zealand. I feel like moving to LA would be the same thing – overwhelming, but with better opportunities.”